CBC Members React to Grand Jury Decision in Eric Garner Case

Black lawmakers are hurt and angry.

A Miscarriage of Justice - It is a sad commentary on the state of race relations in America that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were in large part not surprised that a New York City grand jury declined to indict the police officers involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The decision is "a miscarriage of justice, it's an outrage, it's a disgrace, it is a blow to our democracy, and it should shock the conscience of every single American who cares about justice and fair play," said New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, echoing sentiments shared by other lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  ?Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick)   (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images) ?

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A Miscarriage of Justice - It is a sad commentary on the state of race relations in America that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were in large part not surprised that a New York City grand jury declined to indict the police officers involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The decision is "a miscarriage of justice, it's an outrage, it's a disgrace, it is a blow to our democracy, and it should shock the conscience of every single American who cares about justice and fair play," said New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, echoing sentiments shared by other lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  —Joyce Jones (@BETpolitichick) (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images) –

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) - "It's extremely alarming to me. Unlike Ferguson, in this situation everybody in the world had a chance to see what happened. How do you lose your life over selling loose cigarettes? I know for a fact that this is going to cause people to continue to take these incidents and take them from a moment to a movement that's going to last for a very long time. It is very important that the Congressional Black Caucus be a significant part of that movement. We cannot allow our sons, young people, fathers, brothers to be slain like this and we don't have the right to remain silent."    (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) - "It's extremely alarming to me. Unlike Ferguson, in this situation everybody in the world had a chance to see what happened. How do you lose your life over selling loose cigarettes? I know for a fact that this is going to cause people to continue to take these incidents and take them from a moment to a movement that's going to last for a very long time. It is very important that the Congressional Black Caucus be a significant part of that movement. We cannot allow our sons, young people, fathers, brothers to be slain like this and we don't have the right to remain silent."  (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) - "Many police departments around the country have banned chokeholds. This officer should have known better and should be held accountable. Our laws are nothing but words on a piece of paper if law enforcement officers can ignore them and kill people with impunity. We are a nation of laws, and law enforcement officers take an oath to take a higher standard. At a minimum, laws need to be applied equally to both law enforcement officers and civilians alike."   (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

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Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) - "Many police departments around the country have banned chokeholds. This officer should have known better and should be held accountable. Our laws are nothing but words on a piece of paper if law enforcement officers can ignore them and kill people with impunity. We are a nation of laws, and law enforcement officers take an oath to take a higher standard. At a minimum, laws need to be applied equally to both law enforcement officers and civilians alike." (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) - "It?s important that the district attorney has an obligation to bring the facts to New Yorkers and the American people to see how they could have possibly stretched the imagination to reach that decision. And more important, to find out what side was the district attorney on. Was he seeking truth and justice in terms of the homicide, or was he there to protect [the police officers]?"   (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) - "It’s important that the district attorney has an obligation to bring the facts to New Yorkers and the American people to see how they could have possibly stretched the imagination to reach that decision. And more important, to find out what side was the district attorney on. Was he seeking truth and justice in terms of the homicide, or was he there to protect [the police officers]?" (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) - "It kind of brings into question whether body cameras will make any difference. The whole incident was on camera but if prosecutors mishandled the presentation of the charges to the grand jury, you come up with no indictment. Given what's happened in Ferguson and the tenor of where I see a lot of people in this country, I'm not surprised [by the decision]."   (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) - "It kind of brings into question whether body cameras will make any difference. The whole incident was on camera but if prosecutors mishandled the presentation of the charges to the grand jury, you come up with no indictment. Given what's happened in Ferguson and the tenor of where I see a lot of people in this country, I'm not surprised [by the decision]." (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) - "Once again, our broken criminal justice system has failed to hold a police officer accountable for the unjustified killing of an unarmed African-American man. The failure to indict is a stunning miscarriage of justice, and makes clear that equal protection under the law does not exist for all Americans. The Department of Justice must immediately commence a criminal civil rights investigation."    (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) - "Once again, our broken criminal justice system has failed to hold a police officer accountable for the unjustified killing of an unarmed African-American man. The failure to indict is a stunning miscarriage of justice, and makes clear that equal protection under the law does not exist for all Americans. The Department of Justice must immediately commence a criminal civil rights investigation."  (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York) - "It makes me wonder, what good is what most of us have been talking about a lot... body cameras? In effect, we had a body camera here ? we've seen it all."  (Photo: Irving Silverstein/Staten Island Advance/Landov)

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Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York) - "It makes me wonder, what good is what most of us have been talking about a lot... body cameras? In effect, we had a body camera here — we've seen it all." (Photo: Irving Silverstein/Staten Island Advance/Landov)

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri)  - "I am very disappointed that even with video and audio evidence, a grand jury in New York could not bring themselves to indict a group of police officers for what is obviously to the human eye a crime. You have killed someone. You have taken a life. So that infers to me that the grand jury apparently did not value that young's man life and that's a tragedy."    (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt/LANDOV)

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Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri)  - "I am very disappointed that even with video and audio evidence, a grand jury in New York could not bring themselves to indict a group of police officers for what is obviously to the human eye a crime. You have killed someone. You have taken a life. So that infers to me that the grand jury apparently did not value that young's man life and that's a tragedy."  (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt/LANDOV)

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Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) - "In the span of two weeks, this nation seems to have heard one message loud and clear: there will be no accountability for taking Black lives. As an American, it is growing increasingly difficult to believe that there is justice for all....This is yet another sad day for our county and our democracy." (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alcee Hastings - "I think it's extremely hard to believe the officers weren't indicted. I'm almost speechless and that's hard for me to be.? It just shows that there's a Ferguson around every corner, doesn't it? There needs to be more than just dialogue. I applaud the president's efforts, but communities are going to have to take some steps. There needs to be almost a universal oversight of police departments rather than this continuously covering up when they shoot people. It's just wrong. This sets a very bad tone."   (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Rep. Alcee Hastings - "I think it's extremely hard to believe the officers weren't indicted. I'm almost speechless and that's hard for me to be.… It just shows that there's a Ferguson around every corner, doesn't it? There needs to be more than just dialogue. I applaud the president's efforts, but communities are going to have to take some steps. There needs to be almost a universal oversight of police departments rather than this continuously covering up when they shoot people. It's just wrong. This sets a very bad tone." (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) - "I'm too emotionally drained and spiritually depleted," a stunned Cleaver, who is still reeling from the Ferguson grand jury decision, told BET.com. "I've got to go get myself reorganized."    (Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) - "I'm too emotionally drained and spiritually depleted," a stunned Cleaver, who is still reeling from the Ferguson grand jury decision, told BET.com. "I've got to go get myself reorganized."  (Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images)