Charges Against Ashli Babbitt's Mother Are Dropped

Police said Micki Witthoeft wouldn't heed orders during protest on riot's 2-year anniversary
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2023 7:45 AM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2023 2:25 PM CST
Ashli Babbitt's Mom Arrested Outside US Capitol
Micki Witthoeft, center, mother of Ashli Babbitt, the woman fatally shot by police inside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, joins protesters on Friday outside of the Supreme Court on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
UPDATE Jan 28, 2023 2:25 PM CST

Prosecutors have decided not to pursue a conviction of Micki Witthoeft, whose daughter was killed in the attack on the US Capitol. Ashli Babbitt's mother was arrested this month near the building on the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection and charged with traffic violations in connection with the protest. A spokesperson for the Office of the DC attorney general said the charges were dropped but would not comment on the decision, calling that standard practice, the Hill reports.

Jan 7, 2023 7:45 AM CST

The mother of Ashli Babbitt, the California woman who was fatally shot by Capitol Police during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, was arrested herself outside the Capitol, on the two-year anniversary of the riot and her daughter's death. Per a Capitol Police release cited by the Hill, 58-year-old Micki Witthoeft was taken into custody over two traffic violations: illegally blocking traffic and failing to obey orders from Capitol Police. The release notes that Witthoeft was part of a group that was protesting near the Capitol on Friday afternoon, but that didn't have a permit to do so on Capitol grounds, and so "officers established a clear police line to prevent the group from moving further west on Independence Avenue, SW."

The release notes that Witthoeft and others in her group were advised to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk, which was clear, and that Witthoeft was given "multiple warnings" to do so. The Washington Post reports that, in one video of the incident, a Capitol Police officer can be heard saying to Witthoeft, "Sidewalk now, or you're under arrest. It's that simple. We're not discussing it." Witthoeft can be seen then turning her back to the officer, her hands behind her back, suggesting she was ready to be taken into custody. The release notes that Witthoeft "asked to be arrested."

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In a longer video posted to YouTube, Witthoeft and others are shown chanting, "Ashli Babbitt!" over and over as Witthoeft is placed into a squad car. The Post notes that the same video shows Witthoeft earlier on Friday making a speech, telling supporters outside the Supreme Court Building: "As we stand in front of this building that says 'equal justice under the law,' let's seek that. Let's make that attainable." Babbitt, 36, was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the 2021 attack as she tried to climb through the window of a barricaded door near the House chamber. Per the Capitol Police release, Witthoeft was processed and released, as well as given a citation to appear in court at a later date. (More Ashli Babbitt stories.)

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