About a dozen City Council members walked out of a Tuesday meeting chanting “black lives matter” to protest the grand jury decision in Ferguson and the recent deaths of several black men at the hands of the NYPD.
“We stand here today as members of the New York City Council, representatives of our majority minority city to proclaim in solidarity that black lives matter,” they said in unison. “Black lives matter in Ferguson, Missouri, black lives matter in the stairwells of our NYCHA communities.”
Of the council’s 51 members, 26 are people of color — a statistic those walking out cited as one reason for their demonstration. They made reference to the deaths of Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old unarmed man shot and killed by a rookie cop in a NYCHA project earlier this week, and Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a police chokehold over the summer.
The walkout was led by Bronx councilmember Andy King. (Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito did not participate.) “So many young black men [are] being shot and killed, injured, and no one’s ever being held responsible,” King said. “We keep asking, crying for change.”