On Monday night, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus took to House floor Monday to discuss the grand jury’s decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, in an hour-long discussion led by New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Many Congressional Black Caucus members joined in the discussion and spoke out critically against the grand jury’s decision not to indict former Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson in the case.
Caucus members stressed the need for answers and action to address the events in Ferguson. “The Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict former officer Darren Wilson was yet another slap in our face,” said Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio. “It was another painful reminder that just like with Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice, and so many others, that law enforcement officers kill our black and brown boys without repercussions.”
But perhaps the most talked-about moment of the session on social media was when Jeffries kicked off the discussion by raising his hands in the air, similar to protesters in Ferguson. “ ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’: it’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence in community after community after community … in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in Cleveland, in Oakland,” Jeffries said.
Jeffries tweeted an image of himself with his hands in the air, along with the hashtag #HandsUpDontShoot, and the image quickly spread on Twitter, garnering over 900+ retweets as of Monday evening.
“Hands up, don’t shoot” has become a rallying cry for protesters in Ferguson and around the nation since Brown’s death in August. Protesters around the U.S. have used the gesture as a symbol of solidarity with protesters in Ferguson. On Sunday, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams also recreated the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture as they came out on the field during their game.