MICHELE NORRIS, host:
A Congresswoman from Georgia who was involved in a scuffle with a Capital police officer has apologized. Democrat Cynthia McKinney has been condemned by party leaders for her behavior, and a Grand Jury is considering possible criminal charges.
NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
BRIAN NAYLOR reporting:
The incident occurred last week, as McKinney was entering a House office building. She walked around a metal detector, which has a member of Congress she's permitted to do. But she wasn't wearing the lapel pin that identifies her as a House member. According to Capital Police Chief Terrence Gainer, a white police officer who apparently failed to recognize McKinney, who is black, asked her to stop. When she didn't, the officer placed his hand on her and McKinney hit him. The story became an embarrassment to Democrats. Last night members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who'd been noticeably silent on the incident, urged McKinney to apologize.
This morning she did.
Representative CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (Democrat, Georgia): There should not have been any physical contact in this incident. I have always supported law enforcement and will be voting for HR756, expressing my gratitude and appreciation to the professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the U.S. Capital Police. I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation. And I apologize.
NAYLOR: The U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on the case. Two congressional aides, a Democrat and a Republican, have been called as witnesses before a federal Grand Jury.
Brian Naylor, NPR News, the Capital.
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