Here's What Happened When 100 Black Staffers, Lawmakers Staged Capitol Hill Walk-Out

PHOTO: Congressional staff members gather on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 11, 2014, to raise awareness of the recent killings of black men by police officers, both of which did not result in grand jury indictments.PlayJ. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
WATCH Black Staffers Walk Out on Congress to Protest Garner and Brown Grand Jury Decisions

Over a hundred black congressional staffers and several black lawmakers staged a walkout at the Capitol this afternoon, leading a silent protest on the steps of the Capitol over the recent police killing involving Ferguson and Eric Garner.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Marc Veasey, D-Texas, were among the lawmakers participating in the walkout. Senate Chaplain Barry Black led the group in prayer, saying they were working as a “voice for the voiceless.”

“Today as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our lands, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves,” Black said. “May we not forget that in our national history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act. Forgive oh God, our culpability in contributing to our national pathology as you keep us aware of our own capacity to be instruments of injustice.”

PHOTO: Black congressional staffers hold their hands up during a walkout to protest the recent Mike Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions on Dec. 11, 2014 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Black congressional staffers hold their hands up during a walkout to protest the recent Mike Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions on Dec. 11, 2014 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

After the prayer, the group stood on the steps of the Capitol, raising their hands in a gesture that has become symbolic of the Ferguson refrain –- hands up, don’t shoot.