Today, while peacefully waiting his turn to enter the Senate Petraeus hearings, a citizen was tackled by Capitol Police, reportedly resulting in a broken leg.
No appearance of violence
The police would not let this citizen enter the hearings. The citizen refused to bow his head and go on his merry way. The citizen gave no appearance of violence. He only stood his ground and insisted on his right to enter. The police responded in force, sending him to the ground. Later, he was carted off in a wheelchair. He is being charged with assaulting a police officer.
That this man is a minister, as the onlookers noted, is not important or relevant. That he did not give even the least appearance of violent intent in the video is relevant. Whatever their state of mind, whatever difficulties they faced today, no matter how high their frustrations were, this abuse of the sacred authority we have placed in the Capitol Police is not justified. In fact, its criminal.
Respect and protect our rights
Citizens exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and free speech are not much fun for police and senators these days. However, they are our rights. Public servants have a duty to either respect and stand up for them, or get out of the way.