Less than 24 hours after anti-Bush peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested for “unlawful conduct” at last night’s State of the Union address, the charge is being dropped and federal officials are apologizing.
“The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol. The policy and procedures were too vague,” said Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer. “The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.”
Sheehan was taken into custody shortly after unzipping her jacket, revealing her T-shirt, which had the message, “2245 Dead. How many more?”
In addition, Beverly Young, the wife of U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R- Fla., was also ejected from the House gallery for wearing a shirt that read, “Support the Troops – Defending Our Freedom.”
According to a release from Capitol Police this evening, “it was determined that while officers acted in a manner consistent with the rules of decorum enforced by the department in the House gallery for years, neither Mrs. Sheehan’s manner of dress or initial conduct warranted law enforcement intervention. The USCP also asked Mrs. Beverly Young, to leave the gallery because of a T-shirt she was wearing. Mrs. Young did not return to the gallery so there was no need for further police action. Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts.”
As WND is reporting, Sheehan says she intends to sue over her arrest.
“I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight,” Sheehan writes in her online diary. “I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back. I don’t want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That’s why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That’s why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me … or you.”
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