Congress Might Hold Hearings On Eric Garner's Death

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) believes the public deserves more information about the police-involved deaths in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York.

He addressed both incidents during an unrelated press conference Thursday morning.

“Clearly both of these are serious tragedies that we’ve seen in our society. And I think the American people want to understand more of what the facts were. There are a lot of unanswered questions that Americans have, and frankly, I have,” Boehner said.

Boehner was speaking the day after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the white NYPD police officer who was filmed placing Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in an apparent chokehold minutes before his death. The decision launched a wave of protests Manhattan on Wednesday night with demonstrators accusing the police of widespread bias against people of colour.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), a leader int he House GOP conference, said during a Thursday morning interview that her chamber should “absolutely” hold hearings investigating the incident. Boehner said he was considering his various options and also pointed to the ongoing federal investigation.

“Whether it’s the Department of Justice or my colleague Cathy McMorris-Rogers earlier today [suggesting] that there may need to be hearings, I’m not going to rule that in or out. But I do think that the American people deserve more answers about what really happened here and was our system of justice handled properly,” Boehner said.

In addition to the Garner death, protests also roiled Ferguson, Missouri last week after a grand jury declined to indict the white officer who killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

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