Joining the St. Louis Rams in their Sunday protest to stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., members of Congress took to the House floor to broadcast their “Hands Up!” gesture and speak out against police violence.
The four individuals, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, raised their hands, palms out, to show the world the sign of surrender that has become synonymous with Michael Brown Jr.’s death. Brown was said to have his hands in the air when he was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson.
A grand jury failed to indict Wilson last week, causing the nation to erupt in protests calling for an end to police brutality.
From the NY Daily News:
Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Al Green (D-Tex.), referred to the gesture that has come to symbolize the outrage over the death of Brown, the African American teen shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson in August..
“‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ is a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence in … communities all across America,” Jeffries said.
Two of the members of Congress, Reps. Lee and Green, also offered their praise for the five St. Louis Rams who gave the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” signal on the field during a game Sunday night.
“I saw this clip where the Rams players came into the arena: ‘Hands up; don’t shoot’ … this has become the new symbol, a new statement,” Green said.
Green continued, showing his support for the players who used Sunday’s pre-game introductions to silently protest a system that allows police to kill and harm black men, women, and children.
“I want to make sure that those who participated on the Rams team, that their names are chronicled in history… I want Kenny Britt to be recognized, Tavon Austin to be recognized, Stedman Bailey to be recognized, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Tre Mason.”
After the Rams’ protest, St. Louis police demanded an apology from the team for what they deem an “inflammatory” action. The team’s owner and coach, however, refused to concede, adding that the players involved would not be disciplined for their action.
Police have not yet demanded an apology from the participating members of Congress, but at least one political pundit is outraged at the demonstration.
“It’s a lie,” Joe Scarborough said Tuesday on “Morning Joe,” in reference to witness statements that Michael Brown didn’t have his hands up in the air when he was shot dead.
“What is wrong with this country? What is wrong with these people? What’s wrong with these elected officials, they know it’s a lie. They know the cops didn’t shoot him with his hands in the air. They know it’s a lie and they’re doing this on that Capitol floor?”
“Unbelievable … boy that would really be moving if that were the truth,” he added.
Watch a portion of the protest below:
SOURCE: NY Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: C-SPAN/Screenshot | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.