The mother of Ashli Babbitt, Micki Witthoeft, was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police at a protest Friday afternoon in Washington, D.C. marking the second anniversary of her daughter’s killing by Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd during the January 6th riot. (Update at end.)
Micki Witthoeft was part of a group of protesters walking westbound on Independence Avenue between the Capitol and House office buildings. A trailing police officer in a marked car tried to order the protesters to move to the sidewalk away from the Capitol. The protesters ignored the warning and continued marching, with Witthoeft on the outside in the middle of a traffic lane.
Capitol Police set up a roadblock and ordered the protesters to cross the street to the sidewalk or be arrested. After an officer shoulder-checked Witthoeft when she tried to move past him, Witthoeft turned her back to the officers and offered to be arrested. She was immediately cuffed and taken into custody.
While being detained, Witthoeft says, “Capitol Police suck ass!”
Watch the full video below via Freedom Express Media:
D.C. law says spontaneous street protests are allowed, but that police must give three verbal warnings that can be clearly heard and understood before arrests can be made. It is not clear if the Capitol Police followed the prescribed procedure.
The march from a rally in front of the Supreme Court down First Street to the arrest on Independence Avenue can be seen at about the three-hour mark in the video below. The protesters did not try to block the entire street, staying in the curb lane.
Capitol Police released a statement just before 4 p.m. EST:
— The U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) January 6, 2023
Woman Charged with Blocking and Obstructing Roadways, Obey an Order
January 6, 2023 Press Release
This afternoon a group of demonstrators were illegally blocking traffic on Independence Avenue, SW, near First Street, SW.
The group did not have a permit to demonstrate on Capitol Grounds. Officers established a clear police line to prevent the group from moving further west on Independence Avenue, SW. The officers and officials told the group to get out of the road or the group would be arrested. The sidewalk was open. A woman in the group was given multiple warnings to get out of the road. Instead of getting out of the road, the woman refused to leave, turned around with her hands behind her back, and asked to be arrested.
Around 1:45 p.m., the woman was arrested for two Capitol Traffic Regulations – §16.3.20 Obey An Order, as well as §16.3.40 Blocking And Obstructing Roadways. The person was identified as 58 year old Micki Witthoeft.
As is typical for this charge, Ms. Witthoeft was processed and released this afternoon after being given a citation to appear in court at a later date.