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Black Indiana lawmakers face Republican boos during debate

Indiana Statehouse.jpg
Posted at 7:52 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 19:52:32-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tempers flared among Indiana legislators during a debate when Black lawmakers were shouted down and booed by some Republicans and two House members had to be separated in a hallway.

The shouts came as Democratic Rep. Greg Porters and Vernon Smith, who are Black, spoke Thursday against a bill allowing a rural, mostly white, St. Joseph County township to leave the South Bend Community Schools, calling the move discriminatory.

A confrontation soon erupted in a hallway between Republican Sean Eberhart and Democratic Rep. Vanessa Summers, another Black lawmaker, and they were separated by other legislators.

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston later urged all legislators to respect each other.