The mother of a woman who died during a riot at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Jan 6 2021 says she was ‘roughed up’ by police while at a protest to commemorate the demonstration two years on.
Police arrested Micki Witthoeft, 58, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, who died when an officer opened fire at a Make America Great Again mob as they stormed through the U.S. Capitol’s Rotunda.
Footage released exclusively to DailyMail shows Witthoeft in the moments after she was arrested for failing to obey and order as well as blocking and obstructing roadways in D.C.
Witthoeft said Capitol police ‘roughed her up’, revealing wounds to her wrists where they had ‘tightly’ cuffed the 58-year-old.
Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt’s mother, Micki Witthoeft, was arrested by police on Friday during a memorial for her daughter and protest being held near the Capitol
Following the defeat of former U.S. President Donald Trump, a mob of Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
The crowd was seeking to keep Trump in power by preventing a joint session of Congress from counting the electoral college votes to formalize the victory of then President-elect Joe Biden.
Witthoeft explained that she and others were at the Capitol on Friday to protest and pay tribute to the lives lost during the 2021 riot.
‘We were laying flowers for Ashli and Rosanne and Brian and Benjamin, and we did not have a sidewalk to walk on,’ she said.
‘So we were walking on the road next to the capitol. The cops told us to go to the other side of the road because there was no sidewalk they had blocked [it] off.
‘[They] would not let us take an American flag on the grounds of the United States Capitol.’
She admits that when she failed to move out of the roadway, after police had asked to do multiple times, she was arrested with two offences.
‘I was arrested for a failure to obey and blocking the roadway,’ she said.
Following her arrest Witthoeft explained that she and others were at the Capitol on Friday to protest and pay tribute to the lives lost during the 2021 riot
The grieving mom revealed bloodied and scabbed handcuff injuries following her arrest noting that the police ‘roughed her up’
In the video footage following her arrest Witthoeft can be seen showing her handcuff injuries.
‘I got a little roughed up, there, that’s a cuff mark. The man who cuffed me was a very angry police officer,’ she said.
‘I would like to say, I don’t have anything nice to say about the capitol police, but, he was the only one that was an a**. He did insist on putting the cuffs on pretty tight.’
When asked whether the 58-year-old had to spend any time in jail she said it was her first time ever being arrested.
‘I did [go to jail]. Oh my god, my first experience being arrested,’ she said.
‘I sat in the jail cell, I got finger printed, I got all that… it all happened.’
When given the option to pay a fine and leave, Witthoeft said she would rather have her day in court.
‘They gave me the option to pay a fine and leave with a citation and not have to deal with it or my day in court [on January 26],’ she said.
Video footage of the arrest were seen uploaded to social media on Friday as Witthoeft was taken away by police
‘I opted for my day in court. I would really like to explain to them why I wasn’t allowed on Capitol grounds to lay flowers for my murdered daughter.’
Earlier Friday evening at about 1.45pm police arrested Witthoeft and numerous videos were posted to social media of the incident.
Bystanders who watched Witthoeft being arrested slammed cops, claiming that they ‘murdered’ her daughter.
Capitol police said 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,’ the said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
Officers said that they established a clear police line to prevent the group from moving further east and asked the group to ‘get out of the road’ threatening their arrest.
‘The sidewalk was open, a woman in the group was given multiple warnings to get out of the road,’ police said.
‘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.’
Lieutenant Michael Byrd shot Babbitt in the shoulder as she tried to climb through a window into the Speaker of the House’s lobby during the riot by Trump supporters – she died later
Witthoeft stood with supporters of protesters who were arrested on Jan 6, 2021 on the second anniversary of the rioting – when her daughter was killed
Witthoeft was arrested for two Capitol Traffic Regulations obey an order, as well as blocking and obstructing roadways.
‘As is typical for this charge, Witthoeft was processed and released this afternoon after being given a citation to appear in court at a later date,’ the statement added.
In one video uploaded to Twitter, a group, including Witthoeft, can be seen walking across the road. She tries to veer in the direction away from where Capitol police asked her to walk.
The cops appear to stop Witthoeft, who remains silent while another protester says ‘you do not touch her sir.’
‘You’re not obeying the traffic law, you move to the sidewalk or you’ll be placed under arrest,’ one officer can be heard telling the group.
‘Sidewalk now or you’re under arrest. It’s that simple we’re not discussing it the sidewalk or you’ll be placed under arrest.’
Witthoeft, then goes off camera and appears to place something on the ground before turning to the group and standing still.
An officer is then seen grabbing Witthoeft’s arm before moving her toward a police vehicle.
The small right-wing demonstration, which Witthoeft attended, was in support of hundreds of people who were arrested, charged and lost their lives following the storming of the Capitol
Local reports say about 20 people were in attendance at the Capitol protest – a stark contrast to the demonstration Jan 6 2021
A number of videos uploaded to Twitter show the moments following the initial confrontation with one protestor repeating ‘you’re arresting Ashli Babbitt’s mother.’
‘You murdered [Ashli Babbitt] inside the Capitol and now you’re going to arrest [Micki Witthoeft],’ one protestor could be heard saying in another video.
Witthoeft is then seen being cuffed against a police vehicle before police ask the remaining protestors to move to the sidewalk.
‘If you don’t move to the sidewalk we’re going to put you under arrest. You’re blocking traffic,’ one officer is heard saying.
‘You’re blocking traffic, I ain’t blocking traffic,’ one protestor holding an American flag is heard saying.
Once further away from Witthoeft one bystander can be heard asking Babbitt’s mother whether she had any comments.
‘Yeah, Capitol Police suck a**!’ she yelled from the police vehicle where she was being held.
DailyMail contacted the US Capitol Police with more questions on the incident – but were referred to their statement for answers.
Capitol police said that a group of demonstrators were ‘illegally blocking traffic’ and ‘did not have a permit to demonstrate on Capitol Grounds’
A protestor, later identified as Babbitt, was seen lying wounded after being shot by police inside the US Capitol, Washington DC. January 06 2021. Babbitt later died from her injuries
Local reports at the time said about 20 people were in attendance at the Capitol protest with Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer tweeting that the small demonstration quickly took a turn.
‘The pro-Jan 6 protest outside SCOTUS has already been disrupted multiple times,’ he wrote.
‘Once by a small group of antifa chanting ‘you lost, ha ha.’ A counter protester appears to know the protest leaders well, reading off their criminal records and fraud accusations into a megaphone.’
In August 2021, DailyMail exclusively revealed the police officer who shot Babbitt as Lieutenant Michael Byrd.
Byrd, 53, shot Babbitt in the shoulder as she tried to climb through a window into the Speaker of the House’s lobby during the riot by Trump supporters.
The rioters had invaded the Capitol in a bid to prevent the certification of the results of the presidential election in which Joe Biden defeated Trump by 306 electoral college votes to 232.
Pro-Trump protesters are seen storming into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police to contest the 2020 U.S. presidential election when former U.S. president Donald Trump lost
The US Capitol Police on Aug 23 2021 announced that the officer who shot and killed January 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt had been cleared of any wrongdoing
Cops had warned her to stop, but she pressed forward before Byrd shot her.
She was taken to the hospital where she later died.
Capitol Hill Police chiefs announced in a statement the next day that the officer who fired at Babbitt had been placed on leave pending an independent inquiry into his use of lethal force by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police.
But in stark contrast to high-profile incidents across the country, both departments ignored federal government guidance urging transparency in officer-involved shootings and declined to name Byrd.
His department announced that he had been officially been exonerated, four months after it was announced that he would face no criminal charges.