Justice

Video: A Texas Congressman Just Ripped Apart MSNBC's Joe Scarborough For His Ferguson Comments

Al Green is a five-term U.S. Congressman from Texas who earlier this week took to the House floor to throw his hands up in peaceful protest, in the same "don't shoot" gesture that has become a rallying anthem in the Ferguson movement. He was joined by a few other lawmakers who wanted to exhibit their solidarity with nationwide protesters fed up with excessive police brutality, racial profiling, and militarization. 

In response, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough sharply criticized him, saying:  "What is wrong with this country? What is wrong with these people? What’s wrong with these elected officials?”  They know it’s a lie. They know the cops didn’t shoot him with his hands in the air. They know it’s a lie and they’re doing this on the Capitol floor?” 

The previous day on his show Morning Joe, Scarborough also stated "“There are so many great people to embrace as heroes in the black community that deciding you’re going to embrace a guy that knocked over a convenience store, and then according to grand-jury testimony, acted in ways that would get my children shot … that’s your hero?" 

Rep. Green just responded and did not mince words. Here is the video:

"What happened in Ferguson is an injustice!" Green stated passionately. "I refuse to accept injustice... I will continue to hold my hands up. I will continue to support those who engage in peaceful protest. Because holding one hands up is an indication that you don't have anything that will be harmful. An indication that you are willing to move freely and give an opinion about something that you believe to be important." 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Justice Statistics, black drivers are twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested during a traffic stop. A 2005 study from Florida State University also found that white police officers "were statistically more likely to let armed white suspects slip while shooting unarmed black suspects."

There is also federal legislation to help curb racist policing practices. The End Racial Profiling Act, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (MI) and Senator Ben Cardin (MD), would train federal law enforcement officials on racial profiling issues, collect data on all investigative activities of the Department of Justice, and require the attorney general to make periodic reports assessing the nature of discriminatory policing in America.

As Congressman Conyers said upon introducing his legislation, “decades ago, in the face of shocking violence, the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation made it clear that race should not affect the treatment of an individual American under the law. I believe that thousands of pedestrian and traffic stops of innocent minorities and the killing of innocent teen calls for a similar federal response. The practice of using race as a criterion in law enforcement undermines the progress we have made toward racial equality."

To learn more about the legislation, click here.