Local News

Group protests outside Etheridge's office

Posted June 16, 2010 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated June 16, 2010 1:17 p.m. EDT

— About 20 people gathered Wednesday outside the Raleigh office of U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, who was caught on video in a confrontation with a man on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk.

Protesters demanded that Etheridge resign immediately.

Etheridge apologized again for confrontation in a statement his press secretary, Don Owens, issued Wednesday.

"Rep. Etheridge again deeply apologizes for his reaction on the street last week," Owens said. "He will continue to serve the people of North Carolina's 2nd District by focusing on the needs of middle-class families and hard-working folks."

Etheridge represents parts of Chatham, Cumberland, Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Nash, Sampson, Vance and Wake counties.

An edited video of the confrontation quickly went viral after it was posted on YouTube Monday and websites owned by conservative Web entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart.

The video shows Etheridge walking down a street toward two young men with cameras. One says, "Hi, Congressman. How are you? Do you fully support the Obama agenda?"

Etheridge then asks, "Who are you?" multiple times, as he pushes the camera away and grabs the man's wrist.

"Tell me who you are," Etheridge continues as the other man with a camera replies, "We're just here for a project, sir."

The men then tell the congressman that they are students, but don't identity themselves further. One of the men then asks Etheridge, "Would you please let go of my hand?"

Etheridge eventually lets go of his wrist and grabs the man around the neck and then the shoulder as the other cameraman yells, "Sir! Sir! Sir! Please!" Etheridge eventually walks away.