Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) on Wednesday morning was asked to leave the House floor after removing his suit jacket to reveal a “hoodie,” then putting the hood over his head to protest the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.
The Illinois Democrat quoted the Bible while presiding officer Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) repeatedly interrupted him, then asked the sergeant at arms to enforce the House prohibition on hats in the chamber.
“The chair must remind members that clause 5 of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session,” Harper said after Rush left. “The chair finds that the donning of a hood is not consistent with this rule. Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor.”
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus have taken to the House floor over the last week to call for the arrest of George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Neighborhood Watch patrolman who allegedly shot Martin last month in Florida. While these calls have escalated, Florida police have said some witnesses saw Martin beat Zimmerman before the shooting, and Zimmerman’s lawyers have said he acted in self-defense.
Zimmerman said he shot Martin after the teen punched him in the nose and smashed his head into the pavement — an account corroborated by witnesses, according to reports citing local authorities.
Zimmerman’s gun was confiscated, but he was not arrested. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law permits the use of deadly force in some cases of self-defense.
More from The Hill:
♦ Rep. Waters: 'Stiff evidence' of hate crime in Trayvon case
♦ Parents suggest racial profiling responsible for son's death
♦ Fla. Gov. Scott vows 'justice will prevail' in Trayvon Martin case
♦ Obama adviser: Gingrich comments on case ‘reprehensible’