Despite a polite request from three activists, Richmond police opted against arresting former President George W. Bush this weekend when he was in town for a speaking engagement.
“There is no good excuse we are aware of not to arrest George W. Bush if he sets foot in Richmond as he plans to do to speak at the Richmond Forum,” wrote Charlottesville author David Swanson and city activists Phil Wilayto and Ana Edwards, who are active in the ballpark debate.
More than two decades old, the Richmond Forum speaker series brought Bush to the Altria Theater on Saturday night, where he addressed an overflow crowd.
The activists’ letter, addressed to the mayor, the sheriff and the chief of police, asked that Bush be detained because of his admission that he personally authorized the use of water boarding.
“Were a local resident credibly accused of torture,” they wrote, “we sincerely doubt you would hesitate to seek his or her immediate arrest and indictment.”
By Monday, Bush seemed to have left the city without incident.
Asked to confirm that Richmond police did not, in fact, seek to arrest Bush as requested, department spokesman Gene Lepley responded with a single word: “Correct.”