Rep. Al Green, Texas state lawmaker arrested outside Capitol during voting rights protest

Greg Nash

Democratic Rep. Al Green (Texas), a Texas state representative and an NAACP leader were arrested Tuesday while protesting outside the Capitol building and the Supreme Court in support of voting rights, the lawmakers announced. 

Green tweeted a video of him and state Rep. Ron Reynolds (D) standing next to each other in a crosswalk in Washington, D.C., holding their hands over their hearts as they joined a crowd of people in singing the gospel anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” 

The video showed two U.S. Capitol Police officers approaching Green and Reynolds, after which one of the officers put a wristband around Green’s hands before the other officer led him away. 

The officer then tied a wristband around Reynolds’s hands and another officer escorted him away from the singing crowd. 

A news release from Reynolds’s office said that NAACP Beaumont Branch leader Michael Cooper was also arrested after the three men joined others in advocating for federal voting rights legislation, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Jackson was among the more than 200 protesters arrested Monday following a demonstration organized by the Poor People’s Campaign and centered on urging lawmakers to pass the For the People Act, increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, eliminate the legislative filibuster and provide “fair and respectful treatment” of the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

Green, hours after he shared the video of him being led away by officers, tweeted a picture of him with a citation apparently given to him by Capitol Police. 

A closer image of the paper showed that Green had been charged with violating the D.C. code against crowding and obstructing and was fined $50. 

“Proud to fight for the voting rights of those I serve by any means necessary,” Green wrote in his tweet. 

A spokesperson for the Capitol Police told CNN that “three demonstrators were arrested for crowding, obstructing, or incommoding” on Tuesday.

The Hill has reached out to the Capitol Police for additional information. 

Green’s arrest makes him the fourth member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to have been detained in recent weeks while protesting in support of voting rights.

Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), the CBC chair, were all previously arrested. 

Texas state Democrats have joined federal lawmakers since they fled to Washington, D.C., last month to prevent the passage of GOP-backed voting restrictions, which they have argued would unfairly target minority voters. 

Tags Al Green CNN Congress Congressional Black Caucus For the People Act Hank Johnson Joyce Beatty Sheila Jackson Lee Supreme Court Texas voting rights protections

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