WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson took to the House floor today to give his thoughts on last week's case in North Charleston, S.C., in which a white police officer was charged with the murder of a fleeing black man.
The Lithonia Democrat has used the Ferguson protests to gain support for new restrictions on military surplus going to police departments, among other efforts to position himself as a legislative arm of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Here are Johnson's full remarks:
"It feels like open season on black men in America and I am outraged.
"In fact, all Americans are at risk when bad actors in law enforcement use their guns instead of their heads.
"Despite bipartisan, nationwide calls for action; and despite my bills to reform the broken grand jury process, hold police accountable, and end militarization; and despite my colleagues’ bills to encourage body cameras, this Congress does nothing.
"No hearings, no blue ribbon commissions, no nothing.
"I would like unanimous consent to enter this list of people killed by police into the record, so my colleagues will no longer ignore this crisis.
"Mr. Speaker, here are just a few names of our colleagues and neighbors and relatives:
"Walter Scott from [South] Carolina; Michael Brown from Missouri; Anthony Hill from Georgia; Tony Robinson from Wisconsin; Kevin Davis – Georgia; Nicholas Thomas - Georgia; Daniel Elrod – Nebraska; Antonio Zambrano-Montes – Washington; David Kassick – Pennsylvania; Jessica Hernandez – Colorado; Kevin Davis – Georgia; Dennis Grigsby – Texas; Rumain Brisbon – Phoenix; Tamir Rice – Ohio; Akai Gurley – New York; Carlos Perez – Nevada; Kajieme Powell – Missouri; Ezell Ford – California; Dillon Taylor – Utah; John Crawford III - Ohio; Naeschylus Vinzant, of Colorado; Charly Leundeu Keunang, of California; and the list goes on."
Meanwhile, the latest from Oklahoma, via the Associated Press:
TULSA, Okla. — Prosecutors charged a reserve sheriff's deputy with manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who was fatally shot as he lay on the ground at the officer's feet.
Tulsa County prosecutors filed a second-degree manslaughter charge against 73-year-old Robert Bates.
A police investigator has said Bates, who is white, thought he drew a stun gun, not his handgun, when he fired at 44-year-old Eric Harris, who was black, in the April 2 incident.
Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter "involving culpable negligence," Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement.
Oklahoma law defines culpable negligence as "the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions," Kunzweiler said.
A video of the incident shot by deputies with sunglass cameras and released Friday at the request of the victim's family, shows a deputy chase and tackle Harris, whom they said tried to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer.
As the deputy subdues Harris on the ground, a gunshot rings out and a man says: "Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry."
Harris was treated by medics at the scene and died in a Tulsa hospital.
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