Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinneyCynthiaMcKinney

What was the accusation?

In April of 2001, Georgia congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, was involved in an altercation with a D.C. Capitol Police officer who had tried to stop her after she walked passed security.  The police officer indicated he had looked for a special pin enabling members of congress to bypass security and accused her of not responding to his repeated requests to stop.  He also claims he was punched in the chest by McKinney, who allegedly became irritated for being stopped.  McKinney argued that the police officer touched her inappropriately.  The incident became even bigger news when McKinney, her attorneys, and celebrity spokespersons Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover claimed that the incident was racially motivated and that the Capitol Police did not require other members of congress to show a pin when they entered the capitol building.


Key Apologia Strategies:

Provocation, Attack Accusers, Mortification, Bolstering



Transcript of Statement on House Floor:

REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I come before this body to personally express again my sincere regret about the encounter with the Capitol Hill Police. I appreciate my colleagues who are standing with me who love this institution and who love this country.

There should not have been any physical contact in this incident. I have always supported law enforcement and will be voting for HR756, expressing my gratitude and appreciate to the professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police.

I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation. And I apologize.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Cynthia McKinney apologizes before house of representatives (2006, April 6). CNN Transcripts. Retrieved from:

Dorrel, O. (2006, April 7). McKinney apologizes for incident with cop. USA Today. Retrieved from:

Roberts, J. (2006, April 6). McKinney apologizes for scuffle. CBS News. Retrieved from:

Todd, B. (2006, April 20). Police report: McKinney hit officer with fist. CNN. Retrieved from: