Originally created 06/20/06

Cynthia slips by



Just another slap in the face.

That's the result of a Washington, D.C., grand jury's decision not to indict Rep.

Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., for striking a Capitol Police officer March 29.

Everyone knows she did it, and McKinney has admitted it and belatedly apologized. Yet, she will face no charges, no penalty.

And her supporters claim she's been mistreated.

"As a woman, you respond to someone putting their hands on you," one supporter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "From my perspective, the officer should have been able to recognize her, and if he did not, he should have responded verbally. I think he handled it poorly."

Is this the type of unobservant soul they put on the grand jury? The fact is, the officer did "respond verbally" - as many as three times. McKinney brusquely and arrogantly ignored the officer's request to stop and identify herself after she whisked around the metal detector. When he caught up to her and touched her on the shoulder, she swung and struck him without provocation.

That used to be a crime, even in Washington.

McKinney first tried to hide behind race, saying she was a victim of racial profiling. Of course, race has become the first refuge of a scoundrel; not even McKinney's Democratic colleagues or friends in the Congressional Black Caucus would buy it. They ultimately convinced her to issue a vaguely worded and politically motivated apology on the House floor.

But has she reached out to the officers, especially since Friday's announced non-indictment? "Absolutely not," says District of Columbia Fraternal Order of Police President Lou Cannon.

Capitol Hill Police were taking a much more dignified approach, even through their extreme disappointment at the lack of indictment.

"The United States Capitol Police is a professional law enforcement organization and will take this in stride, as all police officers have learned to do with unfavorable decisions," read a statement by Cannon.

In a phone interview Monday, Cannon said the lack of indictment muddles the vital message that "it is wrong to strike a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duties."

Still, Cannon said, "Rep. McKinney will always be afforded the courtesies of her position by those of us sworn to protect and serve."

It is, sadly, more dignity and courtesy than the congresswoman from Georgia has shown.