Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) got into a loud, angry dispute with a U.S. Capitol Police officer at the security checkpoint inside the entrance of the West Side of the Capitol. Shays offered a public apology for the incident and said that he wants to meet with the officer personally to reiterate how sorry he is.
Shays reportedly grabbed the officer during the dispute over whether the officer should allow a group of tourists to enter the building, said several sources. Tourists are not allowed to use the West Front entrance, but Shays was trying to bring the group through that entrance anyway. The officer refused to allow them in, and Shays then "yelled and screamed" at the officer, including using profanity, the sources said.
Shays' Public Apology
"Yesterday while trying to locate a family of constituents caught on the West Front of the Capitol during a rain storm, I interacted with a Capitol Police officer in a way I know was not appropriate.
"Although my focus was in trying to locate my constituents and get them to a dry location, I know I clearly could have handled the situation with the officer in a more professional and respectful way, and I regret I did not do so.
"During my 19 years in Congress I have grown to respect and appreciate the difficult mission performed by the men and women of the United States Capitol Police every day. They ensure members of Congress can conduct the people’s business in the safest environment possible while also attending to the needs of the millions of people who visit our nation’s Capitol every year. They deserve all of our respect and admiration and I apologize that even for a few moments my behavior did not reflect my appreciation of that fact.
"When I return to Washington on Monday, I hope to have the opportunity to meet with the officer and apologize to him in person. I take full responsibility for this incident and want to ensure it does not reflect negatively on the officer in any way."