April 3, 2006

Probe of Rep. McKinney sent to prosecutors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Capitol Police on Monday gave
its findings about Rep. Cynthia McKinney to the U.S. Attorney's
Office, which will decide whether to charge the Georgia
Democrat for a run-in last week with a police officer.

"They referred their findings to us," said principal
assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips. "This is standard

Phillips said prosecutors would likely decide within a few
days whether to bring charges as a result of a reported scuffle
between McKinney and a Capitol police officer.

Possible charges include assault or obstructing a police

McKinney, an African-American, has complained she was the
victim of racial profiling when confronted by the officer last
Wednesday in a House office building.

The incident occurred when McKinney went around a metal
detector -- as lawmakers are permitted to do -- while not
wearing her congressional lapel pin.

McKinney said she was rushing to a meeting and that most
members of Congress expect Capitol police to recognize them.

She reportedly poked the officer with her cell phone when
he stopped her. McKinney recently changed her hairstyle and
looks quite different than her old official photo.

At a news conference last Friday, McKinney said, "This
whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and
stopping of me -- a female, black, progressive congresswoman."

"I deeply regret that this incident occurred and I am
certain that after a full review of the facts, I will be
exonerated," McKinney said.