By: Deegan Mundy
After my last column discussing Eric Garner, tensions over police brutality and force are still high around the country.
In recent months, the focus has been on Ferguson, Missouri after the death of Michael Brown and moved to Staten Island, New York prior to the choice by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict Justin Damico, the officer that put Garner in a chokehold that killed him.
However last month, scenery changed, and the focus shifted to Capitol Hill where more than 150 Capitol Hill staff members staged a walk out as protest to the deaths of both Brown and Garner.
Unlike the overwhelming past few months, these protest were silent and peaceful, just as we would hope to expect from our nation’s leaders. The protest took place on the House of Representative steps and staff members held their hands in the air in a “don’t shoot” position.
Most of the protesters were African American, and felt the need to give voice to those were voiceless. After deciding between a “die-in,” a rally with posters, or a walk out, staff members chose a walk out in order to be inclusive because it seemed like the least combative option.
Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black first led the protestors in prayer, while also referencing the violent chokehold that finally killed Garner immediately after he said, “I can’t breathe.”
“Forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who could not speak or breathe themselves,” Black said, in prayer.