The Capitol police are facing heat after stopping a children’s choir from performing the national anthem inside the US Capitol on Thursday.
Rushingbrook Children’s Choir was singing the National Anthem in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol when it was interrupted by a member of the Capitol police. Here is a video of the moment:
The choir had traveled to Washington, D.C. on May 26 for a scheduled Capitol tour. They received prior approval to sing a short set of patriotic songs inside the Statuary Hall. According to a video of the incident, the children began singing The Star-Spangled Banner, and their conductor was seen brilliantly directing them when a member of the police came up to the conductor and whispered something in his ear.
The conductor immediately directed the children to stop singing the national anthem mid-song, which left both the young choir as well as the assembled audience quite confused. However, after a brief pause, the audience started clapping for the children.
The children were not allowed to finish the anthem. The police later explained to the choir director that singing the national anthem at the nation’s Capitol can be considered a form of protest.
“We’ve been stopped in the middle of the Star Spangled Banner while here in the Capitol even though we were approved for this concert,” said Christina Chapman Heffernan. “Certain Capitol police said it might offend someone/cause issues. We respect authority but we should have been allowed to sing because of the multi-level approval we already got from 3 representatives involved: Russell Fry, Joe Wilson, and William Timmons.”
The incident has sparked outrage against the capitol police on social media. Here are some of the reactions: