150 Congressional staff protest killings of unarmed African-Americans

150 Congressional staff protest killings of unarmed African-Americans
Over a hundred US congressional staffers have walked out over the grand juries’ decisions not to indict white police officers in the killings of unarmed black men.

During the demonstration, African-American members of the Congress held a prayer service on the steps of the US Capitol, and raised their hands in a ‘Don’t shoot’ gesture in solidarity with protesters across the country, Reuters reported.

The walk-out was led by Senate Chaplain Barry Black.

He described the action as a “voice for the voiceless.”

“Today as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our land, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who couldn’t speak or breathe for themselves,” he said.

“May we not forget that in our national history injustice has often been maintained because good people failed to promptly act. Lord, comfort those who mourn, who know the pain of loss, the anguish of grief and the futility of despair,” he prayed.

This latest protest follows a series of rallies across the country on Wednesday, with some turning violent.

In California’s San Francisco Bay Area, police fired tear gas and used pepper spray to crack down on crowds.

Oakland and neighboring Berkeley, California, have witnessed protests every night over the week. Looting was reported in Berkeley, with windows broken at a T-Mobile store and a Chase bank branch, city authorities said.

A Reuters photographer also saw an alleged undercover police officer, who pointed a pistol at demonstrators when he and another demonstrator were attacked. Following the incident, around 20 police officers arrived at the scene and arrested one of the protesters.