Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus are suggesting that President Barack Obama invite the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to his State of the Union address in January.
According to The Hill, Lewis and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) “suggested the invitations to the family members should come from Obama, himself.”
“I think that would be appropriate and fitting,” Lewis reportedly said. “It would help educate and sensitize other members and humanize some of the issues that we’re going to confront.”
Other lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus–like Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)–said that “those families are symbols of an issue that needs to be urgently addressed in America.” If Obama does not invite the families, the lawmakers suggested they may use their guest tickets to invite them, but they “emphasized that no such invitations have been extended yet for the president’s speech.”
Obama is expected to address the Brown and Garner deaths and push for more criminal justice reform during his address. Democrats and the mainstream media are using the incidents to speak about racial injustice in America and the criminal justice system.
After a Ferguson grand jury found that there was not enough evidence to indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the city erupted in violence and riots. There were intense protests in New York and across the nation after a grand jury did not indict the officer who put Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold, after which Garner died.