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Congressman escorted from House after wearing hoodie in Trayvon Martin tribute

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., pays tribute to Trayvon Martin - until he is escorted from the House floor due to rules prohibiting members from wearing hats and such.

 

In a dramatic moment on the House floor this morning, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) was asked to leave the chamber after taking off his suit jacket and revealing that he was wearing a hoodie during a speech in tribute to Trayvon Martin. 

Rush, who donned the hood and put on sunglasses in support of Martin, the Florida teenager who was gunned down last month in a racially-tinged incident, was escorted out of the House chamber after repeated requests by the presiding officer to leave. Wearing a hood or hat while the House is in session is against House rules.

"Racial profiling has to stop Mr. Speaker," Rush said while taking off his suit jacket, "Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum."

George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch official, admitted to shooting Martin last month. Zimmerman's representatives have asserted he acted in self-defense, but the incident has become a racial touchstone due to allegations of racial profiling associated with the shooting, and the local police's handling of the investigation.

The Congressional Black Caucus led the charge in calling for a federal investigation into the case; they were eventually joined in that demand by President Obama and a number of top Republicans.

Rush continued his speech while the presiding officer, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), repeatedly banged the gavel and told Rush to leave the chamber. When Rush failed to stop his speech, a representative from the Sergeant at Arms office approached Rush and walked out with the Congressman.

Martin's parents were on Capitol Hill Tuesday to attend a briefing with Congressional Democrats to discuss hate crimes in America. The two testified briefly, thanking members of Congress for their support and calling for the arrest of Zimmerman.

Watch the whole incident courtesy of House Television here.