Campus Notebook: A Somber Anniversary

Posted July 28, 2009 at 6:01pm

It has been almost 25 years since the first Capitol Police officer was killed while on duty, prompting at least one lawmaker to recognize the anniversary on the House floor.

[IMGCAP(1)]Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) gave a speech Monday honoring Sgt. Christopher Eney, who died on Aug. 24, 1984, after a training accident.

Van Hollen said fellow officers remember him as “a leader, not a follower.—

“At his memorial service, they recalled his quiet optimism, how Sgt. Eney could conjure a smile during his shifts in the House gallery at four in the morning,— he said. “Sgt. Eney, they remembered, was always proud to serve.—

Eney, who was 37, died after a fellow officer accidentally discharged his weapon. He had been on the force for 12 years.

Only two other officers have died while on duty: Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson, who were shot on July 24, 1998, by Russell Weston Jr. after he burst into the Capitol and opened fire.

Individual Rights. Voting rights advocates will lead a tour Wednesday of buses that sport new advertisements from DC Vote, a local nonprofit that fights to get Congressional representation for the District.

The theme of the new campaign is “I am DC; I Demand the Vote,— and the bus ads focus on individual residents of Washington. A few residents will explain why a vote is important to them at Wednesday’s event, near Freedom Plaza.

Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote, called their stories “powerful testimonials— that will hopefully get the attention of nonresidents.

“We find that people in the states really respond to the stories of everyday Washingtonians,— he said.

DC Vote’s efforts come after the D.C. House Voting Rights Act stalled in the House early in June. Supporters paused in their efforts to pass the bill — which would have given D.C. a voting Representative — after failing to come to a consensus on how to handle a popular amendment that would strip away most of the city’s gun laws.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) successfully attached the amendment to the version in the Senate, which easily passed.

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