Posted on April 3, 2006

McKinney Says Police Officer Touched Her ‘Inappropriately’

AP, April 1, 2006

Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia congresswoman who had an altercation with a Capitol Police officer, said yesterday that the officer started the incident by “inappropriately touching and stopping” her after she walked past a security checkpoint.

McKinney, speaking at a news conference where she was joined by singer Harry Belafonte and actor Danny Glover, said she understands that a case against her may be referred for prosecution but declared that she will be exonerated.

“Let me be clear: This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman,” McKinney said. “I deeply regret that this incident occurred.”

McKinney, a Democrat, declined to discuss the incident further because she still may be charged with striking the officer after she entered a House office building this week unrecognized and did not stop when asked. She and her two lawyers would not say whether she hit the officer or how he touched her inappropriately.

James W. Myart Jr., one of McKinney’s attorneys, said he will seek an investigation against the officer, who has not been identified.

“Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin,” he said.

Belafonte and Glover said they were there as a show of support for the fiery six-term representative.

A Capitol Police spokeswoman did not return a telephone call seeking comment.