The Texas legislator just completed a 140-day session, and on the last day, things got heated. Protesters crashed the gallery and words were exchanged between two lawmakers that escalated quickly. The Dallas Morning News Reports:
— James Barragán (@James_Barragan) May 29, 2017
As they protested, Latino Reps. Ramon Romero and Cesar Blanco, both Democrats, waved to the noisy crowd. Republican Matt Rinaldi of Irving, a fervent supporter of the anti-immigration legislation, approached the Latino Democrats. They said Rinaldi told them he had called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to report the protesters, who were largely Hispanic.
The Democrats were enraged. A shoving match ensued, and lawmakers accused one another of making violent threats. Rinaldi said a Democrat eventually threatened to “come get” him. Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, who didn’t witness the initial altercation, said he later heard Rinaldi say, “I’ll put a bullet in your head,” to the Democrat he alleged was menacing.
“He’s a broken person, and I hope his community back home realizes that,” Rodriguez said later during a news conference.
Here is a video of shoving match between lawmakers:
— KVUE News (@KVUE) May 29, 2017
In a prepared statement, Rinaldi said he called ICE officials to report the protesters who held signs that declared they were unauthorized immigrants. The protesters became so noisy that security officials escorted many of them from the House gallery. Rinaldi said that he rebuked his colleagues for “inciting” the protesters, “which are illegal,” and that the House members threatened him physically.
“I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self-defense,” Rinaldi said in the statement he shared on Twitter. “I am currently under DPS protection.”
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco, said he interrupted the shoving lawmakers when he heard the scuffle.
“This isn’t the schoolyard,” he said. “I just walked right into the middle, and I was begging them, ‘People, please, not on the House floor.”
Passion is running high on both sides of the political spectrum and it appears that things are coming to a tipping point across the country. From the assault, last week to the pushing match in Texas our decorum is quickly deteriorating. We must remind each other that we are all Americans and learn to find common ground. If anything regardless of our differences we should not be assault each other.