Norton Says Despite Grand Jury Decision in Michael Brown Shooting, Two Great National Issues Emerge from the Shadows

Nov 25, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today sent her condolences to the family and friends of Michael Brown and called for peaceful protest in the town of Ferguson, Missouri and nationwide.

“The grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson guarantees that the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Brown will always be controversial.  Perhaps understanding this, the District Attorney, in an unusual action, has promised to release testimony from the grand jury.  The inspection of the grand jury proceedings, the ongoing Justice Department investigation to determine if there has been racial profiling and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department, and the Justice Department investigation of possible civil rights violations, as well as potential civil litigation, may still provide some closure and justice in the case of Michael Brown. 

“Whatever the testimony shows about the police shooting of Michael Brown, his parents need not be concerned that he has died in vain, a fear expressed by his father in calling for peaceful protest first.  First, this tragedy has drawn out of the shadows a nationwide outpouring of grievances that have been simmering below the surface in communities of color, but had found no outlet until the shooting of Michael Brown.  That reality is that provocative stops and detentions of people of color on the streets of our country, particularly African American men, have become the norm throughout the United States. 

“This tragedy also exposed the militarization of police, even in small communities like Ferguson.  Equipping police for war in the streets is itself a provocation.  Police armed for war are a waste of resources and can lead to a waste of lives. 

“Michael Brown did not die in vain if these two issues seething below the surface have found their way into the national conscious where they can finally find resolution.”