Compiled CNC Staff – On Wednesday, April 12, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 Wednesdayto reinstate state Rep. Justin Pearson.
Pearson, the second Tennessee House Democrat reinstated, was expelled by Republicans for “disorderly behavior” that “brought dishonor to the House of Representatives.”
The so-called “disorderly behavior” occurred when Rep. Justin Jones, Rep. Gloria Johnson, and Pearson joined protestors/gun control advocates as they peacefully marched in the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, Pearson had been reported to say, “I’m hopeful that I’ll be reinstated tomorrow. The truth is, state legislators and people at the Governor’s office, I’ve been told, are threatening to withhold over $300 million of funding to Shelby County in Memphis if I am reinstated.”
In Memphis, the packed crowd inside the County Administration Building erupted in cheers and applause following the vote for Pearson’s reinstatement.
Hundreds marched in celebration to the Memphis Civil Rights Museum. During an impassioned speech, Pearson said it was time to get back to work.
“You can’t expel our voice, and you sure can’t expel our fight,” he told the crowd.
“Let’s get back to work!”
Nationally recognized as the ‘Tennessee 3’, Rep. Justin Jones, Rep. Gloria Johnson, and Rep. Pearson joined in the protest for gun control on March 30th. Only the two black legislators, Jones and Pearson were expelled and Rep Gloria Johnson, who is white, was spared expulsion by a single vote. Pearson will return to Nashville on Thursday to be sworn in.