Controversy erupts after NAACP state president is cut-off while testifying on house bill

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Missouri’s new governor and members of the St. Louis County NAACP met Tuesday to find common ground. It happened at the capitol where there is some controversy revolving around what happened to the president of the state NAACP Monday. It revolves around a house bill that some believe would legalize discrimination and prevent victims from suing the person or business responsible.

Nimrod Chapel, Jr. is President of Missouri’s NAACP.  He said, “It was embarrassing it was humiliating to be prevented from talking when everybody else is allowed to.”

Chapel was referring to what he said happened Monday night in a committee hearing concerning House Bill 550. Chapel said the bill permits discrimination. He said just after he compared the proposed legislation to the discriminatory Jim Crow laws of last century his microphone was cut and he was asked to leave. Chapel added, “As president of the NAACP I take great umbrage I speak for tens of thousands of people”. He wants an apology and the State Representative who chaired the hearing removed from that leadership post.

The incident did not stop the annual St. Louis County NAACP legislative day, which featured a performance from a Normandy High School choir. Members said they are willing to work with all lawmakers to improve the lives of African-Americans. John Gaskin is a member of the St. Louis County NAACP and a national board member.  Gaskin said, “Civil rights is a bipartisan political agenda and we should work with people on both sides of the aisle now whether they’re willing to work with us is another story.”

The governor said he too would like come together to achieve similar goals.  Governor Eric Greitens said, “We still have a common mission and that mission is simple, its jobs, its justice, its public safety, its education, this is a common mission that can bring us together.”

As for the controversy, the lawmaker who folks said cut the microphone told our partners at the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he will hold another hearing.

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