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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former President Donald Trump was highly critical of the arrest of deceased January 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt’s mother during a protest outside of the U.S. Capitol Building on Sunday, calling the move a “disgrace.”
Micki Witthoeft, Babbitt’s mother, was protesting outside the Capitol on the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death; footage has been released of Witthoeft being handcuffed and arrested, with her fellow protestors – and later Trump, while speaking at a CPAC event at his Mar-a-Lago residence – decrying the move.
“We have a weaponized country right now with law enforcement. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country. Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested yesterday, because she was protesting the death of her daughter being shot by a lunatic who got a record of…not so good,” Trump said. “And then they try and protect him and they do things – what they’ve done to that family. That they shot her, there was no reason, and then they arrested – because the mother was in a group – and they arrested yesterday the mother of Ashli Babbitt. So she loses her daughter and then on top of it, she gets arrested.”
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Ashli Babbit was among a group of rioters who had breached the Capitol Building during the riots at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Babbitt was shot and killed by a USCP officer as she was breaking through a barricaded doorway in a hallway that led to the chamber where members of Congress were in the process of being evacuated.
The death of Babbit was ruled “lawful and within Department policy” and “potentially saved members (of Congress) and staff from serious injury and possible death” following a USCP investigation.
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) confirmed that Witthoeft, 58, was part of a group of people who had been blocking traffic on Independence Avenue on Friday and has been charged with Blocking and Obstructing Roadways and Failure to Obey an Order, contradicting earlier erroneous reporting that she had been arrested simply for “jaywalking.”
“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 USCP said in a statement. “The officers and officials told the group to get out of the road or the group would be arrested. The sidewalk was open. [Witthoeft] was given multiple warnings to get out of the road. Instead of getting out of the road, [Witthoeft] refused to leave, turned around with her hands behind her back, and asked to be arrested.”
Witthoeft was processed and released Friday afternoon after being given a citation to appear in court at a later date, the USCP stated.