The Police Are Reluctant to Act on the Attack on Rep. Gresham Barrett

The Police Are Reluctant to Act on the Attack on Rep. Gresham Barrett

Police found Paul Pelosi, suspect struggling over hammer. What we know about the attack

Weeks after the death of Rep. John Lewis, who was brutally beaten by a policeman in 1965, his son has been hospitalized with serious injuries.

An attack on a congressman is the type of assault that police say the government is reluctant to act on. But there’s a reason.

“It really speaks to a feeling in the community about the police,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told NPR. “There’s a sense that the police are reluctant to confront, they’re reluctant to act. But you look at this and you say there are no other options, that something has to be done.”

The police in the case of Rep. Gresham Barrett, D-N.Y., say they are investigating.

Police say the hammer attack happened Tuesday night at a pizza parlor in central New York.

Barrett, the congressman from Nassau County, said he was attacked when he tried to pass the hammer off to security guards who were posted to the door.

“I was attacked,” Barrett said on MSNBC. “I was struck in the back and my face is bleeding from being hit in the face.”

A New York State police spokesman said investigators are trying to determine the circumstances of the attack, describing it as a “serious assault.”

In Washington, where the attacker is being watched, the mayor said the attack is making him “absolutely sick.”

“If this were a movie script … Mr. Barrett would be the hero,” Mayor Vincent Gray said on MSNBC. “But he’s not.”

More: Police: Rep. Gresham Barrett hit in face by hammer at pizza parlor

The alleged attacker, Robert Clark, is in jail, and authorities say he has a history of mental problems.

Clark was arrested Saturday at his home in Schenectady, New York, on battery charges.

He had a prior restraining order against him, court papers show.

A search warrant for his phone revealed a history of social media posts that were “disrespectful, threatening, and abusive

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