Cynthia McKinney Arrest Sought by Capitol Police

The Capitol Police have requested an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who last week assaulted one of their officers when he had the temerity to make her identify herself upon entering the Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police on Monday asked a federal prosecutor to approve an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney after she tangled with a uniformed officer last week. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein said he was reviewing the merits of the case. “We are working with Capitol Hill police to fully understand and appreciate the incident,” principal assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

McKinney framed the matter in terms of race. “The issue is racial profiling,” McKinney, who is black, told CNN.

It’s hardly shocking that McKinney, who has a history of blaming her continual malfeasance on discrimination, is once again playing the race card. My gut tells me that she will once again get away with it, as the Capitol police have a greater interest in maintaining smooth relations with the Members than prosecuting the occasional errant Member who will not abide by the rules of civilized behavior.

Atlanta’s WSBTV offers corroboration of my instincts, with several already rallying around this nonsense:

Photo: A lawyer for Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, says her race and sex are behind the incident. McKinney refused to comment today about her confrontation with the police officer. Instead her supporters used a news conference this morning at the Community Church of Christ on Cascade Road to attack security procedures at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. They blamed the incident between McKinney and an unidentified police officer on racism. Speakers said the officer failed to recognize McKinney as a member of congress and grabbed her because she is black. They also ridiculed the use of pins to identify members of congress. McKinney admits she was not wearing her pin when she was stopped by the officer when she bypassed a security checkpoint.

McKinney made a statement listing accomplishments of her office and scolding the local media for concentrating coverage of the slapping incident. She refused to take any questions from reporters.

Supporters included Democratic state legislators Representative “Able” Mable Thomas and Senator Vincent Fort. Her supporters pledged to stand by McKinney.

McKinney held a news conference Friday in Washington in which she said “This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman.” McKinney, also a Democrat, declined to discuss the incident further since she still may be charged with striking the officer after she entered a House office building unrecognized and did not stop when asked. She and her two lawyers refused to say during the Washington news conference whether she hit the officer or how he touched her inappropriately.

Interestingly, the WSB story also had news that McKinney illegally spent taxpayer money to fly Isaac Hayes in to help dedicate her Atlanta office but removed it when it posted an update this morning.

As to her unusual mode of dress and her new hairstyle, it is hardly racist for a policeman to look at a women presenting herself in such a manner and not wearing the required Member pin to not immediately recognize her as a Congressman. Washington is a very conservative town and that’s not how professionals, including those who are black and female, tend to present themselves. Of course, one would think that McKinney’s incongruous appearance would make her instantly recognizable to a Capitol Hill policeman, since she would stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of charcoal and navy blue.


  • TBogg thinks this is all a Republican plot to distract us from Tom DeLay.
  • Michelle Malkin notes that Democratic strategists also think this is distracting us from DeLay but blame McKinney.
  • Josh Marshall blames the South Park Jackals.
  • Jeff Goldstein blames the Jews.
  • Mark in Mexico has an amusing photo montage of McKinney’s ever-changing appearance.
  • Dan Riehl wants her impeached. A good thought, even though it’s not an option for legislators.

Update: Ann Althouse thinks McKinney’s arguments will not only “resonate with the people who vote for her” but may have some merit as well.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. LJD says:

    There’s no discrimintation in the member pin policy. It’s equal opportunity- every one has to wear one, regardless of their mental incapacities.

    I would love to see the CP have the balls to press charges for this freak show.

  2. Jonk says:

    As far as I am concerned, she is a joke. Wear the damn pin, or you don’t get in…that’s it.

  3. Herb says:

    McKinney is now a racist that is outside the circle.

    I hope the Capitol Police put her racist rear end in jail where she belongs.