RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico family is upset over last week’s special session on gun control, but their problem has nothing to do with guns. Instead, they say a Capitol Police officer forced a teenager stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
“It makes me angry when I sit and think about it,” Jaesean Plummer said.
“As a mother, it struck me to my core,” Monica Hutchinson said.
A mother and son say they are still trying to come to grips with what happened.
“When it came to the Pledge of Allegiance, I chose to sit down. I even sit down for it in school,” Plummer said.
Plummer, 16, says a Capitol Police officer forced him to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance during the special session on gun control.
“When I chose to sit, the officer came over to me. She said, ‘in here, we stand.’ So when I said ‘no, I sit,’ she grabbed me from the back of my shirt and she pulled me up,” Plummer said.
“On the surface I’m calm, but underneath I’m on fire. You put your hands on my child. You violated my child as a person, you violated my child’s rights. This is not OK,” Hutchinson said.
Jaesean was in the Senate Chambers while his mom, Monica, was chaperoning other kids with the Boys and Girls Club in the House when it happened.
“Since she has power and the authority, it was kind of scary to experience that,” Plummer said.
“We silently protest the pledge and the anthem to bring attention to this. So for this very thing to happen while we are doing the very thing to bring attention to it, it’s wrong,” Hutchinson said.
The family took their concerns to State Senator Jennifer McClellan who arranged a meeting with Capitol Police and others to address the issue.
“Actually, the officer acknowledged what she did. She admitted she was wrong and she apologized to my son several times,” Hutchinson said.
We reached out to Capitol Police, a spokesperson said the meeting went well and crews are working to make positive changes in the future.
"By her own admission, she said she never had anyone push back when told to stand,” Hutchinson said.
“I will always continue to be myself and stand up for what I believe,” Plummer said.
Jaesean says this issue isn’t going to dim his light, he hopes it’s a learning opportunity for others.
The two say they can forgive the officer, but they hope things change for the better.
“We have the commitment and now it’s holding people accountable to do what they say they are going to do,” Hutchinson said.
Senator McClellan said the clerk’s office is looking at changing the script to the start of each session to remove any confusions and let people know they do not have to stand during the invocation or the pledge.
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