Ferguson lawmaker: Judicial system ‘does not value black lives’
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Rep. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayThe FCC must act to promote minority-owned broadcasting Cori Bush hits her stride by drawing on activist past Lobbying world MORE (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson, Mo., said Wednesday that the criminal justice system "does not value black lives" after a New York City grand jury declined to indict a white police office in the death by choke-hold of an African-American man, Eric Garner.


"It is apparent, if you go back through our history, that the grand juries of the criminal justice system do not value black lives," Clay told The Hill just off the House floor.

Clay called the New York decision "very disappointing" and said the justice system is completely broken.

A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday decided not to indict New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Garner. Garner died after the officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest.

The incident was captured on video and sparked debate over race and policing.

The New York decision also comes nine days after a grand jury decided not to indict white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed at the time. 

The Garner decision is likely to spark another round of protests, following demonstrations across the country over Ferguson.

"Michael Brown happened to be black. Trayvon Martin happened to be black. Eric Garner was a black man," he continued. "So this pattern continues over and over." 

— Scott Wong contributed to this report.