Official Texas Legislative session ends with protests, and scuffles between lawmakers

May 30, 2017

On the last day of the 85th legislative session, protesters opposed to Senate Bill 4 — the "sanctuary cities" law, fill up the rotunda of the state Capitol in Austin on May 29, 2017.
Credit Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

The dust is still settling from the last official day of the Texas legislature, which was fraught with tensions and even a scuffle on the floor of the state House of Representatives.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the day was marked by widespread demonstrations in the capitol building. Protestors, many of them young students, chanted and waved banners in opposition to recently passed legislation that would make it legal for police to question the residency status of anyone they pull over or detain.

In response one Republican Congressman, Rep. Matt Rinaldi, called Federal Immigration Authorities on the protestors. The move infuriated his Democratic colleagues. A fracas erupted in the chamber, as lawmakers pushed and shoved. Rep. Rinaldi also reportedly “threatened to put a bullet” in the head of one of the Democratic lawmakers who stood up to him. Rinaldi also said that one of his fellow lawmakers, a Democrat, threatened to kill him.  This account was disputed by other legislators.