Capitol Police Voice Message to Tea Party: 'You Can Not Join Other Groups in Other Areas'


Tea Party

On Wednesday morning at 9:28 am Capitol Hill Police Officer Sandra Brown left a voice message for Kevin Mooneyhan, Deputy Executive Director of the Tea Party Patriots, the group holding a rally at noon Wednesday on the West Lawn of the Capitol. In the message, Officer Brown told Mr. Mooneyhan that attendees of the Tea Party Patriots rally on the West Lawn were prohibited from attending Congressman Steve King's (R-IA) immigration event on the East Lawn, due to the terms of the Tea Party Patriots permit.

There was only one problem with Officer Brown's directive. Individual citizens attending either event are not bound by the terms of the permits issued by the sponsoring organization. As individual citizens, they have the right to attend the properly permitted Tea Party Patriots rally, as well as the immigration event sponsored by a sitting member of the House of Representatives, Congressman King.

Here's a transcript of Officer Brown's voice message:

Mr. Mooneyhan this is Officer Sandra [xxxxx], Capitol Police Special Events. It's 9:28 am June 19. There are members of your group that are moving into other areas on the Capitol Grounds, joining other groups on the East front of the Capitol. That activity is not authorized.

Your area is the west front of the Capitol. Have yourself and your twelve marshalls keep your group in your area and your area only. You cannot join other groups in other areas that have been permitted to other groups. If you have any questions, call the office, 202-[xxx-xxxx]. 

Police personnel will be on site to take whatever action necessary to keep order and peace on our grounds. I will try to again reach you by phone.

Significantly, the language of the Officer's message suggests that the Capitol Police own the Capitol Grounds ("our grounds.) We thought the Capitol Grounds belonged to the American people.


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