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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 2/1/2006 3:17:02 PM EDT
WASHINGTON - 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."

The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs before Bush's arrival at the Capitol and charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.

"Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts," Gainer's statement said.

Gainer added that he was asking the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charge against Sheehan. The statement also said he apologized to the Youngs and "share the department's plans for avoiding this in the future."

"A similar message has been left with Mrs. Sheehan," Gainer said.

For his part, Bill Young said he was not necessarily satisfied.

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

A foreign-born American citizen who was the guest of Rep. Alcee Hastings (news, bio, voting record), D-Fla., also was taken by police from the gallery just above the House floor, Hastings said Wednesday.

The congressman met with Gainer and said he also requested a meeting with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., about the incident.

"I'd like to find out more information," Hastings said in an interview, identifying the man only as being from Broward County in Florida. "He is a constituent of mine. I invited him proudly."

Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: "2245 Dead. How many more?" Capitol Police charged her with a misdemeanor for violating the District of Columbia's code against unlawful or disruptive conduct on any part of the Capitol grounds, a law enforcement official said. She was released from custody and flew home Wednesday to Los Angeles.

Young's shirt had just the opposite message: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."

The two women appeared to have offended tradition if not the law, according to several law enforcement and congressional officials. By custom, the annual address is to be a dignified affair in which the president reports on the state of the nation. Guests in the gallery who wear shirts deemed political in nature have, in past years, been asked to change or cover them up.

Rules dealing mainly with what people can bring and telling them to refrain from reading, writing, smoking, eating, drinking, applauding or taking photographs are outlined on the back of gallery passes given to tourists every day.

However, State of the Union guests don't receive any guidelines, Hanley said. "You would assume that if you were coming to an event like the State of the Union address you would be dressed in appropriate attire," she said.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:24:46 PM EDT
Sheehan's lot has improved since she moved up to media darling from glory hole attendant.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:28:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
Sheehan's lot has improved since she moved up to media darling from glory hole attendant.

Thanks. Now I'll never be able to shove my wang through the wall of a truck-stop men's room again for fear of Cindy being on the other side.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:32:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
Sheehan's lot has improved since she moved up to media darling from glory hole attendant.

Thanks. Now I'll never be able to shove my wang through the wall of a truck-stop men's room again for fear of Cindy being on the other side.


What a way with words. I'll never look at a rest stop in quite the same way.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:33:15 PM EDT
How hard is it to include the link?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:33:51 PM EDT
Fuck her.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:34:21 PM EDT
Sheehan should have been arrested for sedition.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:38:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 3:40:05 PM EDT by thebeekeeper1]
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:49:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 3:50:22 PM EDT by Hoppy]
I've got no problem with Sheehan. She doesn't amount to a boil on the earths ass to me, but I live in a country where it's a citizens right to peacefully protest anything they want without worrying about being arrested for it. I do think it was chickenshit to arrest her because someone didn't like the tee shirt she was wearing. Whatever stupid motherfucker it was that authorized that one needs his balls kicked up around his ears. Somehow I think that's exactly what happened right before she was released.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:04:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:05:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 4:11:38 PM EDT by fireguy]

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
How hard is it to include the link?

ETA - trying to get link to work Got it

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:07:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:

Do you really want to watch a live broadcast and have it shouted down and/or interrupted repeatedly by malcontents?

If that's what she did then I stand corrected.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:16:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:18:36 PM EDT
They just arrested her to get her out of the way. I'm sure it was never intended to make a big deal of it.

Didn't Clinton do stuff like that? (Who hasn't is the question)
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:21:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
My point was more general--it would be extremely disruptive to have ANY form of protest inside the premises during such a solemn and stately event. The media would have a field day showing her over and over.

If she wants to protest she can do so outside. If Rep. Young's wife wants to wear a shirt with a slogan she can do so on her bowling league night. It is NOT appropriate at a SOTU speech.

No arguement here. I just believe that the cops did more for her cause than any amount of protesting she could have done. I think they walked right into that one, eyes wide open.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:24:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:28:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 4:31:55 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

Bitch went there to become a spectacle. So no matter what the police did, she would get her way.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:29:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Fuck her.

That dern Bama always has a way with words.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:36:44 PM EDT
Whatever happened to the "beat and release" program?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:37:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:55:06 PM EDT
More important to me is this: Why in the hell did that idiot congresswoman give Sheehan an invite?

I guess it just reflects generally on the disrespect that her affiliated political party showed during the entire evening.
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