U.S. Sen. Tim Scott on racism and the Capitol police

In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, Sen. Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina, gave a powerful — and revealing — speech Wednesday on how even in the Capitol, relations between African-Americans and cops are strained. He knows, he says, because he too has felt the sting of disrespect and suspicion. He described an incident from just last year and said there have been others.

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    Now to our "NewsHour" Shares, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too.

    South Carolina's Tim Scott is the only black Republican in the United States Senate. Yesterday, Scott took to the Senate floor to speak about his experiences of being scrutinized by law enforcement because of the color of his skin.

    Here is an excerpt:

    SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), South Carolina: For those who don't know, there are a few ways to identify a member of Congress or Senate.

    Well, typically, when you have been here for a couple of years, the law enforcement officers get to know your face, and they just identify you by face. But, if that doesn't happen, and you have a badge, your license that you can show them, shows you're a senator, or this really cool pin. I oftentimes say that the House pin is larger because our egos are bigger, so we need a smaller pin.

    So it's easy to identify a U.S. senator by our pin. I recall walking into an office building just last year after being here for five years on the Capitol.

    And the officer looked at me with a little attitude and said: "The pin, I know. You, I don't. Show me your I.D."

    I will tell you, I was thinking to myself, either he thinks I'm committing a crime, impersonating a member of Congress, or — or what?

    Well, I will tell you that, later that evening, I received a phone call from his supervisor apologizing for the behavior.

    Mr. President, that is at least the third phone call that I have received from a supervisor or the chief of police since I have been in the Senate.


    That was U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.

    We continue the conversation about race and policing online, not just a black and white issue. Activists are calling for greater exposure of police shootings of Latinos. Read more about five Americans shot by police last week whose deaths did not garner much media coverage.

    All that and more is on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.

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