Video Shows Tennessee House Speaker Allegedly Assaulting Black Rep
Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton has been accused of assaulting a Black representative. Released video footage shows Rep. Justin Pearson being shoved by his fellow state rep.
According to The Black Wall Street Times, the altercation played out along party lines. Sexton, a Republican from Crossville, clashed with Pearson, a Democrat representing Memphis, on the legislative floor. The news outlet also tweeted footage of the incident.
Video: Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton aggressively shoves Rep. Justin Pearson as he exits the dais. Sexton's frustration with pressure from Pearson and Rep. Jones to address gun violence in GOP legislation boils over. #TennesseePolitics #GunViolenceReform pic.twitter.com/wIyAR6vXGi
— The Black Wall Street Times (@TheBWSTimes) August 30, 2023
The Aug. 29 incident garnered national attention, especially as Pearson and a fellow liberal representative, Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville, have been advocating for gun reform. Sexton was adjourning the special legislative session, in which moments before, Rep. Jones argued for a vote of no confidence against the House speaker.
In the video, Rep. Sexton shoved Pearson as both the Democratic leaders moved closer to the House Speaker’s dais. As the speaker tried leaving the floor, both elected officials continued to follow him, holding signs that urged Sexton to do more for gun reform as mass shootings across America continue to rise. Sexton, rattled by the mounting pressure, shoved Pearson in his chest, seemingly to be able to leave. However, Sexton left instead of being immediately reprimanded for physically attacking his fellow representative.
Sexton ended the session before the vote jeopardizing his position unfolded; however, chants to “vote him out” were also audible within the video as he exited the building.
After the ordeal, Rep. Pearson stated that the “white supremacist” assaulting him only indicates that gun reform to reduce violence is needed.
White supremacist speaker @CSexton25 violently shoved me today while I held my “Protect Kids, Not Guns!” sign. I’m infuriated by his actions but more infuriated by the INACTION of @tnhousegop to pass a SINGLE bill to prevent gun violence. This is how democracy dies. We must rise! https://t.co/LQXlqsreuS
— Justin J. Pearson (@Justinjpearson) August 30, 2023
“White supremacist speaker Cameron Sexton violently shoved me today while I held my ‘Protect Kids, Not Guns!’ I’m infuriated by his actions but more infuriated by the inaction of the Tennessee House GOP to pass a single bill to prevent gun violence,” shared the elected official. “This is how democracy dies. We must rise.”