Capitol Police Halt Children's Choir Mid-Anthem for Fear the Song May Offend - Sparking Outrage
Written by: Sam Orlando
WASHINGTON, DC - In a startling incident that seems to reflect poor internal communication within the Capitol Police, a children's choir was halted mid-performance in the U.S. Capitol. The Rushingbrook Children's Choir, based in South Carolina, was singing inside the Capitol on May 26 when a Capitol Police officer intervened, branding their performance as a 'demonstration'.
The choir, invited by House Speaker's office and their Congress representatives, was reportedly told by the officer that some found their performance offensive, even though the choir had sought and obtained the necessary permissions. You can watch a video of the Capitol Police shutting down the performance here:
"I was shocked, I was dismayed, I was stunned," Choir Director David Rasbach told the Daily Signal. "I couldn’t believe that was happening, that they would stop the National Anthem of all songs."
The decision to interrupt the children's choir, particularly during a rendition of the National Anthem, sparked outrage and surprise. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy deemed the incident "unacceptable," and took to Twitter to express his disappointment. He, along with South Carolina Representatives William Timmons, Joe Wilson, and Russell Fry, assured their commitment to invite the choir back to perform in the halls of Congress.
However, the Capitol Police spokesperson attributed the interruption to a "miscommunication." "The US Capitol Police were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance," the spokesperson explained. "We apologize to the choir for this miscommunication that impacted their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner and their visit to Capitol Hill."
This incident, coming in the wake of the January 6th riots, raises concerns about the efficacy of the Capitol Police's internal communication. Despite the choir's prior authorization to perform a series of songs, it appears the officer on duty was not informed of this approval. As Rasbach asked the officer, "How do you think this is going to affect these children? Their first time visiting their Capitol and then they have this disappointment."
These sentiments were echoed by the lawmakers who had invited the choir. "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 disappointed to learn their celebration was cut short," the lawmakers said in a statement.
In response to the incident, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene criticized the Capitol Police on Twitter, emphasizing that the National Anthem sung by children is "not offensive, it’s needed more."
This unusual incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the Capitol Police in effectively managing and communicating internal decisions, a matter that may require urgent attention to avoid similar situations in the future.