U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday arrested Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) during a protest at the Hart Senate Office Building in the Capitol.
Photos taken by media outlets show Beatty, the chair of the Congressional Black Congress, being led away by a female officer while in handcuffs.
Beatty also appeared to celebrate her own arrest, posting photos of herself on Twitter being led away by the Capitol Police officer.
The protest appeared to be about voting rights and demonstrating against GOP-led state legislatures passing election integrity measures in recent months.
“I stand in solidarity with black women and allies across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote,” Beatty said in a statement after her arrest. “We have come too far and fought too hard to see everything systematically dismantled and restricted by those who wish to silence us. Be assured that this is just the beginning. This is Our Power, Our Message.”
Let the people vote. Fight for justice. pic.twitter.com/JnEUPl9KJW
— Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) July 15, 2021
The congresswoman also suggested in a statement that Senate Republicans should not be able to use the 60-vote filibuster hurdle to block a voting bill that was passed in the Democrat-led House earlier this year. Beatty was seen on video chanting “end the filibuster” with other protesters.
The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed in Twitter posts that protesters were arrested at the Senate building.
“After officers arrived on the scene, they warned the demonstrators three times to stop,” the law enforcement agency said. “Those who refused were arrested,” it said, adding: “Two males and seven females were transported to USCP Headquarters for processing.”
Democrats have claimed that Republican-backed voting bills are attempts to suppress minority votes by making voting less convenient. Republicans, however, say that such bills are necessary to secure future elections and restore the public’s confidence in respective states’ election systems amid reports of irregularities during the Nov. 3 election.
In the Senate, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly panned House Democrats’ voting bill and said Republicans won’t support it because the measure would grant too much power to the federal government over how elections are carried out. In June, Republican senators invoked the filibuster to block the legislation.
“By now, the rotten inner workings of this power grab have been thoroughly exposed to the light,” McConnell said last month. “We know that it would let Democrats take a red pen to election laws in each of the 50 states … It’s a recipe for undermining confidence in our elections. For remaking our entire system of government to suit the preferences of one far end of the political spectrum.”