Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are planning to speak on the House floor today about the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
The lower chamber comes back into session at 2 p.m. as lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC this morning that he plans to note that there have been “just too many times, too many instances where people of color, particularly African- Americans and Latinos, have been victimized by a scenario where they’ve been unarmed and — and killed by the police, and that has to stop.”
“You know, we’ve got what took place in Ferguson. And we have two incidences right here in New York, my home state. And so, we’ve got to say that there’s got to be a way that we can — we can do better,” Meeks said.
“…And so, I think that this should be a wake-up call for all of us throughout this country to make sure that this kind of scenario does not take place again. And you know, there should be special training.”
The congressman noted that police departments across the country should review their practices in the wake of Ferguson “so we don’t continually have to come back and see where unarmed African-American, unarmed Hispanic person is being again shot because somebody is afraid of them or something of that nature.”
“That just seems to be too many — too many people have died that way,” he added.
Meeks, who’s also a former assistant district attorney, said he thought the prosecutor in the Ferguson case “did not want an indictment from the beginning.”
“Because if he did, you know, it’s not something that’s hard to do,” he said. “But the people, if you’re not satisfied with that D.A., the best thing to do is to come out and elect someone that really will be the representative of the people. Because any time you have a criminal case, it’s the people versus so-and-so.”
“In this case, the district attorney was not representative of the people. And the only way that you can change that is getting out and electing someone, not just coming out in presidential elections, but coming out on local elections where you can elect your D.A.s and make sure that the D.A. then has the appropriate police chief and it runs all the way down the line.”
Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) last week called the decision not to indict “a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail.”
“This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions,” Fudge said in a statement issued by the CBC. “This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”