Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s wife described how protesters gathered outside her family home on the evening of January 4, 2021 and “terrorized” her and her baby daughter in a Fox News op-ed.
Erin Hawley, a senior legal fellow at the Independent Women’s Law Center describes the incident that prompted her to make a criminal complaint to police in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Hawley was home alone with her then seven-week-old daughter, while her husband and young sons were back in Missouri, when she heard the sound of “angry voices” over the TV program she was watching in her basement. She said she walked upstairs to find approximately 20 protestors standing in front of her house, shouting through bullhorns.
This behavior needs to stop. 🔻
"The assault on our home, followed by weeks of personal attacks on our family…are not civil discourse. They are just meant to frighten." —Erin Hawley, senior legal fellow at Independent Women's Law Center #IWpol @HawleyMO @FoxNewsOpinion
— Independent Women's Forum (@IWF) February 11, 2021
“I walked upstairs to see approximately 20 protestors standing in front of our house shouting through bullhorns,” she describes. “I stepped outside, baby in arms, and asked them to leave, saying we had a newborn and neighbors.” Hawley says that even after asking them to leave, the protesters refused to go.
“I heard yelling and pounding and came back upstairs to see at least three large men at my door blocking my entire front porch,” Hawley continues. She explains that the men were shouting “Come out, come out,” through bullhorns.
According to Hawley, it took about 15 minutes for police to arrive on the scene. “That seems like a long time when you are alone with a baby,” she said.
When the police finally showed up they told the protesters they were violating laws against graffiti on public property, noise ordinance, and residential picketing.
“The protesters left after about another half hour-littering our front lawn with signs and the sidewalk in front of our house with chalk graffiti-but not before threatening to return morning, noon, and night.”
Following the incident, Hawley “filed a criminal complaint against the protest leader,” Patrick Young, a member of the group ShutDownDC.
“You can agree or disagree with my husband’s politics. And protests at office buildings are both appropriate and protected by the First Amendment,” Hawley said. “Indeed, one of our most precious protections is the right to peaceably disagree. But the First Amendment also allows states and local governments to protect their citizens from harassment and to prescribe reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on protest-like events.”
Hawley revealed they family still receive phone calls and texts that she does not consider acts of civil discourse. “They are just meant to frighten.”
“And it should go without saying that threatening innocent children – one barely two months old – should be off-limits.”
A spokesman from the Vienna Police Department reportedly described the protest outside of the home as being “peaceful.”