The PJ Tatler

Congressman on House Floor: 'Feels Like Open Hunting Season on Black Men'

A member of the Congressional Black Caucus ripped his House colleagues on the floor today for not doing more to stop police shooting.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) declared “it feels like open hunting season on black men — and I am outraged.”

“In fact, all Americans are at risk when bad actors in law enforcement use their guns instead of their heads,” Johnson said.

“Despite bipartisan, nationwide calls for action, despite my bills to reform the broken grand jury process, hold police accountable, and end militarization, and despite my colleagues’ bills to encourage body cameras, this Congress does nothing. No hearings, no blue ribbon commissions, no nothing.”

One of Johnson’s bills would put federal regulations on how local grand juries hear cases in which police officers are accused of killing civilians. The Grand Jury Reform Act would compel local agencies to comply with the new process by restricting federal funding.

Johnson asked unanimous consent to enter into the congressional record a list of people killed by police since Ferguson — “so my colleagues will no longer ignore this crisis.”

Not all on the list are African-American, including Daniel Elrod, shot by Omaha police after allegedly stealing from a dollar store, and Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a Washington state man shot and killed after police said he was throwing rocks at cars.

The list leads off with Walter Scott, the South Carolina man shot in the back after fleeing a traffic stop, and includes Akai Gurley, who lived in the projects in Brooklyn and was killed by an NYPD rookie who blindly fired while patrolling a dark stairwell.