US lawmaker Bobby Rush dons hoodie in appeal over Trayvon Martin killing
Thursday 29 March 2012
A national debate over the killing of a black teenager in Florida spilled into the House of Representatives on Wednesday when a Democratic lawmaker put on a hoodie - an item of clothing that has become emblematic of those protesting police handling of the case.
Representative Bobby Rush, a prominent civil rights activist during the 1960s, shed his suit coat during a floor speech to reveal a gray hooded sweatshirt.
Rush then placed the hood on his head, a violation of House rules. But Rush wanted to make a point: that hoodies are unfairly seen by some as the clothing of troubled youths.
"Racial profiling has to stop, Mr Speaker. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum," said Rush.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead on February 26 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who claims he was acting in self-defense in shooting the unarmed youth in Sanford, a city near Orlando.
At the time of the killing, Martin was wearing a hoodie, worn by many protesters demanding Zimmerman's arrest. "A Million Hoodies March" was staged in New York last week in support of Martin's family.
Representative Gregg Harper, a Republican who was in the Speaker's chair presiding over the chamber, tried to stop Rush's speech by banging his gavel and telling the congressman to stop speaking.
But Rush kept talking and quoted biblical passages from the New Testament, as Harper's warnings nearly drowned him out.
A House security agent approached Rush just as the Democrat was ending his brief speech.
Long before Rush was elected to Congress, the 20-year House veteran participated in civil disobedience actions in the South, when black Americans were fighting for racial equality. He became active in the Black Panther Party, a leftist militant organization that fought police brutality of blacks. Its members sometimes clashed violently with police.
On Tuesday, a group of House Democrats strongly criticized police handling of the Martin case and pressed for Zimmerman's immediate arrest.
Arsenal strengthened their grip on a top-four finish with a straightforward 3-0 win over Hull City.
Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 How We Met: Alison Moyet & Emma Kennedy: 'I knew we'd be friends because she was happy to make a prat of herself'
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...