Capitol Police Maintain Vigilance During Protests

Posted March 21, 2010 at 12:09pm

Capitol Police say they are maintaining “vigilance” in light of the large number of protesters on the Capitol grounds today, according to a police spokeswoman.

“We continue to maintain our vigilance so that we can respond to any calls for assistance,” Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said. “Of course we’re monitoring demonstration activity on the Hill. Otherwise, business as usual and today we’re as vigilant as we are any other day.”

On Saturday, Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) were peppered with racial and anti-gay slurs by protesters, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) was spit on. On Friday, a brick was thrown through Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-N.Y.) Niagara Falls’ office window. The protester who spit on Lewis was taken into custody but released. Slaughter said on Saturday that she is “concerned” by the violent behavior.

Yesterday, the crowd was largely dominated by tea partiers protesting against health care reform. Today, though, a wider range of interests are being represented, including anti-war, pro-immigration reform and pro-health care reform.

Capitol Police did make two arrests yesterday, but they were of individuals alleged to have been driving while intoxicated, Schneider said.