Virginia lawmaker claims police violated ‘women’s rights’ by not letting her use restricted parking

Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase complained that the capitol police were "democrat [SIC] operatives."

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, (R), in January 2019.
Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, (R), in January 2019. (PHOTO REDIT: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

State Sen. Amanda Chase (R), one of Virginia’s most vocal opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment, allegedly cursed out a female officer of the Commonwealth’s Capitol Police last month for not letting her park in a restricted area. At the time, Chase claimed the officer’s actions were a violation of her “equality of women’s rights.”

According to a March 22 incident report, first picked up Wednesday by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Chase pulled up to the pedestrian plaza outside the Pocahontas building at the state capitol and demanded to be let into the restricted area. The officer assigned to that entrance refused to lower the barricade to let her pass, stating that she would not be allowed in without permission from the House of Delegates clerk’s office.

Chase refused to move her car to make way for several buses waiting in line behind her, and told the officer that she was “not going to move unless you let the fucking barricades down to let me in.”

“Aren’t you supposed to protect me?” Chase asked the officer, before allegedly claiming, “You don’t know equality of women’s rights.”


According to the report, Chase noted her position and her senate license plate and said she did not want to park in the nearby parking deck where lawmakers are typically assigned to park because she was in fear for her life. Chase carries a firearm openly on her hip, stating earlier this year that she did so to deter activists from accosting her publicly.

After being denied access to the plaza again, the officer stated that Chase complained that the senate clerk “get[s] to park her fat ass up front.” The officer claimed Chase called the clerk “Miss Piggy.” The house and senate clerks are two of the people with assigned spots in that plaza.

The officer wrote in the incident report that a Capitol Police lieutenant then arrived at the entrance to speak with Chase. It was not clear whether she was eventually allowed to pass.

Joe Macenka, the public information officer for the Division of Capitol Police, declined to comment on the original incident, but said Thursday that lawmakers are told to call at any hour, “regardless of reason,” if they wish to be escorted to or from their vehicle in the parking deck. He noted that there are “very few parking places” in the pedestrian plaza and that they “are all either assigned or held for handicapped visitors.” This policy, he noted, is set by the General Assembly, not the police force.   

Chase has since disputed the incident, claiming in a post on her official Facebook page Tuesday that The Times-Dispatch had written “a nice little hit piece on me about an incident that occurred SIX WEEKS AGO describing a disagreement that I had with a young new hire of the Capitol Police.”


Chase also claimed the police report “looks like it was written by democrat [sic] operatives,” and said that “[n]either the article or the report are accurate.” She vowed to “take this up with my contacts at the Richmond Times [D]ispatch and the Capitol Police,” alleging that several points in the report were inaccurate.

“Just for starters, I don’t drive a white Lexus,” she wrote.

She added, “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.”

Chase opposed efforts earlier this year in the Virginia to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. In an op-ed for Richmond 2Day, she wrote that the proposal “actually victimizes the very women it claims to protect,” complaining that the amendment includes the word “sex” instead of “woman” or “female” and claiming it would make women’s locker rooms, bathrooms, sports, and scholarships illegal.

Days after posting the op-ed, Chase boasted on a right-wing radio show that she did not need the proposed constitutional amendments because she carries a gun. “I call my revolver my little Equal Rights Amendment because it is empowering to women,” she explained.

ThinkProgress has reached out to Chase’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.