WASHINGTON, DC. — Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson has joined two other high-ranking House Democrats asking Republican leaders for hearings on law enforcement tactics and race. The request comes in the aftermath of the deaths of two unarmed black men in which police conduct has been widely criticized.
In their letter to the incoming GOP chairman of House Committees, Thompson, and Representatives Elijah Cummings of Maryland and John Conyers of Michigan wrote that the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. raise “multiple, complex issues.” The black representatives say that Congress should look at policies ranging from the grand jury process to use of force.
House Speaker John Boehner has indicated he’s willing to consider hearings about the police’s handling of the cases, which have attracted worldwide attention “I think the American people want to understand more of what the facts were,” Boehner said. “There are a lot of unanswered questions that Americans have.”
The controversial deaths of Brown and Garner have instigated “hands up don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe” protests nationwide.