Prosecutors have declined to file charges against the mother of Ashli Babbitt, Micki Witthoeft, who was arrested on traffic charges this month on the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot where her daughter was fatally shot by a police officer.
Witthoeft, 58, was arrested as she and other District of Columbia protesters blocked traffic on Independence Avenue, U.S. Capitol Police said in a news release.
Police gave the group multiple warnings to get out of the road. Refusing to leave, Witthoeft instead turned around with her hands behind her back and asked to be arrested, the police statement said. She was arrested on citations for failure to comply with an order and obstructing roadways. Witthoeft was released later the same day.
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The case went to the office of D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb. Prosecutors there declined to file court charges against Witthoeft, said Gabe Showglow-Rubenstein, a spokesman for Schwalb. He said the office does not discuss charging decisions.
Babbitt, 35, was shot while attempting to break into the House chamber on Jan. 6, 2021. Graphic videos of the shooting show the Air Force veteran wore a Trump flag as a cape while she emerged from a crowd of protestors and tried to crawl through a broken window. One shot rang out, and Babbitt fell, bleeding from an apparent neck wound.
Lt. Michael Byrd, the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Babbitt, was cleared of wrongdoing after an internal review by the agency found his actions were “consistent with the officer’s training and (U.S. Capitol Police) policies.”
Byrd, in an interview with NBC, said he believed his action helped save others from injury or death. Nonetheless, he suffered threats after his identity became public.
Contributing: Ella Lee
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