A Democratic representative for the state of Missouri has become a frequent figure in national headlines, including incidents that involved his arrest after he participated in Black Lives Matter protests. On Wednesday, Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. drew the spotlight again as he protested during the Pledge of Allegiance before the start of the 2018 Missouri legislative session.

As reported by the Daily Caller, “Franks stood with his fist raised during the pledge, instead of putting it over his heart, according to local reports. Franks told the Associated Press he prefers ‘to pledge allegiance to the people’ instead of the American flag. He added that black people from his area ‘are disproportionately affected by a lot of things.’”

As DML News reported in October, the freshman Democratic lawmaker originally made a name for himself as a rapper. His music was full of violent undertones and derogatory language toward women. Franks’ raps included lines about shooting “snitches” and dragging dead bodies.

“I off them if they snitch, I put a shotty to their body, send them straight to the reverend! I put them in a body cast, put them in a body bag, tie them to the bag of the Chrysler then it’s body drag!” Franks raps in one freestyle. “A nigga speak my name, he will get slain!”

He was arrested in October during an anti-police demonstration that saw Black Lives Matter activists blocking a freeway in St. Louis.  Despite police warnings that arrests would be made if the protesters did not disperse, the demonstrators stood their ground and Franks was one of 120 people arrested.

Franks was also arrested in November, after a large group of Black Lives Matter protesters went to the St. Louis Galleria to conduct a Black Friday protest. Marching through the mall, they loudly chanted, “Shut it down, shut it down,” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, those killer cops have got it go!” After police announced that the protesters needed to disperse, seven people were arrested, including Franks.

On Wednesday, Franks posted a message on his Twitter account that showed his office, which included a prominent Black Lives Matter sign. On Thursday, he sent out a Tweet that included three raised fists.

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