Gaetz loses temper at police violence hearing: 'Who in the hell do you think you are?'

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Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz continues to be a reliable advocate for Donald Trump and his policies.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) lost his temper and yelled at Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) during a congressional committee meeting on Wednesday.

The exchange occurred during a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee as members were working on the text of the Justice in Policing Act, which is aimed at addressing police violence in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Richmond, who joined Congress in 2011, six years before Gaetz, said he was attempting to make it "crystal clear" to his Republican colleagues that his support of the bill was based on concern for the future of his Black child.

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In response, Gaetz asked, "Are you suggesting that you are certain that none of us have nonwhite children?"

Richmond then reclaimed his time from Gaetz, cutting off what he described as an attempt to "sidetrack" the debate.

"It is not about the color of your kids. It is about Black males, Black people in the streets that are getting killed," said Richmond, " And if one of them happens to be your kid, I'm concerned about him too. And clearly I'm more concerned about him than you are."

"You're claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the HELL do you think you are?" Gaetz shouted in response.

From the June 17 congressional hearing:

RICHMOND: I don't want to leave this conversation — and why I'm speaking now instead of later — is because I don't want you all to leave here saying, "Well, we didn't know. We didn't know that's how you felt, Cedric." I want it to be crystal clear, and I will give you the benefit of the doubt that it is unconscious bias that I'm hearing. Because at worst, it's conscious bias, and that I would hate to assume from any of the people on the other side.

 

GAETZ: Will the gentleman yield?

 

RICHMOND: Sure.

 

GAETZ: I appreciate your passion. Are you suggesting that you're certain that none of us have nonwhite children? Because you reflected on your Black son, and you said none of us could understand—

 

RICHMOND: Matt. Matt. Stop. I'm not about to get sidetracked about the color of our children. We're talking about Black kids —

 

[crosstalk]

 

RICHMOND: I reclaim my time. I reclaimed my time. I already know that there are people on the other side that have Black grandchildren. It is not about the color of your kids. It is about Black males, Black people in the streets that are getting killed. And if one of them happens to be your kid, I'm concerned about him too. And clearly I'm more concerned about him than you are. So let's be clear about that.

 

GAETZ: You're claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the HELL do you think you are?

 

RICHMOND: If the shoe fits.

 

GAETZ: You don't know how much we care about our families. It is outrageous. You should take those words down. I know you care about your family and love your family. So do we, damnit!

 

RICHMOND: Was that a nerve?

 

GAETZ: Yeah! You're damn right it was a nerve.

After that heated exchange, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) asked Richmond why Republicans were not allowed to assist with the House bill on police reform. Richmond said: "People on the streets right now are demanding action — right now." The Republican bill introduced in the Senate, Richmond said, is a "watered-down bill, and right now this is a national crisis."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.