(Updated 1:17 p.m.) Last Monday when Rep. Cathy Abercrombie, D-Meriden, walked by Newtown families she declined to accept their literature, including pictures of their dead children prior to a Democratic caucus on gun control issues.
As Abercrombie walked by the families she said, “No, thanks. All set,” and the exchange was captured by a film crew for 60 Minutes.
Scott Pelley asked the families how that moment felt during a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday.
Nicole Hockley, who lost her son, Dylan, said “that is not a good feeling.”
“Several of the caucus members, when they realized that we were people from Sandy Hook, the vast majority of them, and spoke to us and many of them were crying with us. They weren’t being callous. They just didn’t know who we were,” Hockley added.
Abercrombie, a Democrat from Meriden, voted in favor of the legislation.
On Monday she was calling each of the families to apologize.
“I would like to apologize to each of the Sandy Hook parents for rushing past them at the State Capitol last week,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “They have been through so much pain already and this surely didn’t help. I didn’t realize who they were at the time.”
She added that she is “a strong proponent of the legislation and had already decided to vote in favor of the gun safety measure when I walked by, rushing to the caucus room. As lawmakers, we are constantly approached by lobbyists and others gathered in lines who want to talk to us, and while we do our best to accommodate everyone, sometimes it’s difficult to do so.”
“It was not my intention to ignore them in any way or disregard their pain and grief,” Abercrombie said. “Without a doubt, the loss of 20 children has touched each one of us in the state profoundly.”