On February 14, 2018, Joaquin Oliver brought flowers for his girlfriend, Marjory Stoneman, to Parkland, Florida’s Douglas High School. Later that day, the 17-year-old were arranging a Valentine’s Day date.
Tragically, he was one of 17 people killed that day and never got to that date because he was shot and killed in the corridor outside of his creative writing class. His parents have now dedicated their lives to activism, which recently resulted in his dad being arrested.
A House committee discussed a new federal regulation regarding handgun stabilizing braces on March 23. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) brought out Mexico’s widespread gun violence despite strict gun controls during the session.
Manuel and Patricia Oliver were removed from the hearing room— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) March 23, 2023
I heard a loud thud outside the room, ran out, and saw officers pinning Manuel to the ground
Rep Frost ran out shortly after: https://t.co/ZebugeU98Z pic.twitter.com/9TGc8M6Bc2
At that point, Patricia and Manuel Oliver interrupted the session. After that, Fallon requested that Capitol Police remove the distraught parents from the hearing, which prompted Manuel to accuse the Texas Republican of being the worst.
The Capitol Police Department claimed the father attempted to re-enter the hearing room after being removed, and the police then detained Manuel for disturbing the hearing and apparently refusing to “stop shouting.” He wasn’t taken to jail by the police. A video of the event shows officers pinning Manuel to the ground.
On Twitter, Manuel persisted in criticizing the congressman. Fallon revealed in a response to a Twitter user that after the parents yelled throughout the hearing, he had ordered the police to remove them. Everyone must “sit down and remain silent,” he said. Manuel screenshotted the lawmaker’s comments and put the blame on him for the arrest.
This is a lie, just like the ones you said during the hearing @FallonForTexas. You didn't ask @patriciapadauy or me to sit down. You motivated my arrest and excessive force from @CapitolPolice. Not happy with that, you made jokes about the situation. That was a wrong move and a… pic.twitter.com/rYvajlEpRr— Manuel Oliver (@manueloliver00) March 26, 2023
When Patricia Oliver interfered with the hearing, she insisted that she was simply expressing her “right to free speech.”
This was me an hour and a half ago. I was exercising my right to free speech by saying my opinion. I am not scared to speak up for what I believe in. WE NEED TO HOLD LAWMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE AND MAKE THEM SPEAK THE TRUTH. @manueloliver00 and I are doing what is right! pic.twitter.com/jrSYx5pGvH— Patricia Padauy -Oliver (@patriciapadauy) March 23, 2023
Regarding the purpose of the hearing, it was made apparent by the House Oversight Committee that GOP legislators were merely checking to see if President Joe Biden’s administration was abusing the Second Amendment.