Father of Parkland victim arrested after disrupting House hearing
The father of a victim of the Parkland school shooting was arrested on Thursday after disrupting a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on gun regulation.
Manuel Oliver — whose son Joaquin Oliver died in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. — was arrested by Capitol Police after he and his wife Patricia Oliver were removed from the hearing room for shouting at Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas).
“The committee welcomes the public to this meeting,” Fallon, the chair of the subcommittee, said as the Olivers were escorted out of the hearing. “We have people on both sides of the aisle, not only up here but in the audience, that have differing opinions.”
“While you are welcome, I want to point out to the members and the audience in attendance today House Rule 11 provides that the chairman of the committee may punish breaches of order and decorum by censure and exclusion from the hearing,” he added.
Fallon attempted to continue the hearing but eventually called for a recess, later explaining that “one decided to come back in while we were still gaveled in and disrupted the hearing.”
Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) slammed Fallon’s decision to remove the Olivers from the hearing on Twitter, claiming the chairman unnecessarily escalated the situation. Frost eventually walked out of the hearing, alongside several gun violence prevention advocates in attendance.
“Manny and Patricia have dedicated their lives to fighting for a world where true justice can be achieved because unfortunately there is no justice for the dead, and true justice is ensuring this never happens again,” Frost said. “I fight alongside Manny and Patricia Oliver. I believe that they are American heroes.”
“I’m so sorry that you had to see what happened outside to Manny and Patricia, who are just fighting for a world where no other parents have to go through what they went through,” Frost added. “I for one believe this has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with politics. And I won’t be listening to another second of it and I wouldn’t blame you all if you made the same decision.”
Manuel Oliver, who has become an outspoken gun violence prevention advocate in the wake of his son’s death, was escorted out of a White House event last July for interrupting President Biden as he gave remarks celebrating the passage of bipartisan gun control legislation.
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