Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Police arrest Cindy Sheehan for wearing a T-shirt, then say it was a mistake

The Capitol Police arrested Cindy Sheehan last night before Bush's State of the Union Address for wearing a T-shirt listing the number of soldiers killed in Iraq. This MSNBC story, when read yesterday, included the following summary:
Sheehan, who was invited to attend the speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., was charged with demonstrating in the Capitol building, said Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. The charge was later changed to unlawful conduct, Schneider said. Both charges are misdemeanors.

The T-shirt bore the words "2,245 Dead — How Many More??" in reference to the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, protesters told NBC News.

Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived. Sheehan was to be released on her own recognizance, Schneider said."
However, the MSNBC story has now been edited to reflect that the Capitol police made a mistake and that Cindy should never have been removed from the building. Reuters has left up an unedited version of the story, and the MSNBC story now reads:
Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against antiwar 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."


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

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