September 22, 2016

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks Out: “Black Lives Matter”

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee addressed the U.S. House of Representatives to demand action on the epidemic of police shootings of unarmed African Americans.

“Since Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson two years ago, 2,195 people have been killed by police in our nation. As a mother of two black men and the grandmother of five black grandchildren, I worry that someone I love could become number 2,196,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Each time we lose a precious life to fear, distrust and prejudice, the list of things that will get you killed as a black person in America gets a little longer.”

Congresswoman Lee also recognized the important work and dedication of most law enforcement officers.

“Police officers have a difficult job and violence against police officers is unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Lee. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers are committed to serving their communities and many do incredible work despite sometimes life-threatening conditions. I commend all those speaking out and working against the injustices of some.”

In this video, Congresswoman Lee illustrates the number of items that could get you killed as an black person in America.

She challenged her colleagues to action with the harsh reality that many African Americans live every day: “In 2016, when you’re black, too often you’re seen as a threat first and a person second.”

This afternoon, Congresswoman Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus went to the Department of Justice to ask the Attorney General to bring about prosecutions for targeting and profiling of African Americans.

“Our message to the Attorney General was simple: ‘help us stop the killings.’ Being black in America shouldn’t be a death sentence,” added Congresswoman Lee.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.