Georgia Democrat Rips Congress, Forces Lawmakers to Hear the Names of Police Shooting Victims
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) brought the issue of fatal shootings by police to the House floor on Monday, reading several victims’ names aloud while accusing his colleagues of avoiding the problem, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“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,” Johnson said. “No hearings, no blue ribbon commissions, no nothing.”
He then entered the victims’ names into the record, saying he was doing it so that his fellow legislators “will no longer ignore this crisis.”
The Journal-Constitution reprinted the list of victims Johnson identified:
Walter Scott from [South] Carolina; Michael Brown from Missouri; Anthony Hill from Georgia; Tony Robinson from Wisconsin; Kevin Davis from Georgia; Nicholas Thomas, Georgia; Daniel Elrod, Nebraska; Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Washington; David Kassick of 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, of Ohio; Naeschylus Vinzant, of Colorado; Charly Leundeu Keunang, of California; and the list goes on.
The list grew by one last week in Oklahoma, when Eric Harris was shot and killed by 73-year-old insurance company executive Robert Bates. Bates was operating as part of the Tulsa Police Department’s “reserve deputy” program when he killed Harris, allegedly mistaking his gun for his Taser.
“It feels like open season on black men in America and I am outraged,” Johnson said on Monday. “In fact, all Americans are at risk when bad actors in law enforcement use their guns instead of their heads.”
Watch Johnson’s remarks, as posted by C-SPAN, below.