Although it’s not the most recent news—as it happened back in June of 2010—sometimes an incident is too good to be forgotten. In this video that went viral a few years ago, a Democratic Congressman physically assaulted a student reporter that just wanted to ask him a few questions.
During the video, an apparently agitated Bob Etheridge—a Democratic Rep. for North Carolina—was being videotaped bumbling down the sidewalk by two college students. Apparently there for a project, the—at least—two students were there attempting to interview the politician.
Instead of answers though, they got a little more than they bargained for.
When one of the unnamed students asked Etheridge if he, “fully supports the Obama agenda,” he inadvertently placed the straw that broke the camel’s back. Etheridge whips around asking, “Who are you?” He furthers his questioning by declaring his question again, this time, slapping the camera in the man’s hand.
Grabbing onto the student’s hand and refusing to let go, the Congressman rips the camera out of the student’s grasp while chanting the same three words over and over again. The students attempt to explain that they are students and they are only there for a project but it falls upon deaf ears.
The questions turn to demands as Etheridge now says, “Tell me who you are!”
Feeling the gravity of the unnecessary situation—and probably awkwardness—the captive student requests that the Etheridge release his hand. As the congressman’s demands aren’t being fulfilled he finds no need to satisfy the request of the student.
Demanding he has a right to know the name of the students—which he did not—Etheridge then cuffs his hand around the back of the student’s neck and reels him in. The student, now visibly unappreciative of the physical contact, is stuck helpless as Etheridge uncomfortably holds him close, almost as if he’s hugging him.
Demanding one last time for the Congressman to release him, the student shoves away and Etheridge confusingly continues on his way to his original destination.
Shortly after the weird incident Congressman Etheridge released a statement where he said:
“I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”
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