BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Shreveport lawmaker has asked Louisiana State Police to investigate whether a colleague's threat of gun violence against him on the House floor warrants criminal charges.
Republican Rep. Alan Seabaugh told The Advocate on Friday that he filed the complaint with law enforcement shortly after the Wednesday altercation with Rep. Malinda White, a Bogalusa Democrat.
Seabaugh claims White violently grabbed him by the arm and, as she was dragged off the floor by a colleague, shouted that she would “finish” their disagreement by getting her gun. The pair of lawmakers were involved in a heated conversation over language in domestic abuse legislation sponsored by White, which didn't gain final passage.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore confirmed that law enforcement was investigating the encounter. The State Police is collecting statements from lawmakers.
Seabaugh said White is “clearly guilty” of simple battery and should also be charged for threatening a public official.
“I think if a male Republican had done what she did, they would’ve been charged already,” he said.
White declined to comment about the investigation.
After the exchange with Seabaugh, she told reporters that as a survivor of domestic abuse, she was set-off by Seabaugh's suggestion that she didn’t understand her legislation. She later publicly apologized to colleagues on the House floor.
Rep. Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democrat, lawyer and head of the Legislative Black Caucus, said he will represent White if prosecutors press charges.
Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder issued a statement to The Advocate saying he couldn't comment on an ongoing investigation, but added "the Legislature will cooperate with law enforcement in any way they request.” He said his office will decide appropriate disciplinary action for White after the investigation is complete.