La. lawmaker accused of threatening fellow legislator with gun violence; rep. defers domestic abuse bill
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana state legislator said a fellow lawmaker threatened to get her gun as the two argued over the wording of a domestic violence bill on the House floor on Wednesday, June 9.
“She said either let me get my gun and finish this or I’m going to get my gun and we can finish this,” Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport) claimed.
Seabaugh said he was discussing the legislation with state Rep. Malinda White (D-Bogalusa) when things got ugly.
White, who said she was a victim of domestic violence years ago, did not immediately reply to an email from WAFB-TV asking if she made such a threat.
However, earlier in the day, she admitted to reporters that she became upset with Seabaugh when he questioned her about her bill.
”I lived it; that triggered me,” said White. “Because he said I didn’t know a damn thing about it and I’ve suffered it.”
She told reporters she does keep a gun in her vehicle for protection.
Seabaugh said White regularly brags about having a gun either in her purse or desk and he believed her alleged threat to be credible.
He added the bill, which he claims would have been a “radical departure” from current Louisiana law, contained the phrase “household members” and he wanted it changed to state, “family members,” instead. Seabaugh, an attorney, said he tried to explain how the two terms could legally be interpreted differently.
“I told her that I understand you’re not a lawyer and don’t know the difference. Then, she absolutely lost her mind. She started screaming and her face turned purple,” explained Seabaugh.
At that point, he claims White grabbed him by the arm and threatened him.
He said state Rep. John Stefanski (R-Crowley) had to jump up and pulled White off of him.
Seabaugh said Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) has asked to meet both him and White to discuss the incident. He said the meeting was expected to happen later in the day.
The legislation being discussed was HB 159. White decided on Thursday, June 10, to defer the bill, which would have expanded the definition of domestic abuse to include coercion and control. She apologized for disappointing survivors of abuse and vowed to try again next year to get the bill passed.
She added she removed the bill from consideration for “the best interest of the legislative body” after the drama that took place on the House floor Wednesday when she allegedly threatened Seabaugh with gun violence.
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