WASHINGTON–Manuel Oliver, father of a slain Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday during a heated House hearing on gun laws.
The arrest came around noon after Oliver and his wife, Patricia Oliver, shouted at lawmakers and disrupted the hearing.
Manuel Oliver received a citation arrest, meaning he was not jailed. But video shows he was pinned to the floor and restrained.
Maxwell Frost shares video of Manuel Oliver arrest
Rep. Maxwell Frost, a freshman lawmaker from Florida, shared a video of the arrest on Twitter.
He said Oliver was arrested “for speaking out at a committee hearing. His son, Jaoquin, was shot to death in Parkland, Fl. MANNY IS A HERO. He didn’t deserve this. The Republican Chair of this committee just called him a narcissist. Disgraceful.”
Frost was referring to Texas Republican Rep. Pat Fallon, subcommittee chair for Economic Growth, Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs.
“The chair should’ve given a warning. He completely escalated the situation,” Frost said in a tweet.
‘You took away my son’
Manuel and Patricia Oliver are the grieving parents of Joaquin, their son who died at 17 years old in the 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He was one of 17 victims who died in the shooting, and another 17 were injured.
“You took away my son!” Patricia Oliver shouted during a House hearing Thursday.
Her words – and comments from her husband – ultimately led to Manuel Oliver’s arrest during a joint hearing with Fallon’s subcommittee and the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing was titled, “ATF’s Assault on the Second Amendment: When is Enough Enough?”
As Fallon compared gun violence rates in the U.S. and Mexico, the Olivers expressed their frustration with lawmakers and Patricia Oliver accused them of taking away her son. She believes the country needs tighter gun regulations.
Rep. Pat Fallon removes Manuel and Patricia Oliver from hearing
Fallon was repeating a familiar Republican argument on guns, saying they are just “a tool” and shouldn’t be banned, when the Olivers began to talk over him in the audience.
“Is this an insurrection?” Fallon said. “So will they be held to the same, uh–I don’t want another January 6th, do we?”
An irritated Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., quickly responded: “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they ought to be held to the same standard. But I think they’re trying to express their views.”
Fallon told Cicilline he was “out of line.”
Meanwhile, the Olivers continued to talk over the lawmakers, until a visibly frustrated Fallon said, “Does the Capitol Police not do their jobs?”
He called a recess, and shortly thereafter Capitol Police arrested Manuel Oliver, as other gun safety activists chanted in the hallway, “He’s not violent.”
What did Maxwell Frost say after the arrest?
To lose a child to gun violence, “to see photos of your child sitting in a pool of blood, I can’t imagine that,” a distraught Frost said after the arrest.
He said the Olivers have been fighting for “true justice” and that true justice is a world where this doesn’t happen again.
“I fight alongside Manny and Patricia Oliver. I believe that they are American heroes,” Frost said before railing against the influence of the gun lobby on government.
“This has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with politics, and I won’t be listening to another second of it,” he said.
Candy Woodall is a Congress reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.