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This is Not What Democracy Looks Like

Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the HipHop Caucus wanted to attend the Petraeus Hearings yesterday. He stood on line waiting his turn to enter the room. This is what happened to him.

Capitol Hill Police “football tackled” Hip Hop Activist who was in line to enter hearing room for General Petreus’ testimony on Capitol Hill

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president of the Hip Hop Caucus, was attacked by six capitol police today, when he was stopped from entering the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, where General Petreaus gave testimony today to a joint hearing for the House Arms Services Committee and Foreign Relations Committee on the war in Iraq.

After waiting in line throughout the morning for the hearing that was scheduled to start at 12:30pm, Rev. Yearwood was stopped from entering the room, while others behind him were allowed to enter. He told the officers blocking his ability to enter the room, that he was waiting in line with everyone else and had the right to enter as well. When they threatened him with arrest he responded with “I will not be arrested today.” According to witnesses, six capitol police, without warning, “football tackled him. He was carried off in a wheel chair by DC Fire and Emergency to George Washington Hospital.

Rev. Yearwood was examined for possible head and leg injuries then transferred to Central Processing. He has been charged with “assaulting a police officer.”

Rev. Yearwood said as he was being released from the hospital to be taken to central booking, “The officers decided I was not going to get in Gen. Petreaus’ hearing when they saw my button, which says ‘I LOVE THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ.'”

The Capitol Police work for the Speaker’s Office. I’m calling the Speaker’s office to “discuss” this and I hope you will too. Her office number is:(202) 225-0100.

Pam has more.

(Update: Liz from HipHop Caucus is at court and can’t get online, but wanted people to know that Rev. Yearwood has a broken leg, he’s in a cast and he’s being arraigned for assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct. Updates as we get them — JH)

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Siun

Siun

Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com

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