Woman Arrested for Throwing Drink at Matt Gaetz Is Not the First to Do So
A defense attorney for Selena Chambers says Gaetz was the "aggressor" who instigated an altercation between himself and a group of women.Politics
If I had a nickel for every time a woman was arrested for throwing a drink at alleged sex trafficker Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), I would have two nickels—which isn’t a lot, but it’s interesting that it keeps happening.
On Saturday, a Tallahassee resident named Selena Chambers was arrested for throwing a glass of wine at the far-right Congressman and shouting “obscenities” at him at a local event, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. Chambers has since been charged with battery and was released on $1,000 bail. A similar incident took place in 2019 when a different woman was also arrested and sentenced to 15 days in federal custody for throwing a beverage at Gaetz while protesting outside one of his town hall meetings.
Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson condemned the latest drink-throwing incident in the Facebook post. “We cannot allow an environment where you can throw things at elected officials because you don’t like them,” Adkinson said. “No matter your political affiliation, this is not the way to conduct yourself and will not be tolerated in Walton County.” In a Tuesday statement, Gaetz said he’ll “be pressing charges against this individual in order to uphold the civility our community deserves,” and thanked the county sheriff’s office “for taking swift action.”
Matt A. Karp, an attorney for Chambers, denies this version of events, claiming Gaetz was the “aggressor” in the confrontation on Saturday, and that he and a group of men instigated a verbal altercation with Chambers and a group of women. “This investigation has initially shown Rep. Gaetz to have been both an aggressor and agitator, and we look forward to taking his deposition,” Karp said in a Wednesday statement to the Associated Press. “My client, Selena Chambers, maintains her innocence in this matter, and we intend to vigorously defend against the allegations of Rep. Gaetz.”
I, personally, am fairly inclined to believe this: Gaetz is an alleged sex trafficker who’s previously said that women and girls who support abortion rights are too ugly to be affected by abortion bans. He’s also body-shamed and harassed a teenage abortion rights activist. Getting into it with a group of women at an event sounds exactly like something he’d do.
In any case, even if there was no prior verbal altercation, the county sheriff’s suggestion that a citizen with no government power throwing a drink is somehow worse than enacting policies that are killing people is comically out of touch. Gaetz was one of only a handful of House members who voted against an anti-human trafficking bill. He’s been one of the loudest and foulest advocates for banning abortion and reducing women to government-controlled incubators. If he can’t take the vile indecency that he uses his significant political power to dish out, perhaps he should consider not dishing it out…?
Even if two women throwing drinks at him has made Gaetz a little uncomfortable in public spaces, let’s be clear: He’ll never be as uncomfortable or as unsafe as the people, namely women and pregnant people, living through the consequences of his dehumanizing policies.