100 Congressional Staffers Staged a Walkout to Protest Grand Jury Decisions

In a step in the right direction, more than 100 congressional staffers walked out of their Capitol Hill jobs yesterday afternoon to conduct a silent protest on the steps of the Capitol, reports NBC News.

Senate chaplain Barry Black led the group in prayer, and the demonstrators stood with their hands up, in reference to the Ferguson battle cry, “hands up, don’t shoot.” The Congressional Black Associates, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association organized the walkout.

“Democrats and Republicans across the country are incredibly frustrated by what happened in Ferguson, Staten Island, and everywhere,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) in a statement. “This protest reflects the mistrust they have in the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

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The walkout comes in solidarity with the demonstrations that have swept the nation following the Ferguson and New York City grand juries’ non-indictments.

“Even though we go to work in these prestigious buildings among prestigious people, we go home, and we’re still profiled, we still are part of those statistics,” one staffer who declined to give his name told The Huffington Post. “It could have been any one of us who was Eric Garner, who was Mike Brown.”