Father of Parkland shooting victim arrested during gun law hearing
The Capitol Police arrested Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.
The hearing was related to gun regulations in the U.S., and Oliver reportedly shouted and interrupted the Republican Chair of the committee, who then removed him from the meeting, reports NBC News.
Rep. Pat Fallon from Texas was speaking when the interruption occurred, arguing that guns are “merely a tool” similar to cars or alcohol, and should not be treated differently.
When a man was then heard shouting from the audience, Fallon compared it to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another Jan. 6, do we?” Fallon responded.
Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, quickly fired back: “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they ought to be held to the same standard. But I think they’re trying to express their views.”
Fallon told Cicilline he was “out of line,” and when interrupted for a second time asked the room, asked, “Does the Capitol Police not do their jobs? What the hell’s going on?”
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.
The Republican Chair then recessed the hearing, which is when the arrest reportedly took place.
A video of Oliver being detained on the floor of the hallway outside the hearing was posted to Twitter by Florida Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost.
“Here is [Manuel Oliver] being arrested for speaking out at a committee hearing,” Frost wrote in the tweet.
“His son, Joaquin, was shot to death in Parkland, Fl. MANNY IS A HERO. He didn’t deserve this. The Republican Chair of this committee just called him a narcissist. Disgraceful,” he added.
In the video, a woman can be heard shouting, “Let my husband go!” It was later confirmed by a Democratic aide that Oliver had been attending the hearing with his wife, Patricia.
Frost tweeted again later, saying, “Manuel and Patricia Oliver were just kicked out of this committee hearing on gun violence. Patricia said one thing and [Fallon] escalated the entire situation.”
Rep. Fallon spoke afterwards about the incident. “We asked Capitol Police to remove them,” he said. “Then one decided to come back in while we were still gaveled in and disrupted the hearing.”