Lawmakers Sport “1870 Pins” During SOTU Address, Marking 153 Years Since First Unarmed Black Killing
Tuesday night’s State of the Union addressed many important issues facing Americans today. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle present made their own statements.
News broke last week of Republicans wearing AR-15 pins on their lapels as a protest against a weapons ban. During Tuesday’s speech, pins that stood for something more significant made an appearance. According to The Hill, large black pins with “1870” on them, representing the year Henry Truman, an unarmed Black man, was killed by police, were seen.
Bloomberg reported the cards were distributed by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and were accompanied by a card that read, “153 years later, nothing has changed,” as a reference to the recent murder of Tyre Nichols, another unarmed Black man, who was murdered by police in Memphis and others before him.
“We are tired of mourning and demand change,” the cards continued. Coleman posted a video via Twitter, stating how she felt about police reform. “I mourn each and every life that has been stolen from us, but I have grown tired of mourning,” Coleman said. “Mourning alone will bring us no closer to justice.”
Today, my @TheBlackCaucus colleagues and I are standing united against police brutality.
In 1870, police killed an unarmed Black man. Last year, the number of police killings reached a record high.
Police reform cannot wait any longer. Our communities deserve better. pic.twitter.com/T5ZoyR7rZT
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) February 7, 2023
Bloomberg reported that 30 pins were passed out. During the speech, the pins were seen worn by Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Presley (D-MA), and more.
Police reform was one of the hot topics during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Tyre Nichols’ parents, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, were present and met with a standing ovation as President Joe Biden spoke of their courage among tragedy.
BLACK ENTERPRISE reported other parents of victims of police brutality attended the speech, including Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown, Jr., and Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose death sparked national outrage and protests. Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who was killed after a New York cop placed him in a banned chokehold, was also present as Biden called for a ban on brutal chokeholds.