Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Policing the Powerful Is Not Easy

Capitol Police apologize for doing their job:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and apologized for ejecting her and a congressman's wife from President Bush's State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with war messages.

"The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol," Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.

"The policy and procedures were too vague," he added. "The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine."

What should the Police Chief have told his officers? “Our long-standing tradition prohibits t-shirts with messages on them, but tonight if any congressman’s wife or famous leftist wears one, give them a pass because we don’t want the bad publicity.”

The worst comment came from a Republican, Congressman Bill Young, whose wife wore a t-shirt to a State of the Union Speech.

"My wife was humiliated," he told reporters. He suggested that "sensitivity training" may be in order for Capitol Police.

Yes, this Republican wants to waste policemen’s time with sensitivity training because they did their job and his wife was humiliated.

UPDATE: I cleaned this up, taking out the abuse that I wrote in my first angry reaction to this story, because I sounded a bit too much like Atrios.

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