McKinney Cancels News Conference

WSB-TV (Atlanta), March 31, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant today for Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.).

The warrant is related to the incident Wednesday when McKinney allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer.

Charges could range from assault on a police officer, which is a felony carrying a possible five year prison term, to simple assault, which is a misdeamenor.

McKinney has canceled a news conference that she had scheduled for this morning to discuss the incident.

McKinney issued a statement yesterday saying she “deeply regrets” the confrontation with the police officer.

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Asked on-camera Thursday by Channel 2 Action News whether she intended to apologize, McKinney refused to comment.

“I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now,” she said in the statement on her Web site.

Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, engaged in a rhetorical scuffle over the incident.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday labeled it “a mistake, an unfortunate lack of recognition of a member of Congress.” She added that the police officer was not at fault.

“I would not make a big deal of this,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Ron Bonjean, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., responded: “How many officers would have to be punched before it becomes a big deal?”

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