Briefing on: What Went Wrong in Ferguson

Location: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

Briefing on: What Went Wrong in Ferguson

Dear Colleague:

    Over the past two decades, tensions between police and communities of color have grown as allegations of police brutality and racial profiling by law enforcement agents have increased in number and frequency.  The tragic police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the local police department's response to the protests are just the latest examples of the challenges faced in reforming police practices.  

    By now you should have received an invitation to attend a briefing by local attorneys and community activist that gives an update on what went wrong in Ferguson.  In this briefing, we will hear about the grand jury process in Missouri and from lawyers and activists focused on justice in Ferguson, Missouri and the national movement.  Focused on civil, constitutional & human rights, they will share their experiences and help us understand the key challenges and policy changes that can address these crucial issues.

     I truly believe that we can cultivate community-focused, smart policing that rebuilds trust between residents and law enforcement by ending the practice of racial profiling and the use of excessive force.  We must reaffirm the concept that when law-abiding citizens are treated differently by those who enforce the law – simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin – they are denied the basic respect and equal treatment that is the right of every American.  I hope that you and your staff are able to attend this important briefing to learn more about the situation in Ferguson and the imperative of adopting stronger accountability measures to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the minority community.


John Conyers, Jr.
Committee on the Judiciary


Omarosa Manigault

Assistant Pastor and Founding Member of Cleargy United for Ferguson (CUFF)
Weller Street Baptist Church
Los Angeles, CA


Nicole C. Lee

International human rights attorney and immediate past president of TransAfrica and
Principal at Lee Bayard Group, LLC
Washington, DC
[ No written statement ]

Brendan Roediger

Professor of Law
Saint Louis University Law School
St. Louis, MO
[ No written statement ]

Montague Simmons

Organization for Black Struggle
St. Louis, MO
[ No written statement ]

Thenjiwe T. McHarris

Human Rights at Home Campaign Director
US Human Rights Network
New York, NY
[ No written statement ]

Marbre Stahly-Butts

Open Society Soros Justice and Center for Popular Democracy
Brookland, NY
[ No written statement ]


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