Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday criticized grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo.
“They tell us, at least, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. Well clearly a black man’s life is not worth a ham sandwich when you put these stories together. And that is the frustration,” Steele said on MSNBC.
Earlier in the day, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a New York police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner over the summer. Video captured by a bystander showed police holding down Garner, with one officer putting his arm around the asthmatic man’s neck.
“While the death of Eric Garner was tragic, all New Yorkers should respect the decision of the Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said.