At the town hall meeting held by Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) on August 25in Reston, VA a protestor carried a sign that had a picture of President Obama on it. Fairfax Officer Wesley Cheeks, allegedly a law enforcement officer, decided he didn’t like the sign and threatened the protester with arrest if he didn’t put the sign down. In arguing the point with the protester, Cheeks claimed to be able to “charge [him] with anything [he] like[d]” and, when the protester, uh, protested that, even on school grounds, this “used to be America” Cheeks replied, “it ain’t no more, OK?” Observe:
The howling firestorm of outraged anger that would have followed such an stunt at a Republican event were it an anti-Bush protester told to put down a poster with a picture of Bush on it would have been reported coast-to-coast and wall-to-wall. Someone opposed to Obama at a Democrat’s event? Not so much.
Cheeks is a disgrace and even if such a preposterously stupid comment escaped his lips in the heat of the moment, what does it say about what he thinks of his oath to defend the Constitution is this is the kind of thing simmering beneath his surface? He should be suspended while he undergoes additional training about the law and his duty. His bosses should, publicly and in no uncertain terms, denounce his actions and promise the community that they will see to it no such thing will be repeated by Cheeks or other officers under their command.
Congressman Moran, while not personally responsible for the event, should step up and say something, too. He needs to make clear he doesn’t support such a notion as expressed by the police officer tasked with keeping the law at his events. And if he’s supportive of the idea that citizens’ 1st Amendment rights are somehow less on school property than elsewhere will he commit to never holding any such event at such a venue again?