FILED IN: Politics

Congressman booted from House floor over Trayvon Martin tribute hoodie

Bobby Rush
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush dons a hoodie for Trayvon Martin. Image: CSPAN

U.S. House Rep. Bobby Rush  (D-IL) found himself escorted from the House chamber after violating House rules in his honoring of Trayvon Martin.

Martin, 17, was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was conducting a neighborhood watch and deemed Martin as looking suspicious. Controversy has surrounded Zimmerman’s release after the shooting, and the refusal so far to bring any criminal charges against him. Zimmerman has maintained that he was attacked by Martin, and he shot him in self-defense.

Critics have accused police in Sanford, Fla., where the shooting took place, of racism for not arresting Zimmerman in the shooting of Martin, who was black, as well as racial profiling by Zimmerman. Zimmerman is half white and half Peruvian.

Rush seemingly agrees with the assertion, taking to the House floor wearing a hoodie and sunglasses saying, “Racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker, just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”

NBC reports that Rush was told to leave the chamber, as he was in violation of House decorum that forbids hoods or hats while the House is in session.

“Members need to remove their hoods or leave the floor,” Mississippi Republican Gregg Harper, the presiding officer, told Rush as he repeatedly banged his gavel.

When Rush continued, quoting from the Bible and refusing to leave, he was escorted out by a member of the Sergeant at Arms office.

Rush has served in Congress since 1992.

Martin’s parents had appeared before a House panel earlier in the week, calling for the arrest of Zimmerman.