Gold Star Father Arrested at Biden's SOTU Address

Gold Star Father Arrested at Biden's SOTU Address

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
March 8, 2024

President Joe Biden's (D) State of the Union (SOTU) address this week is being called the most contentious SOTU address ever given. From directing comments at President Donald Trump (R) to Republicans to the Supreme Court, the president also took part in exchanges with lawmakers as well as facing calls of protests. One call came from a Gold Star Father who was quickly arrested for disrupting the SOTU Address.

After President Joe Biden declared that "America is safer today than when I took office," Gold Star Father Steve Nikoui stood up and yelled "Abbey Gate," and "Second Battalion First Marine" among other remarks before he was quickly escorted out.

Nikoui is the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, who was one of 13 service members that were killed outside the airport in Kabul during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. "Abbey Gate" was in reference to where Kareem and the other U.S. troops died in 2021.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 was deemed controversial move from the president by many lawmakers, which resulted in the lives of Americans and our allies being "carelessly put in danger" as Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) commented last year.

Aside from receiving scrutiny from Republicans, Gold Star Families have also criticized the president, saying that he has failed to talk about those who were killed or the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Nikoui was a guest of Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R).

In an emailed statement from the U.S. Capitol Police, they informed that "tonight at approximately 10:15 p.m., a man disrupted the State of the Union Address by yelling. Our officers warned him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries and was arrested for D.C. Code § 22–1307 - Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding. Disrupting the Congress and demonstrating in the Congressional Buildings is illegal.”

On social media, Rep. Mast commented on the arrest, writing that Nikoui "was arrested because he cried out to Joe Biden to remember his son."

"Joe Biden has never honored those killed at the Abby Gate and still hails the catastrophic withdrawal as a success!"

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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