Lawmakers Go 'Hands Up' on House Floor

Time for Congress to address the problem: Hakeem Jeffries
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2014 9:46 AM CST
Lawmakers Raise Arms for Ferguson on House Floor
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On the floor of the House of Representatives last night, lawmakers raised their arms in a gesture of support for Ferguson protesters, Politico reports. "Hands up, don’t shoot. It’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence … in community, after community, after community," said New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, condemning repeated instances of "young, unarmed African-American men killed as a result of a gunshot fired by a law enforcement officer."

The Congressional Black Caucus, he said, "stands here today to make sure that Congress runs toward the problem," not away from it. Democrats including Charlie Rangel, Yvette Clarke, Al Green, and Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as caucus chair Marcia Fudge, also took to the floor. The group spoke for an hour, the National Journal reports."We want a fair, impartial, and color-blind criminal justice system," Jeffries added. "But if we're honest with ourselves, that doesn't exist for all Americans today. And that undermines the integrity of our democracy." Green also applauded St. Louis Rams players for their own moment of protest. (More Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

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