article by Laura-Barron Lopez via huffingtonpost.com
WASHINGTON ― In the course of one year as an elected official, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was pulled over seven times by law enforcement. Another time, a Capitol Police officer demanded that Scott show him his ID because the special pin on Scott’s suit jacket ― a pin assigned to United States senators ― evidently wasn’t enough.
Scott shared these stories and more Wednesday evening during a roughly 18-minute speech on the Senate floor. He is the only black senator in the Republican conference, and one of just two in the upper chamber.
His speech on Wednesday was the second in a series of three in response to a lone gunman killing five police officers in Dallas last week, as well as the police shootings of Alton Sterling, who was killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Scott delivered his first speech on Tuesday and plans to deliver the final one Thursday.
“This speech is perhaps the most difficult, because it’s the most personal,” Scott said during his Wednesday remarks.
Scott’s address on Wednesday came after four other senators urged their colleagues to take a vote on criminal justice reform ― something many lawmakers say is badly needed.
“There is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement ― a trust gap,” Scott said. “We cannot ignore these issues. Because while so many officers do good ― and we should be very thankful in support of all those officers that do good ― some simply do not. I’ve experienced it myself.”
Scott said he chose to talk about his encounters with police, experiences that left him feeling humiliated and “very scared,” because he’s heard people trying to paint Castile and Walter Scott ― a black man who was killed by a police officer in South Carolina last year while running away ― as criminals.
“OK, then,” Scott said. “I will share with you some of my own experiences.”
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