There’s nothing funny about this:
The U.S. Capitol Police officer who decided to arrest an activist because she briefly laughed during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing in January is a rookie cop who had never conducted an arrest before nor worked at a congressional hearing. Nevertheless, prosecutors persisted this week in pursuing charges against the 61-year-old woman the rookie had taken into custody.
Katherine Coronado of the U.S. Capitol Police was in her second week on the job when she was assigned to keep watch over Sessions’ confirmation hearing on Jan. 10. Coronado was involved in the arrest of Desiree Fairooz, an activist affiliated with the group Code Pink, after Fairooz laughed when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said that Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” (Sessions had been rejected as a federal judge in the 1980s because of concerns about his views on race, and back when he was still a Democrat, Shelby himself actually ran an ad suggesting Sessions had called the Ku Klux Klan “good ole boys.”)
Still, let us not forget that people who criticize Bret Stephens’s climate denialism are the greatest threat to free speech in America today.
…she has been convicted on two counts. Tina Nguyen [H/T Downpuppy] adds valuable context:
The Justice Department will not press federal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in last year’s shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday, bringing renewed attention to how Attorney General Jeff Sessions, already controversial, is choosing to deal with allegations of police bias and racially motivated shootings. The decision is not entirely surprising: federal civil rights charges in such cases are rare, due to the high burden of proof, and even the Obama-era D.O.J. repeatedly declined to charge police officers involved in high-profile deaths. Still, it is stunning to see what cases Donald Trump’s attorney general has decided to prosecute.
On Wednesday, a jury convicted a 61-year-old female activist who had laughed during Sessions’s January confirmation hearing in the Senate. Desiree Fairooz, a longtime protester affiliated with the anti-war group Code Pink, had been escorted out of the room for laughing in response to Senator Richard Shelby’s assertion that Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” history of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” (Sessions had, in fact, been denied a federal judgeship in 1986 because of a history of racially charged remarks, and Shelby himself had once run a campaign ad suggesting that Sessions was a Klan sympathizer.) Fairooz, along with two other protesters, faces up to a year in prison.