A Call for Congressional Inquiry Into Police Practices, Racial Profiling

December 6, 2014 Updated: September 16, 2015

INGLEWOOD, Calif.—House rep. Judy Chu (D-Cal.) said she would call for Congressional hearings on racial profiling and police practices during the next session of Congress after criminal charges were dropped against two police officers who killed two unarmed black males.

“Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been promising a revision, a strong revision of the racial profiling guidelines for federal departments for a long time, but we need to make sure that that comes,” said Chu, who is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “We also want to push for a hearing on the Eric Garner case. That’s certainly something that should be the subject of a congressional inquiry.”

Black New York resident, Eric Garner, 43, died after being put in a chokehold, a banned police maneuver, by a police officer in Staten Island on July 17. 

On Wednesday, a grand jury in New York announced white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, would not be held accountable for any crime regarding Garner’s death, which sparked a wave of anti-racism protests around the country.

Chu said she was stunned after hearing Pantaleo would not be indicted. 

“It just seemed to me that there had to be other ways of handling him and making sure that he was in custody, but that he could live,” she said.

On Wednesday, Attorney General, Eric Holder, promised to open an investigation into Garner’s death. This follows another investigation into a police unit in Ferguson, Missouri, where white police officer Darren Wilson shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Wilson was similarly not indicted.

On Thursday, Republican Conference Chairwoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), also called for congressional hearings into both cases. House Speaker John Boehner said he was not going to rule it out.

“I do think the American people deserve more answers about what really happened here and was our system of justice handled properly,” he said at a press briefing.

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