Cummings Issues Statement on Staff Walk Out in Wake of Garner, Brown, and Other Deaths
Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement regarding a protest by Congressional staff in the aftermath of the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY:
“Democrats and Republicans across the country are incredibly frustrated by what happened in Ferguson, Staten Island, and elsewhere, and this protest reflects the mistrust they have in the integrity of the criminal justice system. These congressional staffers put in incredibly long hours, nights, and weekends working to pass legislation to help people live better lives, so I fully support them taking a few moments today to pray with the Senate chaplain for Congress to take action to ensure that all Americans are treated equally before the law.”
On Tuesday, Cummings, along with Reps. John Conyers Jr. and Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Members of the House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security, requested a series of in-depth hearings to examine issues raised by the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others, as well as incidents that followed these killings. The Members suggested hearings on the use of force by police departments; police department hiring, training, and outreach practices; the effects of providing military equipment to local law enforcement authorities; the grand jury process and the potential role of outside prosecutors; and proposals to help rebuild communities by fostering dialogue and trust between law enforcement and those they serve.