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Black Congressional Staffers Stage Walk Out Over Grand Jury Decisions
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Black Congressional Staffers Stage Walk Out Over Grand Jury Decisions

Politics

Black Congressional Staffers Stage Walk Out Over Grand Jury Decisions

Black Congressional Staffers Stage Walk Out Over Grand Jury Decisions
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A group of black Congressional staffers staged a protest and walked out of the Capitol on Thursday. They were protesting recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the Capitol today, a group of black congressional staffers led a walkout. The event was intended as a show of support for ongoing demonstrations across the country following grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island. NPR's Brakkton Booker reports.

BRAKKTON BOOKER, BYLINE: On this frigid December afternoon, scores of mostly African-American Capitol Hill staffers stood shoulder to shoulder on the Capitol steps. Barry Black, the Senate chaplain, was the only person to speak.

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CHAPLAIN BARRY BLACK: We're gathered here today so that we can be the voice for the voiceless.

BOOKER: Chaplain Black prayed for comfort for those who mourn and asked for guidance for people who don't speak out when they see injustices.

BLACK: Forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves.

BOOKER: That's a reference to I can't breathe, the phrase Eric Garner said repeatedly in his confrontation with police on Staten Island. At the end of the event, the staffers posed for a picture, where they all stood with their hands above their heads, a nod to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Brakkton Booker, NPR News, the Capital.

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