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Outrage, Support in Wake of Marion Barry Arrest

The news that D.C. Council member and former Mayor Marion Barry was arrested over the weekend for stalking an ex-girlfriend has drawn an outpouring of responses from readers. Opinions range from anger to passionate defenses of the embattled politician, showing Barry still divides the region after decades in politics. Here's a sampling. To comment on the the Barry story, go here.

han128 wrote:

What's it going to take for the people of DC to wake up and kick this fool out of office? No wonder the District's politics are a national joke. If they want him after this, he should serve from jail where he belongs. Barry is a very bad, very old joke.

TheDubb wrote:

I think the brother got set up. Again!

LAWPOOL wrote:

Why do I have this nagging suspicion that neither Barry nor his lady friend are telling the truth? I think there is a lot more to this than either is willing to admit.

Drew95 wrote:

Barry, and his frequent victory in DC elections, is one of the best arguments against DC Statehood! Seems District voters have more growing up to do!

moreincommonthannot wrote:

Innocent until proven guilty, right? I too wish the Barry incidents would end, once and for all. He made very valuable contributions to our city. As a nearly 50 year old, native Washingtonian and current DC resident, I'm very grateful for his work. Countless lives are better off because of his contributions. I don't doubt his activism on behalf of DC's most disempowered residents made him a target of those who want to continue enjoying the benefits of systemic economic & racial oppression. And, I'm sure past consequences of inappropriate & criminal behavior were mitigated by his sacrifices and his many achievements for those who are historically disempowered.

Frankly, few of us could be an African American leader of Barry's generation, active in the civil rights movement and effective at persistently challenging traditional power on behalf of the most disempowered, and not wrestle with personal demons. Let's be real, who of us would not face public scrutiny if we had media, law enforcement and a few hateful community members seeking to expose our demons? So, thankfully I am still able to feel compassion for him. But, IF HE IS PROVEN GUILTY, asking Barry to give up his public office and holding him accountable under the law, is not only best for our city, but also probably in his best interest.

lcarter0311 wrote:

Any woman getting involved in a relationship with Marion Barry is a fool, and is even more of a fool when they have him charged for stalking later on in the relationship. This woman knew of this man's history long before she started dating him. Why are some people just plain fools?

Draesop wrote:

There is no doubt that Marion Barry and his then wife contributed much to the maiming of racism and Jim Crow in this country. His political activity as a student is also worthy of emulation. Unlike his first wife, however, Mayor Barry has repeatedly embarrassed himself and his supporters in recent times. He is not alone in this but I will concede that he is ahead. Many of us outlive our efficacy in our chosen professions. Mr. Barry is such a person. He joins some political leaders, sports stars and entertainers who seem to have severe handicaps in the area of self evaluation and control. Many of us regular folk are similarly affected but, fortunately, without attending publicity.

flyfisher_20750 wrote:

Sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Barry has a habit of doing that. In this case, it looks like the "lady" had a hidden agenda going and Barry walked right into it. It certainly doesn't fit the standard definition of stalking, as defined by the legal statutes. I believe she's been out to use him for everything she could get from him, and then to leave him hanging, embarrassed, and humiliated. Drop the charges.

jabreal00 wrote:

Barry is and always been a criminal. However, this is a non story. How can he be stalking her, if she admits they see each other every other day? It does not make any sense.

Wallpass wrote:

Couldn't have stalked anyone if he was back in jail where he should have been for violation of his probation.

Irish10 wrote:

It's a domestic dispute. They should leave him alone. In case you don't remember, he rebuilt the city.

decsatsv wrote:

In the 1990s I worked in Uzbekistan and the locals had heard of Barry's escapades ... since then of course, he has only added to his notoriety. Barry is a worldwide embarrassment and should be jailed for his serial tax evasions. That of course, won't happen, and what is left of American's claim of "equal justice under the law" will continue to provide wry humor for the rest of the world.

ex-Navy wrote:

It's just Barry being Barry. Do an Internet search on this woman and you will see that she is a lobbyist and publicity hound. Barry got what he deserved. He is being used by a 40-year-old woman so she can climb the DC political ladder using his connections. A fitting end for the old guy. Did he really think a 40-year-old woman would be romantically interested in a 73-year-old guy? Hilarious!

DanielSanDiego wrote:

Arrested for stalking because he was "bothering" a woman he still sees every other day - who said she didn't complain to the police? Held him for four hours? Couldn't be because he's black or Marion Barry could it?

scoran wrote:

Really wish they would go into more details about what happened. But as it's described "bothering" someone isn't a crime. I get bothered by PETA, USPIRG and homeless people every day, and they don't get arrested for it.

BJohnpappy wrote:

We love you Marion - you hang in there. Keep your nose clean and stay sober, at work.

RetiredVeteran wrote:

Some of us have enjoyed teeing off on Sarah Palin and her dim-witted supporters the past day or two, so Marion Barry comes along as a good reminder that self-serving narcissistic politicians with bevies of simple-minded sycophants fawning over them isn't limited to any single party. There is plenty of idiocy to go around. But we all know that Hizzoner is Teflon coated and this incident will prove to be a tremendous waste of time and money as law enforcement and the courts try (unsuccessfully) to hold a politician to the same standards of mere ordinary citizens. Marion Barry has been an embarrassment and a joke for more than 30 years ... and he's been laughing his way to re-election time after time since Sarah Palin was in grade school. The joke is on us.

blkisin wrote:

Every time Mr. Barry runs into an alleged incident Park Police are involved and the charges are either dismissed, or are never take seriously by the DA. It's time for the Justice Department to examine the doings of Park Police and perform an analysis of how many African Americans have been stopped, policed, arrested and searched. I'm sure the numbers are staggering.

JulyAugust wrote:

Sweet Jesus, would someone give this man a reality show already?

jsg8 wrote:

Mr. Barry hasn't been convicted of anything, yet. The police simply took the word of one person over another in arresting him. This is simply more evidence of the federal persecution brought to bear against a civic hero since he entered politics. If you're looking for wrongdoing, look to Capitol Hill, not to Mr. Barry.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 6, 2009; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  | Tags: Marion Barry, arrest, stalking  
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Next: Get Answers About Barry


Drew95, the good people of the United States elected George W. Bush (twice). So maybe there should be no statehood for anyone using your logic or lack there of; as the case may be.

Posted by: sickofit3 | July 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there Marion, they young lady emphatically denied you were stalking her, and that she flagged down a cop. And BS the cop didn't know who you were becuase he was from out of town.

How in the hell do you stalk someone that you just went to Annapolis with. Come on.

You know Ward 8 loves you, you know we got your back and you know as long as you run for office we will see that you have a spot.

Love you. Your haters should really get a life because this is getting so old, stop trying to figure out why we love the man so much and leave him alone.

Posted by: love2much SE | July 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

A lot of what's working in DC now was put into motion by Marion Barry when he was mayor. Look, people have weaknesses and even appalling shortcomings. But why all this mean-spirited nonsense? This is the way we are as a society/culture now, and the fans are fueled by the screaming-head media. That's what we should be truly angry and worried about. Stop the hate, peeps. If you live in DC, your city owes a lot to that man.

Posted by: keithdecie | July 6, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I’m not so certain that the 2 Post staffers who wrote this latest (7/6) article did much due diligence before they wrote. Did they ever read any official charging documents, or did they just speak w/the Park Police spokesperson(s)? This article raises my eyebrows about more than a few suspicious issues here:

1. "In an (Wash. Post?) interview, Watts-Brighthaupt said she didn't seek to have Barry arrested and did not report the encounter to police. Police pulled over Barry for a traffic violation, she said." Specifically, WHAT "encounter?" If the "victim" didn't report the "encounter" to police, then how in THE hell does he end up getting arrested, unless the officer observed him breaking a law(s)?

2. "Charges not filed," after finding trace of marijuana and crack cocaine in his car? WTF??? How can legitimate charges NOT be filed, unless it’s clear and evident that this “evidence” was planted by the Park Police?

3. "Pulled over for "driving too slowly?"

If I were Barry, this would be proof positive that I needed to STAY THE HELL OUTTA THE U.S. PARK POLICE’S JURISDICTION… they’re definitely out to hem him up!

Clearly, there’s more here than initially meets the eye – we should all reserve judgement on Barry’s guilt/innocence, for now.

Posted by: ntlekt | July 6, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Former Mayor Marion Barry is a disgrace to all races. He is a disgrace to humankind, and how is it that he can get away without spending time in jail for tax invasion? How many more people will he pay off to resist jail time? Barry has made some very bad decisions and I believe he though that because he was a politician, that he probably could get away with it--that he had too many people for whom he did favors and therefore, they owed him. Barry's time will come when he will be judged by the Creator of this world, and Barry will be brought to justice.

Posted by: blessingsalways | July 6, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We'd recognize Barry more clearly for the sleazebag he is if we didn't have a current Mayor who is in many ways a younger version of Barry, always seeking personal advantage and indifferent to rules of behavior most people respect.

Posted by: PostToastie | July 6, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Former Mayor Marion Barry is a disgrace to all races. He is a disgrace to humankind, and how is it that he can get away without spending time in jail for tax invasion? How many more people will he pay off to resist jail time? Barry has made some very bad decisions and I believe he thought that because he was a politician, that he probably could get away with it--that he had too many people for whom he did favors and therefore, they owed him. Barry's time will come when he will be judged by the Creator of this world, and Barry will be brought to justice.

Posted by: blessingsalways | July 6, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"BARRY DID A LOT OF GREAT THINGS FOR THIS CITY..." ETC. etc. ... Can someone please lay out in some more detail than the tautological and generalizing "he's great because he did great things" WHAT exactly Barry did that makes him so great in the mind of a few (loud) people? Please don't start and end with "he gave kids summer jobs" or "he gave Harriette Walters her job in the D.C. tax department," because neither of those accomplishments will do it for me or anyone else who has a brain and can identify a selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic man who stays in power only because of dimwits who think he "did great things for us."

Posted by: DCcommentator | July 6, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Marion Barry explain his actions rather than have a mouthpiece do it? Perhaps Obama would load Marion his teleprompter so he could get his statments correct.

Posted by: prfsr1 | July 7, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

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