The Latest: Missouri NAACP Leader Cut Off, Criticism Mounts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Criticism is mounting of a Missouri House committee chairman who cut off the state’s NAACP president as he testified against a proposal to restrict discrimination lawsuits.

Both NAACP President Rod Chapel and House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty on Tuesday called on Pineville Republican Rep. Bill Lant to be replaced.

A video by liberal advocacy group Progress Missouri shows Lant during a Monday hearing grew frustrated with Chapel’s discussion of racism and shut off Chapel’s mic.

At issue is a bill to require plaintiffs bringing discrimination lawsuits to prove that race, religion, sex or other protected status was the motivating factor for discrimination or being fired, rather than just a contributing factor.

Assistant House Minority Leader Gina Mitten says Lant’s behavior was racist. Leaders of the Missouri AFL-CIO, LGBT advocacy group PROMO and Empower Missouri also are criticizing Lant.

House Speaker Todd Richardson told reporters he’s not replacing Lant. But Lant is holding another public hearing.

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