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Charges dropped against Ashli Babbitt’s mother

Micki Witthoeft had been arrested for blocking traffic during a demonstration on the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s fatal shooting at the Capitol

Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, was taken into custody on Jan. 6, the second anniversary of the riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Kyle Anderson for The Washington Post)
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Prosecutors said Thursday they have dropped the charges against Ashli Babbitt’s mother, Micki Witthoeft, who was arrested for blocking traffic on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 — the two-year anniversary of when her daughter was fatally shot by a police officer as she tried to storm the building.

Witthoeft had been arrested for failing to obey police orders and blocking and obstructing roadways, according to a statement from U.S. Capitol Police. She was processed and released the same day, police said. A spokeswoman for the D.C. attorney general confirmed Thursday that the office declined to prosecute the case, but would not give a reason.

Witthoeft, 58, and those with her had been blocking traffic on Independence Avenue Southwest, near First Street Southwest, when Capitol Police officers and officials approached and “told the group to get out of the road or the group would be arrested,” according to the police statement.

“We’re not discussing it. Sidewalk now, or you’re under arrest. It’s that simple. We’re not discussing it. We’re not having any discussions. The sidewalk, or you’ll be placed under arrest,” an officer said, according to a video of the interaction posted by News2Share’s Ford Fischer, a documentarian who films political activism.

Witthoeft turned her back to police and placed her hands behind her back, the video shows.

Fischer tweeted news that the charges had been dropped earlier Thursday.

Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach a set of doors deep in the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. Graphic videos of the killing spread across social media, and her family and supporters, including President Donald Trump, decried the officer’s actions.

Prosecutors ultimately cleared the officer of any criminal wrongdoing, determining that there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated and that it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing in self-defense or in defense of members of Congress and aides who were fleeing the House chamber. An internal Capitol Police investigation also found the use of force was reasonable.

Efforts to reach Witthoeft and relatives were not immediately successful Thursday.

Ellie Silverman contributed to this report.