On Sunday, President Barack Obama sent U.S. Capitol Police in full riot gear to greet military veterans protesting outside the White House. A few days earlier, Obama sent U.S. Capitol Police on bicycles and wearing yellow fluorescent vests to greet participants of a union-led immigration protest.
The difference in police tactics is documented by video and photos taken at both events. The video, taken by NBC News (and posted here via YouTube) shows police in riot gear (including batons and riot helmets) yelling at and scuffling with veterans, including some elderly World War II veterans. In photos taken by Getty Images (and included in the above slideshow), police are dressed more like school crossing guards, many wearing yellow vests and some riding bicycles.
According to news reports, no arrests were made at the veteran march, originally organized by the group Million Vet March, who protested the closure of national monuments, including the World War II Memorial, a public, open-air plaza that usually doesn’t close.
At the immigration march, organized by a number of immigration groups, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the AFL/CIO, a number of protestors were arrested, including some Democratic members of Congress.
Critics say the heavy-handed tactics by Capitol Police were due to the fact that the Million Vet March had significant support from conservatives, the Tea Party, and Republicans. Former GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz attended the event. The AFL/CIO and the SEIU have been frequent supporters of President Obama. Many question why a pro-Obama rally was allowed to be held on the National Mall, that was otherwise supposed to be closed to the public.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to receive a weekly email update from WhenLiberalsAttack.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link here or at the top of this page.