US Rep. McKinney on Police Scuffle

By Matthew Cardinale, Editor, Atlanta Progressive News (March 30, 2006)

(APN) ATLANTA BREAKING — US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) reportedly punched a police officer on Capitol Hill today, after the Congresswoman was being flagged down by a police officer who didn’t realize who she was.

Police say there are conflicting accounts as to whether the altercation should be characterized as a push, a punch, or a strike with a cell phone, but the blog Wonkette is calling McKinney a bad-ass.

Shockingly, McKinney says it’s a common problem for Capitol Hill Police to not recognize her.

The Congresswoman issued the following statement to Atlanta Progressive News:

Earlier today I had an unfortunate confrontation with a Capitol Hill Police Officer. It is traditional protocol that Capitol Hill Police Officers secure 535 Members of Congress, including 100 Senators. It is the expectation of most Members of Congress that Capitol Hill Police officers know who they are. I was urgently trying to get to an important meeting on time to fulfill my obligations to my constituents. Unfortunately, the Police Officer did not recognize me as a Member of Congress and a confrontation ensued. I did not have on my Congressional pin but showed the Police Officer my Congressional ID I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, that of thousands of others, and I appreciate the work that they do. I deeply regret that the incident occurred. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now.

The Congresswoman also released a one-minute clip from the film, American Blackout, which was produced by Guerilla News Network (GNN).

In the clip, she appears to be talking with a gentleman when approached by security on another occasion. A guard asks, who are you guys with?

That’s the Congresswoman, the man replies.

That’s just the typical kind of treatment that I receive. It’s typical, so I’m not surprised, and I’m not offended, US Rep. McKinney exclaimed in the film clip, as the officer apologized.

Some things never change. That’s what Tupac said, McKinney had said in the film clip.

In August 1993, during her first term in office, a Capitol Hill police officer tried to prevent her from bypassing a metal detector, as members of Congress are allowed to do, Slate Magazine, an online journal, reported. For years afterward, The Hill reports, the Capitol Police pinned a picture of McKinney to an office wall, warning officers to learn her face because she refuses to wear her member's pin... Five years later, she blasted White House security after guards thought her 23-year-old white aide was the congresswoman. Slate said.

According to some accounts of today's incident, McKinney went around a security checkpoint as she is authorized to do, and was not wearing her special lapel pin at the time which she routinely does not wear.

Atlanta activist Susan Keith and Atlanta Progressive News are working with GNN on an Atlanta screening of American Blackout to occur this summer.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at

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