Members of Congress from around the country posted messages of sympathy for the family of Michael Brown after a grand jury cleared the Ferguson police officer who shot the teenager, but the elected officials included in their messages calls for peace and changes in the criminal justice system.
Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat who represents the Browns' congressional district, and Missouri's two senators, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt, sent messages meant to soothe their state.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.: “My thoughts are with Michael Brown’s family today, as well as those in law enforcement who continue to protect the rights of all they serve, the National Guard members we ask to step forward during difficult times in our state, and all of their family members. Michael’s death was tragic, and the months since this tragedy have marked a challenging time in Ferguson and across Missouri. Together, I know we can move forward and heal as we work to find better job opportunities in and more investment for challenged communities.”
Lawmakers around the country took to Twitter to express their frustration and urge peace.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: “However disappointed we may be in the decision by the grand jury in St. Louis County, we must hold the family of Michael Brown in our hearts...As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’"
Remember, young people of #Ferguson, your pain is not wrong. Your feelings are valid. We understand you’re hurt.— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) November 25, 2014
The tragedy in Ferguson (and the prosecutor's description of eyewitness accts) makes the strongest possible case for police body cameras.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) November 25, 2014
Injustice and violence cannot be cured by more injustice and violence. Civil protest is what moves mountains.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 25, 2014
To the officers in Ferguson: You are there to serve and protect those in the community. Be patient. Be calm. Avoid escalation. #Ferguson— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) November 25, 2014
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.: “From Ferguson to Brooklyn, the zip codes may be different but the issue of police officers shooting young, unarmed African-American men without justification is exactly the same. Throughout this country, we need a dramatic change in the manner that law enforcement authorities engage communities of color. The failure of the grand jury to indict Officer Darren Wilson is a miscarriage of justice."
Only love can overcome hate. Only nonviolence can overcome violence. #FergusonDecision— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) November 25, 2014
The legacy of Michael Brown's death can't be last night's images; it needs to be a changed system of criminal justice.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 25, 2014
I am deeply disappointed & disturbed by #FergusonDecision. We need to stand together in peaceful protest in order to move forward.— Gregory Meeks (@GregoryMeeks) November 25, 2014
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.: "Once the news trucks have left St. Louis and the city of Ferguson is calm, a family will still be without their son ... Michael Brown’s family will always mourn the senseless shooting of their child - a shooting which should never have taken place."