JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As Missouri Senators were readying to swear-in for this year’s session, they had hardly begun the ceremony when chants of “black lives matter” – an ode to the deaths of black men by white police officers – erupted from the upper gallery.
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) January 7, 2015
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, called on the Missouri Highway Patrol to remove the demonstrators and ordered the upper gallery closed to the public during the swearing-in events.
Demonstrators had gathered earlier in the day to rally for post-Ferguson reforms and Medicaid expansion as lawmakers were to begin the 98th General Assembly.
Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said municipal court reform and education policy changes were in the works as legislators meet for the first time for a full session following the events in Ferguson.