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Capitol Police stop kids’ choir from singing anthem: ‘Could be offensive’

Capitol Police Stop Children’s Choir from Singing National Anthem

The Capitol Police are facing criticism after stopping a children’s choir from singing the national anthem inside the U.S. Capitol. The incident, which occurred on May 26, was captured on video and has since gone viral on social media.

The video shows David Rasbach, who was leading the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir in their performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” being approached by Capitol officials. A female officer can be seen in the background apparently instructing a congressional staffer to stop the singing. The staffer then speaks into Rasbach’s ear, and the choir is halted.

Rasbach, alongside Micah Rea, who organized the children’s trip from South Carolina to Virginia and Washington D.C., explained what actually happened to The Daily Signal. When they arrived at the Capitol that day, the choir had been briefly stopped by Andrew Tremel, the visitor operations manager at the Architect of the Capitol. Tremel was informed that the choir had been given permission to sing and, after speaking into his earpiece, he told them they could do so.

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Capitol Police Interrupt Children’s Choir Singing National Anthem

A children’s choir from South Carolina was interrupted by Capitol Police while singing the National Anthem in the Capitol building. The choir was visiting the Capitol and had received permission from Reps. William Timmons and Joe Wilson of South Carolina, as well as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to sing in the building.

According to witness accounts, a female officer directed a congressional staffer to “go shut them down” while they were singing. When they stopped singing, the officer told them that their “demonstration” wasn’t allowed and claimed that multiple people had complained about the offensiveness of the anthem.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted about the incident, saying that the National Anthem sung by children is not offensive, it’s needed more. The three lawmakers who gave the choir permission to sing have since condemned the Capitol Police and reaffirmed their support for the choir group.

Response on Twitter

  • Rep. William Timmons: “These children were welcomed by the Speaker’s office to joyfully express their love of this Nation while visiting the Capitol, and we are all very…”
  • Rep. Joe Wilson: “It is unfortunate that the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir was prevented from finishing a wonderful rendition of our National Anthem. I will be introducing a bill which permits the singing of our National Anthem on all federal property bc love for one’s country should be celebrated”
  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “Just learned kids were interrupted while singing our National Anthem at the Capitol. Unacceptable. These children were welcomed by my office because your Capitol is back open, particularly for school groups.”

Capitol Police Interrupt Children’s Choir Singing National Anthem: ‘It Might Offend’

The Capitol Police have come under fire after interrupting a children’s choir singing the national anthem in the U.S. Capitol Building. The incident occurred after a congressional staffer allegedly lied to officers about having permission for the performance. However, the choir’s director and a parent of one of the children have refuted the claims, calling them a “bald-faced lie.”

Capitol Police Blame Congressional Staffer

The Capitol Police responded to the incident, placing most of the blame on the congressional staffer, who they labeled a liar. “Recently somebody posted a video of a children’s choir singing the Star-Spangled Banner in the U.S. Capitol Building and wrongfully claimed we stopped the performance because it ‘might offend someone,'” Capitol Police said in a statement to the Daily Signal.

They then said that the congressional staffer “lied to the officers multiple times about having permission from various offices. The staffer put both the choir and our officers, who were simply doing their jobs, in an awkward and embarrassing position.”

Choir Director and Parent Refute Claims

The choir’s director, Jeff Rea, and a parent of one of the children, Kristin Rasbach, have both responded to the statement with a fierce rebuke, with Rea calling it a “bald-faced lie.” “You can see clearly in the video, they literally stopped him before they finished singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,'” Rea said. “That is absolutely, irrefutably wrong.”

“[The female officer] did everything she could to stop us and not let us continue singing, period,” he said, adding that the staffer did nothing wrong and did not lie to Capitol Police. “That is not true—he did not lie to anybody,” Rasbach said in response to the Capitol Police’s statement about the staffer.

Capitol Police Apologize for Miscommunication

The Capitol Police have since apologized to the choir in a separate statement to Newsweek, this time blaming the incident on “miscommunication.” “Although popup demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol without the proper approval, due to a miscommunication, the U.S Capitol Police were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance,” the statement read.

“We apologize to the choir for this miscommunication that impacted their beautiful rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and their visit to Capitol Hill.”

Musical Performances in the Capitol

The two also refuted the claim that musical performances aren’t allowed in the Capitol, pointing out that as recently as March 29 a group of 80 pastors sang in the Rotunda. Sean Feucht, a Christian pastor and singer, also held performances in the Capitol in February and March, as the Daily Signal noted.

Despite the apology, the incident has sparked outrage and raised questions about the Capitol Police’s handling of the situation.

  • Did the Capitol Police overreact?
  • Should musical performances be allowed in the Capitol?
  • What can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future?

These are important questions that need to be addressed to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected and protected.

The post Capitol Police Interrupt Children’s Choir Singing National Anthem: ‘It Might Offend’ appeared first on The Western Journal.

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