Politics

Congress Calls To Investigate Eric Garner's Death

| by Edward Arnold

The news of Eric Garner's death has already made an impact on Capitol Hill as several Congress members have called for Congress to conduct hearings to investigate the incident. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said this morning on MSMBC's 'Morning Joe,' the House should “absolutely” hold hearings investigating Garner's death.

"I would call for the House to have those hearings so that we can better understand. But we need to take action, appropriate action, making sure our local law enforcement have the training, that they're using appropriate force, which—I think we all recognize these are tragedies and it has raised a lot of questions."

Speaker of the House John Boehner responded to Rep. Rodgers' call for hearings.

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"I do think that the American people deserve more answers about what really happened here and was our system of justice handled properly," Boehner said Thursday during a press conference.

Black leaders in Congress fiercely responded to the decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the decision was "yet another sad day for our country and our democracy."

"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," she said in a statement. "Black lives do matter and our lives do hold value."

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, also part of the Congressional Black Caucus, called for reform.

"We need to look at broader reform and whether these type of cases should be handled by independent, special prosecutors so that we can have some measure of fairness and a real full and fair investigation," Jeffries said on CNN's New Day. Jeffries called the altercation a "living breathing example of probable cause to indict." 

Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island in Congress, called the grand jury decision "fair and reasoned" in a statement Wednesday and thanked the District Attorney in the incident for handling the grand jury case "with the utmost integrity." 

If Congress does investigate this incident, momentum could begin to create justice reform. However, with most of Congress preoccupied with tax and budget bills, along with trying to respond to the President's immigration reform, it seems it will be a while before the Capitol Hill agenda to turn toward reforming our justice system. 

Source: CNN / Photo Credit: Latin Post