Lawmaker says colleague threatened him with gun violence, sidetracking domestic abuse bill

Lawmaker says colleague threatened him with gun violence, sidetracking domestic abuse bill

Legislation that would expand Louisiana’s definition of domestic abuse to include behaviors like coercion and control was temporarily sidelined Wednesday after an emotional outburst on the House floor between the bill’s chief sponsor and an opposing legislator. Rep. Malinda White briefly brought the lower chamber to a halt Wednesday after she abruptly began shouting at Rep. Alan Seabaugh, who moments earlier told her she didn’t understand the ramifications of her bill. A colleague intervened to physically remove White from the floor. The public blow-up came amid a one-on-one conversation over language in House Bill 159 — which would allow victims of domestic abuse to obtain protective orders before they experience physical violence. "When I said you’re not a lawyer and you don’t understand, she completely lost her mind," Seabaugh said. "As she was dragged away she said either I’m going to get my gun and finish this or let me get my gun and we’ll finish this." White said in the heat of the moment, she made comments she probably shouldn’t have, but said as a survivor of domestic abuse, she was "triggered" by the notion that she didn’t understand the issue at-hand. "He told me I don’t know a damn thing about it – and I suffered it," White said. "Nobody’s going to come tell me I don’t know about that when I lived it." White, a Bogalusa Democrat, later apologized on the House floor for the altercation. Law professors, victims’ advocates and family court judges spent nearly […]

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