Last night, Georgia Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney was accosted by
a Capitol Hill policeman after she entered the Longworth Building and bypassed
the metal detector, which is customary for members of Congress. The police officer
did not recognize McKinney who showed him her congressional ID. After he placed
his hand on her shoulder in a hostile restraining move, an altercation ensued.
The officer said he did not recognize McKinney, something that is required of
all Capitol Hill police officers.
This editor has personally witnessed such an incident previously in which a
Capitol Hill police officer did not recognize McKinney. I was in a car with
McKinney and her assistant when a Capitol Hill police officer at Longworth demanded,
and not in a nice way, McKinney's ID. It is doubtful that any white member of
the House or Senate has been stopped in such a manner by cops in the "People's
House." One memorable incident was when House Doorman Fishbait Miller of
Mississippi demanded that the late New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug remove
her trademark hat when she entered the House chamber. Although there was a verbal
altercation between the two, there was no physical contact. But that was then
and this Congress now consists of hundreds of "Fishbait Millers" who
are elected members, staffers, and cops.
Last month, McKinney's Georgia home was "toilet papered"
with video tape after she participated in the Sundown Film Festival, where a
documentary on the electoral fraud used against her in 2002 received an award.
The Capitol Hill police are rife with officers hired by the Republican leadership
and the recently-departed and nepotism scandal-tainted police chief Terrance
Gainer, who got his start as a rookie cop in Chicago in 1968 clubbing anti-Vietnam
War protestors at the Democratic National Convention. The Capitol Hill police,
which works for the Republican-appointed Sergeant-at-Arms, a political patronage
position, has taken on a distinct "southern sheriff's department"
appearance in the last few years. On this past Martin Luther King's
birthday, Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke of a "plantation" mentality in
the House of Representatives, adding, "you all know what I'm talking about."
Yes, Senator Clinton, with the McKinney incident, we all now know what you mean.
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