McKinney Cancels News Conference

Updated with video

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And the Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant for her later today.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant today for Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.).

The warrant is related to the incident Wednesday when McKinney allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer.

Charges could range from assault on a police officer, which is a felony carrying a possible five year prison term, to simple assault, which is a misdeamenor.

McKinney has canceled a news conference that she had scheduled for this morning to discuss the incident.

McKinney issued a statement yesterday saying she “deeply regrets” the confrontation with the police officer.

The six-term congresswoman apparently struck a Capitol Police officer when he tried to stop her from entering a House office building without going through a metal detector. Members of Congress wear identifying lapel pins and routinely are waved into buildings without undergoing security checks. The officer apparently did not recognize McKinney, she said in a statement.

Asked on-camera Thursday by Channel 2 Action News whether she intended to apologize, McKinney refused to comment.

So, is she going to deck the person who presents her with the warrant?

Additional: No Agenda reminds us that this is Rep. McKinney’s fifth run in with law enforcement.

Update: Tim Dees at Officer.com, a website dedicated to police news and issues, provides interesting information:

Now, if anyone else [hit a police officer], they would find themselves in handcuffs and on their way to the slammer. Hitting a cop for any reason has some serious consequences, and rightly so. But congresspersons are protected from arrest under Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution so long as Congress is in session. This clause does not protect Members once the session ends, and warrants for crimes committed during the session can be served on them at any time afterward.

Some critics of the conduct of the police in this incident have declared that the officers of the Capitol Police should simply know what their protectees look like. There are 535 Members of Congress, and 435 of them get reshuffled every two years. Each one of these Members has a complement of staffers, and then there are the lobbyists, other government employees, and constituents that come through the Capitol on business. This makes for an unmanageable number of faces to memorize (especially if they change their appearance, as Ms. McKinney did), and the reason that Members are given those little pins to wear. Most Members don’t seem to regard the wearing of these as a burden. Ms. McKinney refuses to wear hers.

Update II: This is unbelievable. Rep. McKinney’s attorney is saying she is a victim of racism.

WASHINGTON Mar 31, 2006 (AP) — A lawyer for Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia congresswoman who had an altercation with a Capitol Police officer, says she was “just a victim of being in Congress while black.”

…Her lawyer, James W. Myart Jr., said, “Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin.”

…”Congresswoman McKinney, in a hurry, was essentially chased and grabbed by the officer,” Myart said. “She reacted instinctively in an effort to defend herself.” (all emphasis mine)

Let’s examine the language her attorney used to spin this situation: victim, excessive force, chased and grabbed, reacted to defend herself. Is Rep. McKinney’s attorney getting ready to file a law suit against the Capitol Hill Police?

So let’s recap: Rep. McKinney, not wearing her congressional ID pin, bypasses the metal detector in a congress office building. When the police officer asks her to stop to confirm who she is, Rep. McKinney ignores him. When the police officer finally catches up with her, McKinney becomes aggressive and hits the police officer. And her attorney has the nerve to say the police officer used excessive force.

Update III: Apparently the news conference is back on and will take place at Howard University.

Update IV: My speculation was correct. Fox News Channel is saying that McKinney’s office says that a lawyer and staffer are going to file an excessive force claim against the Capitol Hill police. They are saying that the police used excessive force against McKinney and roughed her up

Update V: At the press conference Rep. McKinney said this: “Apparently the case against me may be referred for prosecution. Therefore, I have been advised by my attorneys not to discuss the facts of the case. However, let me be clear. This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female, black congresswoman. I deeply regret that this incident ocurred and I am certain that after full review of the facts I will exonerated”

Expose the Left has the video.

Others blogging:

Ace of Spades
Ankle Biting Pundits
Instapundit
Power Line

Death sentence
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