It was not clear who struck first, or led to an attack in the Tennessee legislatureIf there is any ground for imputation against any one party.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton said restrictions were not outside the realm of possibility for House members, as some claimed they had been assaulted on the House floor, prevented from leaving their seats, and security The shoulder was “stretched” regardless of the details.
It all happened within the span of 30 minutes, just before the end of a tumultuous term of a special session in this chapter of Tennessee politics.
The first outcry came from Representative Justin Lafferty of Tennessee, who claimed he was assaulted in the House.
House cameras did not catch any attack in the corridor. This isn’t the first time Lafferty has run into trouble in the House. State Representative Justin Jones, a Democrat from Nashville, was charged with simple assault after snatching his phone from his hand in April.
Jones went to the Metro Nashville Police Department with the claim. It is unclear what happened after that allegation.
Representative Gloria Johnson, a Democrat from Knoxville, posted a message on X, which was called Twitter at the time, that Representative Scott Sepicki, R-Kuloica, and Representative Monty Fritts, a Republican legislator from Kingston, have barred her from leaving her desk. house floor. He called them scoundrels and thugs in the tweet.
He wrote, “I asked loudly several times, but he refused to budge so that I could leave the chamber.”
Johnson spoke to Scripps News Nashville shortly after the House doors closed. She said she had to ask eight or nine times before the men would get out of the way.
Johnson said, “They listened to me. The way I think about it is that they’re cowards and they’re scoundrels.” “Gov. Lee brought us here under the guise of an extreme order of protection law. It wasn’t the best law with a lot of risks, but it was a start.”
He added, “Instead, they have betrayed the 80% of Tennesseeans who wanted us to do something real to end gun violence. Nothing happened. Instead, what we saw was members being intimidated. They manifested themselves as being incapable of leading. They are scared to death – cowards, bullies.”
Just as Johnson was attempting to leave the state House chambers, House Speaker Cameron Sexton – a Republican from Crossville – claimed that Representative Justin Pearson, a Democrat from Memphis, had “popped” him to his right. . Sexton later changed his language and told reporters that he was “shocked”.
Representatives Jones and Pearson were holding neon-colored pieces of paper with something written on them, trying to closely follow Sexton and his security detail amid a house full of screaming people.
In one video, it appeared that Sexton was hit by his security squad, after which it appeared that Sexton hit Pearson.
Sexton then says that Pearson struck him on the shoulder and pushed him to the left.
The cameras in the House do not show what actually happened. Scripps News Nashville pulled the same image from House Gallery.
In a news conference held afterward, House Republicans said it was nothing more than stupidity on the House floor on Tuesday.
Sexton said, “It started with Lafferty getting hit.” “It is what it is,” he said. Talking about the restrictions, he said, “We need to figure out how to calm down, but we’ll see.” “It is interesting that this has happened again,” he said.
House Caucus Leader Jeremy Faison – who has had to apologize in recent years pants down in public (When someone tries to pull down his pants without another person’s consent) Said by a sports referee in a children’s game – Entering someone’s personal space is a lack of maturity.
Our photographer Devin Crawford caught a bird’s-eye view of the “pushing” on the floor of the House as House Speaker @CSexton25 Was trying to get out of the chamber.
– NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) 29 August 2023
“It’s a recipe for disaster,” said Faison, R-Cosby. “It’s below the level of a representative.”
Pearson disputes all of that.
“Cameron Sexton and members of his team pushed me,” Pearson said outside the chamber.
“Then she started screaming and yelling as if we had done something. Representative Jones was also pushed by Representative Sepicki, because we were making a sign about protecting children, not guns. This is where Where we are: Authoritarian action to ban Pearson said, “The signals are also staying with the people in power in this state. They are doing policy violence and physical violence.”
Chris Davis and Devin Crawford contributed to this report originally published by Emily West Scripps News Nashville,