The incident occurred when McKinney was entering a House office building on Capitol Hill. She started walking around a metal detector and X-ray machine at one of the building's entrances, as members of Congress are allowed to do, when the officer tried to stop her, congressional and police officials said.
The officer either tapped McKinney on the shoulder or grabbed her arm, they said. McKinney spun around and struck the officer, though there are conflicting reports about whether she slapped him, punched him in the chest or hit him with a cellphone she had in her hand, they said.
Congressional staffers who have worked with McKinney said several factors may have contributed to the officer's failure to recognize McKinney as a member of Congress.
McKinney usually does not wear the special lapel pin given to members of Congress to make them easier to identify, and she apparently was not wearing it Wednesday morning, congressional and police officials said. Kerri Hanley, of the House sergeant-at-arms' office, said members are not required to wear the pin, though most do.
Police also keep books with pictures of each member at security checkpoints in the Capitol and in House and Senate office buildings to help them recognize lawmakers. However, even if the officer had consulted the book, he may not have recognized McKinney, who has altered her hairstyle since her official House photo was taken, congressional aides noted.
This is not the first time McKinney has had an encounter with Capitol Hill police. When she first arrived in Congress in 1993, an officer failed to recognize her because she was new and not wearing the congressional pin. After she complained, police put pictures of McKinney up at each security checkpoint to ensure it would not happen again.
So, let me get this straight... all you have to do to step around the metal detectors is to where a LAPEL PIN?!?!
And why is it that congressional members don't have to go through the metal detectors? I certainly have to follow my employer's security policies. Why is it any different for members of Congress?
And is this the type of compliance with security policies that we could expect from Cynthia if she were in a leadership position?
Finally, can anyone explain to me why Cynthia doesn't like to wear her lapel pin? Perhaps it has an American flag on it? Not sure if this is the same pin, but it doesn't appear to have any jingoistic symoblism (other than that wretched and ultraviolent eagle).
ARC: St Wendeler