State Rep. Landon Brown is challenging an allegation that he pushed a constituent in the Capitol last week by releasing video footage of the alleged encounter to the public.
Jane Killingsworth posted to a Laramie County news page on Facebook that Brown, R-Cheyenne, was “rude and pushed me out of the way” when she spoke to him as he was exiting the State Capitol on Wednesday.
The video of the incident released on Monday morning showed that other than a handshake, Brown had no contact with Killingsworth.
The charge spurred a number of condemnations of the legislator on social media, along with accusations that he assaulted Killingsworth. However, the video does not appear to support the allegation.
The footage showed Killingsworth trying to engage Brown in a conversation in the Capitol lobby.
After the two shook hands, the footage showed Brown attempting to leave the conversation, but Killingsworth continued to hold his hand and repeatedly stepped in front of him.
The video shows Brown eventually walking to Killingsworth’s side after ending the handshake, but it does not show Brown having any other physical contact with her.
“The video proves that I did nothing, which is exactly what I knew happened,” Brown told Cowboy State Daily. “If anything it shows the bullying tactics used by individuals to try and harass and intimidate public officials.”
Fellow Rep. Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne, witnessed the encounter and confirmed Brown’s account.
“It wasn’t even close,” Olsen said. “She had his hand and wouldn’t let go, she was restricting his movement. He pulled his hand back, and turned his body away from her to step around her.”
“Rep. Brown freed his hand, and finally stepped around her,” Olsen continued. “She screamed down the hall at him telling him he would not forget this day,” Olsen said.
Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Sheridan, also backed Brown’s account, saying Killingsworth’s allegation is “clearly false.”
“I was just a few feet from them. You can see me in the video,” Western said. “She was clearly very upset about something and kept standing in his personal space. Landon handled it very well in order to avoid any type of physical contact.”
Brown said he had a telephone conversation with Killingsworth the night before when she said he needed to step down because he wasn’t voting the way she preferred.
“I tried to talk to her about other points of view and she wouldn’t stop interrupting me and yelling. I gave her the opportunity to stop and told her I would hang up and she screamed she didn’t care so I hung up,” Brown said.
Killingsworth left Brown a voicemail shortly after the phone call which he shared with Cowboy State Daily.
“If I have to endure your talking down to me, then you have to listen to me,” she said in the voicemail. “The bottom line is you have a constitutional duty to protect all of the citizens of the State of Wyoming from government overreach. That includes mandates, that includes vaccinations, and that includes people like Cheyenne Regional Medical from making medical decisions for me. So do the right thing Landon and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Western said that he and his colleagues welcome the opportunity to speak with their constituents but added that following “basic decorum is important.”
“If you want to have a respectful conversation with your representative, great, but don’t put yourself in front of someone else and refuse to move,” he said.