A Virginia state senator refuted a Capitol Police report that described an incident in which she profanely castigated an officer over parking last month, suggesting — with no evidence — that it was written with partisan motives.
Sen. Amanda Chase, a Republican whose district is mostly in Chesterfield County south of Richmond, took to Facebook to deny the report after the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported about it Wednesday.
“I am a bit surprised by this report, which honestly, looks like it was written by democrat (sic) operatives,” Chase wrote. “I would hate to think that there are those in the capital (sic) police who want to use their position for partisan reasons. But judging by what happens in politics everyday, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
On Facebook and in an interview with the Times-Dispatch, she denied using profanity and said much of the report, including the type of car she was driving, was untrue.
Officer Ashley Berryman wrote in a report on March 22 that Chase became belligerent when she told the senator that she couldn’t park in a pedestrian plaza near the Capitol without prior written permission from Capitol staff.
Chase, according to the report, said she didn’t want to park in her assigned space because “she is in fear of her life, and that there is no guard there and that she had been receiving threats.”
“I am not going to move unless you let the fucking barricades down to let me in,” Chase said, according to the report.
Chase then refused Berryman’s request to move her car to allow buses to pass and asked to speak with a supervisor.
She then berated Berryman, according to the report: “She then proceeds to say ‘Do you know who I am?’, ‘I’m Senator Chase!’, ‘Don’t you see it on my license plate!?’, ‘but I guess you don’t care!’”
A Times-Dispatch reporter tweeted the police’s call log from that day, reporting that Chase “will not move her vehicle,” was “causing 4 to 5 buses to hold up traffic” and was “being very rude and irate.”
Berryman reported that Chase also mocked the clerk of the Senate, Susan Clarke Schaar, who was allowed to park there, calling her “Miss Piggy” and bemoaning that she “gets to park her fat ass up front.”
Chase denied disparaging Schaar or using profanity in the exchange.
Still, she didn’t deny the incident, telling the Times-Dispatch the officer was “dismissive” of her safety concerns.
“I have never had a member of the Capitol Police be so dismissive and so inconsiderate of a public safety issue of an elected official. It’s not what I’m used to experiencing from the Capitol Police,” said Chase, who began openly carrying a pistol on her hip during the legislative session.
“I’ve had people get in my face. I’ve had people come up and try to touch me inappropriately,” Chase told The Washington Post in January, calling the gun a “deterrent.”
She said she has been a target for harassment because of her opposition to the federal Equal Rights Amendment, which would enshrine in the Constitution equal rights regardless of gender and remains one state short of ratification.
“It empowers women,” she said of her gun in the Post interview. “I jokingly call it my ERA.”
According to the report, Chase also brought up women’s rights with Berryman, who is also a woman, saying, “You don’t know equality of women’s rights.”
Chase wrote on Facebook that she was going to “take this up with my contacts” at both the Times-Dispatch and the Capitol Police.
But Col. Steve Pike, the chief of the department, told the newspaper he stood by Berryman’s report.
“I have no issues with what she wrote as far as the validity or the veracity,” Pike said.