Capitol Police officers have apparently been notified by new Chief Tom Manger to prepare for potential arrests of staff members and visitors at the Capitol who refuse to abide by a new face mask-wearing mandate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) shared images of the new memo from Manger on Twitter, revealing how the chief explained to officers that if “a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to the House Office Buildings or House-side of the U.S. Capitol.” If the individual refuses to leave (or wear a mask), then they “would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry,” Manger adds in his memo.
As for House members who refuse to wear a face mask, Manger’s memo directs officers to report such individuals to the office of the House Sergeant at Arm rather than making an arrest. There’s also an exception for staff members accompanying members of Congress rather than walking or working on their own. Check out Manger’s full memo by clicking on the post below:
In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals.
For Members, they advise not arresting but “reporting Members to SAA for their failure to comply.”
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) July 29, 2021
Predictably, certain Republicans have publicly flipped out over the development. Cammack herself referred to the change in the approach by Capitol Police towards un-masked individuals as part of “Pelosi’s abuse of power,” although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not control the operations of the U.S. Capitol Police. Cammack added on Fox News that the Capitol “is the people’s house, not Nancy Pelosi’s house” — but again, it’s not Pelosi! Pretending that the House Speaker is in charge of Capitol Police operations is ridiculous. Still, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) ranted on Twitter that “Pelosi is directing police to ARREST vaccinated people who aren’t wearing masks,” but again — there is no apparent evidence that Pelosi is doing any such thing. Why on earth would leading a police department be part of Pelosi’s job responsibilities anyway?
As commentary surrounding Manger’s memo grew, the U.S. Capitol Police issued a statement on Twitter saying that “[regarding] the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested.” The statement does add, however, that anyone “who does not follow the [mask] rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises.” And what if these individuals refuse to do either? Although the new statement apparently indicates that it’s the hope of the Capitol Police to avoid mask-related arrests, it’s not quite clear how all of this might eventually unfold.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) July 29, 2021