Thursday, May 4, 2006

Another Great Argument...

...against our wonderful political establishment:
9 News has learned U.S. Capitol police officers are concerned about the handling of an accident involving Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) about 3 a.m. this morning.

Rep. Kennedy was reportedly behind the wheel of a green Ford Mustang when it crashed into a security barrier at 1st and "C" streets Southeast.

No one was hurt, but there are reports that the car nearly struck a Capitol police cruiser and that it had been swerving, as if trying to make a U-turn.

So far, Kennedy HAS NOT been charged.


The congressman released a statement Thursday night saying alcohol was NOT involved.

"I was involved in a traffic accident last night at ... the U.S. Capitol. I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident and I will fully cooperate with Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake," he said.

The Capitol Hill Fraternal Order of Police is calling for higher-ups in the department to allow patrol officers to complete their investigation.

The head of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, Lou Cannon, told 9 News that he’s concerned that Kennedy may have received special treatment and this could be a case where “rank has its privilege.”

Capitol police Officer Greg Baird wrote a letter to acting Chief Christopher McGaffin saying how the investigation was handled calls the department's integrity into question.

According to, Baird -- acting chairman of the Capitol Police Fraternal Order of Police –- said Kennedy’s Mustang had its lights off when it narrowly missed crashing into a police cruiser and smashed into a security barrier at 1st and C streets Southeast about 2:45 a.m.

According to sources, Kennedy told police that he was late for a Congressional vote. But the House had adjourned more than three hours earlier, sources said.

According to Roll Call, Baird wrote in his letter that the driver got out and “was observed to be staggering.” He told officers he was a congressman late for a vote. Baird wrote that patrol officers at the scene were prohibited from performing field sobriety tests. Then two sergeants arrived, conferred with a watch commander and “ordered all of the patrol division units to leave the scene … that they were taking over.”

Congressman Patrick Kennedy is Ted Kennedy's son. He is currently serving his sixth term as the Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island. He sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

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