A House Armed Services Committee panel will take up the issue of racial injustice within the military this week as committee leaders continue to push for top Pentagon leaders to testify on the Defense Department’s response to ongoing nationwide racial demonstrations.
On Tuesday, the committee’s panel on military personnel will host a hearing with top legal officials from each of the services as well as outside advocates on racial disparities within the military justice system.
Unlike most House hearings currently forced online by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the hearing will be held in person on Capitol Hill.
Committee officials are still waiting to hear whether Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley will testify in coming days on the use of military forces by the White House to respond in recent weeks to protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who prosecutors say was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer during an arrest last month. Four officers have been charged in connection with the death.
Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., had said he would push Esper and Milley to appear before lawmakers earlier this month, but so far the Defense Department leaders have declined.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.