Black Caucus members invoke MLK at Ferguson church service

Children sing during a church service at Wellspring Church Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Ferguson, Mo. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus spoke during the service about Martin Luther King Jr,. a day before a federal holiday honoring the civil rights leader, as well as their desire to reform police procedures after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and other fatal police shootings nationwide. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Leading black members of Congress are vowing to lead a legislative fight for criminal justice reform after recent fatal police shootings around the U.S.

Eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay at Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson on Sunday. They invoked the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Clay, a St. Louis Democrat, sharply criticized St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s handling of the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, said the group planned to use their strength in numbers in Washington. He also called the protests that arose after Ferguson and other shootings “a turning point in race relations.”

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