Prosecutors in the nation’s capital have declined to file charges against Micki Witthoeft, who was arrested on traffic charges on the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot where her daughter was fatally shot by a police officer.
Witthoeft’s daughter, Ashli Babbitt, was shot and killed as she tried to gain access to a room where members of Congress were barricaded in fear for their lives. Babbitt was part of a mob of about 1,000 terrorists who stormed the US Capitol Building.
U.S. Capitol Police said in a news release that Witthoeft, 58, was arrested as she and other protesters blocked traffic on Independence Avenue, in the District of Columbia.
Police gave the group multiple warnings to get out of the road.
Witthoeft refused to leave and instead turned around with her hands behind her back. She asked to be arrested, according to a video of the interaction and statements that were made by police.
After being arrested on citations for failure to comply with an order and obstructing roadways, Witthoeft was released later the same day.
The case went to the office of D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb.
Prosecutors there declined to file court charges against Witthoeft, but Gabe Showglow-Rubenstein, a spokesperson for Schwalb, said the office does not discuss charging decisions.
A 35-year-old Air Force veteran and fervent Donald Trump supporter, Babbitt, wearing a Trump flag as a cape, was shot once in the shoulder by Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd while she was attempting to crawl through a broken window leading to the Speaker’s Lobby outside the US House of Representatives chamber.
The shooting was captured on video and went viral for the world to see. Byrd has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in fatally shooting the unarmed woman as more than a thousand fanatic Trump-loving terrorists attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
Babbitt spent four years on active duty, from 2004 through 2008, achieving the rank of senior airman. She went on to serve as an Air Force reservist from 2008 to 2010 and in the Air National Guard from 2010 to 2016, according to records released by the Air Force Personnel Center.
Her service included deployments to Afghanistan in 2005, Iraq in 2006, and the United Arab Emirates in 2012 and 2014, according to an Air Force spokesperson.
While with the Air National Guard, she was a member of the 113th Security Forces Squadron of the DC Air National Guard based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The unit, whose mission is to protect the DC area during periods of civil unrest, is nicknamed the Capital Guardians.
Consistent with their increasing comfort with defending political violence, some Republican members of Congress and such conservative propagandists as Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin have suggested that Babbitt was a martyr or a patriot who was unjustly killed despite the fact that she was part of a violent mob that was trying to reverse the 2020 presidential election results by force.
“The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away,” said a statement from the United States Capitol Police. “USCP Officers had barricaded the Speaker’s Lobby with furniture before a rioter shattered the glass door. If the doors were breached, the rioters would have immediate access to the House Chambers. The officer’s actions were consistent with the officer’s training and USCP policies and procedures.”