'Monkey' email leads to emotional night in the legislature

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 10:59 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The penultimate legislative day of this year's session turned into an emotional one for house lawmakers.

Members of the legislative black caucus called out Rep. Lynn Greer, R- Lauderdale County, who forwarded an email they said was racist.

The email compared politics to a supposed made up behavioral conditioning experiment with monkeys.

Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, asked Greer to publicly apologize to the entire chamber. Rogers said the apology issued by Greer in a statement Wednesday was an excuse, not an apology.

Greer yesterday claimed the email was from a constituent, and he felt he was referencing incumbents in Washington, not any group in the Alabama legislature.

After tempers boiled over, the house recessed. Members of the legislative Black Caucus met with the house speaker. The speaker then came on to the floor, and brought the republican caucus into the cloak room.

When lawmakers returned, they joined hand in hand in prayer. Lawmakers then listened to Rep. John Knight, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, all who shared a message of promoting understanding and reconciliation.

Lawmakers have until Friday at midnight to pass legislation.

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