State Sen. Stephanie Flowers walked out during an impassioned debate over Arkansas’ “Stand Your Gun” laws Wednesday.
The chamber was discussing legislation that would eliminate the “duty to retreat” from Arkansas’ self-defense laws. It was a measure was narrowly voted down in a Senate committee meeting Wednesday evening. The GOP-controlled committee voted 4-3 against the bill.
The decision came hours after testimony was heard from, gun control groups, officers and civil-rights advocates. A heated moment came when Flowers blasted her white colleagues who chose to limit debate on the Judiciary Committee .
“My son doesn’t walk the same path as yours do, so this debate deserves more time,” Flowers said. “When you bring crap like this up, it offends me.”
Flowers is the only African American on the eight member committee. She invoked the number of Black boys and men killed and their killers were released due to “Stand Your Ground” laws.
“It doesn’t take much to look on the local news every night and see how many black kids, black boys, black men, are being killed with these ‘stand your ground’ defenses that these people raise, and they get off,” she said.
“I take issue with that. I’m the only person here of color, okay? I am a mother too. And I have a son. And I care as much for my son as y’all care for y’alls.”
For 10 years, lawmakers have tried to pass a “stand-your-ground” law for the state and Flowers refused to be silenced in her objections when directed by Arkansas Sen. Alan Clark, republican from Lonsdale, Ark.
“Senator, you need to stop,” Clark said.
“No, I don’t,” Flowers said.
“Yes you do,” replied Clark.
“No the hell I don’t,” Flowers shot back. “What are you going to do, shoot me?”
Flowers proceeded to leave the meeting and smoke a cigarette with another lawmaker. She later returned to hear comments from members of law enforcement. Clark said no action would be taken against Flowers.
Watch Flowers during the debate below.