With their hands raised in a gesture of surrender, Congressional staff members staged a walkout Thursday in protest of the recent killings of unarmed black men by police officers, which have sparked a rash of protests nationwide.
The staffers were protesting the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in the Staten Island borough of New York.
Spontaneous and planned protests have been going on in major metropolises ever since the grand juries exonerated both white police officers who killed both unarmed black men. The protestors have been supported and emboldened by the stance taken by high-profile athletes of the major sports in relations to the recent police killings. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose in the NBA have worn “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts and members of the St. Louis Rams caught flack for raising their hands up prior to a recent NFL game.
The timing of the walkout is very conspicuous Congress works to pass a $1.1 trillion spending measure that would help the nation avoid another government shutdown.
Mostly African-American congressional staffers walked out together and stood on the steps of the Capitol and made the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that symbolizes the opposition to rampant police brutality.
The walkout was organized by members of several groups dedicated to organizing congressional staff who are members of minority communities, CNN reported.