The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager last summer sends the message that "black lives hold no value."

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeNew York bans discrimination against natural hair Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts Black Democratic lawmaker on Buttigieg: 'Pete has a black problem' MORE (D-Ohio), the CBC's leader, called the decision a "miscarriage of justice" in a written statement.


"It is a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail," she added.

"This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America," Fudge said.

Fudge's comments came minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced a 12-member grand jury had concluded no probable cause exists against police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown last summer in Ferguson.

She was one of several black lawmakers to express deep disappointment in the verdict.

In a separate statement, Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeDemocrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Congress, stop ducking war-declaration authority on Iran Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party MORE (D-Calif.) said she was "beyond disappointed" in the verdict.

"The deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, one of my constituents, serve as tragic examples of the senseless murder of young African-American men," Lee said.

Lee joined several other lawmakers in urging the Ferguson community to keep their demonstrations peaceful and avoid violence like in August immediately following the shooting.

"I urge protesters to be peaceful and for the police to respect people exercising their First Amendment rights," Lee said.

A third member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), said the verdict should serve as a discussion about race in America.

"The grief and frustration of the American people is justified and understandable, especially as we struggle to address the highly polarized relationship between law enforcement and young black men," Moore said.