Thursday, April 20, 2006

Report Says That McKinney, 'struck [him] in his chest with a closed fist'


A Georgia congresswoman struck a Capitol Hill police officer "in his chest with a closed fist" after the officer tried to stop her from going around a metal detector last month, according to a police report.

The report, obtained Wednesday by CNN, called the March 29 incident involving Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, an "assault on a police officer."

It happened about 8:55 a.m. at the Longworth House Office Building when McKinney -- who has admitted she was not wearing a pin that would have identified her as a member of Congress -- tried to bypass a metal detector, as members of Congress are allowed to do. (Watch the new chapter of congresswoman vs. cop --1:41)

When the officer -- identified in the report as Paul McKenna -- tried to stop her because he didn't recognize her as a member of Congress, the altercation began. (Read the police report -- PDF)

McKinney, whose name is not listed in the report -- she is described as "suspect" S-1 -- has charged that the officer used racial profiling against her and inappropriately touched her, and has said she acted out of instinct.

The report said that "C-1 (the complainant, McKenna), while performing his official duties as United States Capitol Police officer and in full uniform, stated that he was physically assaulted by S-1. S-1 struck C-1 in his chest with a closed fist."

Although previous reports alleged that McKinney hit the officer with a cell phone, that is not mentioned in the police report.

Police sources said McKenna has been with the Capitol Hill Police for a little more than three years, and has a clean reputation.

One Capitol Hill Police source said McKenna has never faced disciplinary action, and described him as "a very squared-away officer ... he knows his job, and is very professional."

A grand jury in Washington is investigating the incident and has not yet decided whether to bring charges against McKinney.

On April 6, McKinney apologized on the House floor regarding the incident.

"There should not have been any physical contact in this incident," she said. "I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation and I apologize."

She also expressed her support for Capitol Hill police.

Contacted by CNN, two of McKinney's attorneys, Bill Moffitt and Mike Raffauf, would not comment on the report. Moffitt, retained recently by McKinney, would only reiterate that McKinney has not been charged with a crime.

A press aide for McKinney also would not comment, saying only that this is an ongoing legal matter.

posted by David at 1:20 AM :: Permalink ::