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Posts in "Capitol Police"
August 26, 2014
Both Ryan Shucard, a staffer in the office of Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and pork and turkey executive Ronald Prestage face charges of carrying a pistol outside a home or business — a felony that carries up to five years in prison and $5,000 fine.
Court documents filed in both cases show that Machen has proposed an agreement under which each man would plead guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of one year of prison and a $1,000 fine. Under the terms of the nearly identical deals, filed on Aug. 15, federal prosecutors would not pursue any other weapons charges, and would reserve the right to allocution, or addressing the court, at the time of sentencing. Full story
August 23, 2014
Thirty years ago Sunday, tragedy struck the Capitol Police.
Sgt. Christopher Sherman Eney, 37, was fatally shot in the lower back at the conclusion of a training exercise designed to help the officers prepare for hostage situations.
Capitol Police had been performing the drill with blanks loaded into the weapons, Roll Call reported at the time, but the officers had reloaded with live ammunition at the end of the exercise.
August 21, 2014
Downtown business owners and property managers in the District of Columbia are warning of the potential for violent Ferguson-related protests Thursday night.
Building managers suggested lockdowns and alternate travel routes to counter a national “Day of Rage” rally, planned to begin outside the White House at 7 p.m. The D.C. event is one of dozens of protests called for by the activists of Anonymous in a video that asks citizens “to collectively gather in support for those who are suffering in Ferguson.”
Capitol Police also are on alert for any protests near the Hill, hoping to keep things calm while still allowing demonstrators to exercise First Amendment rights.
“We are in continuous contact with our [law enforcement] partners regarding the proposed activity around D.C. and maintain our constant state of vigilance throughout the Capitol Campus,” department spokesman Shennell Antrobus told CQ Roll Call in an email.
August 18, 2014
Law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill are making it harder for people without congressional identification badges to avoid security checks in the wake of recent arrests for carrying handguns.
On Monday morning, Capitol Police began enforcing a new ID check policy at the House garages. When a car pulls up, officers check for the requisite parking stickers and ask every passenger to show credentials. Any passenger over the age of 18 who is without a congressional ID is required to exit the vehicle prior to its entry into the garage.
House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving announced the change late on Aug. 15 in a memo to members of Congress and staff that was obtained by CQ Roll Call. According to the notice, passengers without ID will be directed to a pedestrian entrance. At those doors, they would be required to empty their pockets and submit to a search involving X-ray machines and magnetometers.
The change is an effort to “tighten security” at the House garages, according to a high-ranking security official who spoke on background about the changes. It comes after two incidents that have cast campus security in a new light.
During a search one month ago, Capitol Police found a 9 mm handgun in the bag of Ryan Shucard, press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa. Police arrested Shucard, stopping him from bringing the weapon into the Cannon House Office building.
Five days later, Capitol Police arrested South Carolina pork executive Ronald Prestage at another Cannon door after finding a loaded 9 mm handgun inside an ankle holster in his briefcase.
August 15, 2014
The Capitol Power Plant was briefly evacuated Friday afternoon, as firefighters responded to a small fire in the break room.
Around 3:45 p.m., Capitol Police sent out an alert to notify the campus community that the complex on E Street Southeast was being evacuated due to signs of smoke. Fortunately, it was not an industrial blaze, but a small fire in an area with paper products, according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider. Full story
August 13, 2014
For the second time in less than a week, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers have agreed to delay a case involving a man carrying a gun to Capitol Hill.
Ronald Prestage — the South Carolina pork executive arrested by Capitol Police when they found a loaded semi-automatic pistol and magazine in his briefcase — was expected to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. But the 11 a.m. hearing was not held.
Court documents state the government and defense are continuing negotiations, suggesting a plea deal might be possible. A federal ruling on D.C.’s gun policy may impact charges in the case.
On July 23, Capitol Police spotted a handgun in Prestage’s briefcase during an administrative search at the Rotunda door of the Cannon House Office Building. Police say the weapon, concealed in a black ankle holster, appeared to be “fully functional” and “capable of being fired by a single hand.” According to charging documents, Prestage told police at the time of the arrest that he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Carolina. He does not have a permit to carry in D.C.
Prestage, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, has been charged with a single count of possessing a gun outside a home or office, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.
August 8, 2014
“House of Cards” is filming around the National Mall on Saturday, according to the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.
It’s unlikely fans of the wildly popular Netflix series will spot stars Kevin Spacey or Robin Wright during the 10-hour set. Crews will be “shooting ‘drive-bys’, b-roll, and a mock-motorcade scene,” says a notice posted on the agency’s site.
Local officials would love to have the show, which shoots most of its scenes in Baltimore and other areas, do more production in the District, but filming in D.C. has its challenges — especially on the Capitol grounds. Full story
August 4, 2014
While the House was prepping its last votes before the August recess, Capitol Police were fending off a bizarre, shirtless attacker.
Around 3:22 p.m., a few hours before the final actions on Aug. 1, two officers saw a man yelling profanities in the middle of the road near the 200 block of Maryland Avenue Northeast. When they instructed him to get out of traffic, the man clenched his fists and started swinging, striking a passing vehicle.
Police say Michael Day, a 48-year-old white man from the District, then became physically combative. He punched a male and female officer, before police were able to subdue and handcuff him, with the help of other officers arriving on the scene.
July 28, 2014
Updated 6:01 p.m. | For all practical purposes, a federal judge’s weekend ruling that overturned local laws prohibiting District of Columbia residents from carrying guns outside of their homes has opened the door for non-residents to tote handguns into the city and has made it potentially easier for members and staffers to transport firearms across the District to the Capitol.
D.C. police have been ordered not to arrest people for carrying pistols and deadly weapons in public. Washingtonians can still face criminal charges for carrying unregistered firearms and ammunition, but the millions of people who visit the nation’s capital are exempt from those provisions under an order from Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. The chief’s guidance effectively put the District’s firearm regulations, at least for non-residents, on a par with the most permissive gun jurisdictions in the country. D.C. police got additional guidance from Lanier on Monday afternoon. She clarified that the ruling applies only to handguns, not long guns or shotguns that are still illegal, and that committing crimes with handguns remains illegal.
For non-residents, legal possession of a handgun in D.C. is based on the laws of their home jurisdiction, meaning D.C. police will be responsible for knowing and enforcing licensing and permitting restrictions from around the country. Lanier noted that additional information on gun laws in other states will be forthcoming and said that in the meantime, officers can call a 24-hour information line.
Lanier’s orders came in response to Judge Frederick Scullin Jr.’s July 26 ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that D.C.’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. In the 19-page decision, Scullin wrote that he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.
In her follow-up guidance to officers, Lanier nodded to the confusion. “Unfortunately, this ruling has left many unanswered legal questions that are currently being reviewed by the [Office of the Attorney General],” she stated.
Federal laws and a portion of D.C. code still prohibit people from carrying weapons on Capitol grounds, according to Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider. But members and staffers already have weapons privileges for the Capitol campus dating back decades. Full story
Charges against two men whom Capitol Police allegedly stopped from bringing 9 mm handguns to Capitol Hill could change, as attorneys scramble to interpret the effect of a federal judge overturning the District’s handgun ban.
On July 26, Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. ruled in Palmer v. District of Columbia that D.C.’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. In the 19-page decision, Scullin wrote that he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.
D.C. police were subsequently instructed not to enforce the law against carrying pistols in public. In two separate incidents that are raising questions about campus security, Hill staffer Ryan Shucard and pork executive Ronald William Prestage were charged with violating that law when police uncovered handguns and magazines during administrative searches at the Cannon House Office building. Full story