Several videos have emerged which appear to show the U.S. Capitol Police stopping a children's choir from singing the National Anthem in the Capitol building.
Here's one of them:
🚨The Rushingbrook Children's Choir sang the National Anthem in Statuary Hall. a Capitol Police officer stopped them mid-song. Capitol Police claims they didn't stop the choir. The choir director tells the whole story in my exclusive interview here. 🚨https://t.co/ZRNbWy75la pic.twitter.com/ijiq4pw3X8
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) June 2, 2023
The above video, which is two and a half minutes long, is from May 26, 2023, In it, the Rushingbrook Children's Choir from Greenville, South Carolina, can be heard and seen singing the National Anthem in the Statuary Hall chamber of the U.S. Capitol building.
The children go on singing for a little over a minute when some commotion starts taking place in the background.
A female U.S. Capitol Police officer can be seen talking on the phone, then with several individuals, and then back on the phone. The sequence goes on for about a minute.
At this point, the female officer appears to instruct a congressional staffer to do something. This staffer then walks over to the choir director and says something to the director.
Then, the director tells the children to stop singing before the staffer who gave the message rushes back over to the officer.
Suffice it to say that many are not happy about what happened in the above video. This has prompted a response from the Capitol police.
In the statement, the Capitol police claim that they stopped the performance, not because it was offensive, but because "demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol."
The statement continues:
Of course, because the singers in this situation were children, our officers were reasonable and allowed the children to finish their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. The Congressional staff member who was accompanying the group knew the rules, yet lied to the officers multiple times about having permission from various offices. The staffer put both the choir and our officers, who were simply doing their jobs, in an awkward and embarrassing position.
Much of the above statement has been disputed - in fact, just about all of it. For one thing, you can see for yourself that the children were not allowed to finish singing.
Secondly, it turns out that the children's choir did have permission to sing the National Anthem at the Capitol as they did. They got permission from several lawmakers, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
These revelations prompted a second statement from Capitol police. It reads:
Although popup demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol without the proper approval, due to a miscommunication, the U.S. Capitol Police were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance. We apologize to the choir for this miscommunication that impacted their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner and their visit to Capitol Hill.