Here's What Happened When Lawmakers, Staffers Staged Capitol Hill Walk-Out

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Over a hundred black congressional staffers and several black lawmakers staged a walkout at the Capitol this afternoon, leading a silent protest on the steps of the Capitol over the recent police killing involving Ferguson and Eric Garner.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Marc Veasey, D-Texas, were among the lawmakers participating in the walkout. Senate Chaplain Barry Black led the group in prayer, saying they were working as a "voice for the voiceless."

"Today as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our lands, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves," Black said. "May we not forget that in our national history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act. Forgive oh God, our culpability in contributing to our national pathology as you keep us aware of our own capacity to be instruments of injustice."

After the prayer, the group stood on the steps of the Capitol, raising their hands in a gesture that has become symbolic of the Ferguson refrain -- hands up, don't shoot.

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