The mother of Ashli Babbitt drew a standing ovation at a “Rally to Protect Our Elections” in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday night. The event was headlined by former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Paul Gosar introduced Babbitt’s mother Michelle Witthoeft.
“She came all the way over here to tell you thank you,” Gosar said. Watch the crowd’s reaction:
The audience not only gave Witthoeft a rousing bout of applause, but they even broke out into a chant, “Ashli! Ashli! Ashli!”
Ashli Babbitt is a central figure in the January 6th riots. Her shooting death, issued by a Capitol Police officer that has not been formally recognized or charged, was the only provable “homicide” at the event.
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The decision to shoot Ashli Babbitt has been chalked up as a “split second” decision; but one can see from the video that the man held aloft his gun for at least fifteen seconds before shooting. Police officers who stood behind Babbitt did nothing to prevent her from attempting to climb into the restricted area.
It is undeniable that Babbitt should not have proceeded to go into the area. However, this does not justify the shooting death, nor does it resolve questions about how the incident developed or concluded. The Biden Department of Justice has announced the officer will not be charged for the shooting.
The New York Times and other media outlets have branded Babbitt as a “Q Anon” supporter, as if to dispense with public curiosity or sympathy for the woman’s death.
“Ashli wasn’t a thug. She wasn’t a rioter. Ashli was a peaceful person,” said her cousin Justine Babbitt. “She did 14 years in the military. She was not there to destroy the Capitol building. She was there to be heard and be part of a movement. Ashli was a die-hard patriot. Not a Democrat, not a Republican. She was for the people. Ashli carried around the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in her pocketbook.”
Ashli Babbitt’s attorney Terry Roberts commented on the closed case.
“To date, the officer who shot Ashli has not been identified,” Roberts said. “Neither the Capitol Police nor any other governmental authority has given an account of the facts surrounding the shooting. There has been no official explanation or justification for the use of lethal force in this matter.”
“This lack of transparency impedes the public scrutiny which is necessary to hold government officials accountable in a free society,” the statement added. “It also interferes with the ability of Ashli’s family to obtain justice for their loss.”
The family’s lawyer closed the statement with a plea for justice and transparency.
“My law firm and I represent Ashli’s husband and family members,” Roberts said. “We will continue to investigate this matter. We intend to take appropriate legal action when our investigation has been completed.”
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.