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Capitol Cops Seek Warrant For Cynthia McKinney

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Capitol police ask for arrest warrant for McKinney

Black leaders say McKinney victim of racial profiling

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/03/06

WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill police on Monday asked a federal prosecutor to approve an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney for her role in a scuffle with a police officer last week, the prosecutor’s office confirmed.

Capitol Police had no immediate comment so it’s not yet known whether the intent is to file felony or misdemeanor assault charges against McKinney, a DeKalb County Democrat.

Coz Carson, a spokesman for McKinney, said the requested warrant should be dismissed if "this is a prosecutor who’s not a politician."

"Any prosecutor with any sense can look at this thing and understand that it’s not something that should be blown out of proportion any further," Carson said.

The office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Kenneth Wainstein, must approve the request by Capitol Hill police before police can go to a judge to ask for an arrest warrant.

Officials familiar with the process have said a warrant can be obtained within a day, though that doesn’t mean a warrant against McKinney would be.

McKinney was stopped by a Capitol Hill police officer last Wednesday as she tried to go around a security checkpoint in a House office building. Members of Congress are allowed to go around the ubiquitous checkpoints, but the police officer failed to recognize McKinney as a member of Congress and tried to stop her.

After calling to McKinney to stop, the officer touched her shoulder or arm. That prompted McKinney to spin around and the strike the officer, though there are conflicting reports as to whether she slapped him, punched him in the chest or struck him with a cell phone.

McKinney was not wearing a special lapel pin given to members of Congress to make them easier to identify. She also has changed her hairstyle since her official House portrait, the picture police would check to identify her.

Also Monday, black preachers, elected officials and activists in Atlanta cited McKinney’s recent run-in with Capitol police as an example of racial profiling and called what happened to her disrespectful.

Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, along with members of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, announced their continued support for the sixth-term congresswoman at a morning meeting.

Supporters say the incident has been blown out of proportion and politicized. Her treatment, they added, was excessive and shows that black elected officials aren’t immune to problems of double standards and racial profiling other African-Americans face.

"Racial profiling is a well thought out and planned attack on black political leaders," state Rep. Alberta Abdul-Salaam said Monday. "It’s going from the gold dome down to the White House. It’s happening and it’s wrong."

McKinney was in attendance at the morning meeting and said she was grateful for the support. She would not comment on the incident, but instead focused on the work her office is doing on behalf of her 4th District constituents.

"You can rest assured I’m doing the work that you sent me to Washington to do," McKinney said. "Nothing is going to keep me away from my responsibility."

Let’s hope she’s made to be responsible for her actions — for once.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 3rd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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