Marc Morial: Michael Brown, Eric Garner protesters want accountability

The thousands of protesters who continue to march around the country to call attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police are looking for "accountability," National Urban League President Marc Morial said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"This outpouring that you see which is really an American movement of all backgrounds, races, colors and religions was sparked because we've had this seemingly unprecedented number of high-profile incidents where unarmed black men have been killed by the police and there seems to not be any accountability for those actions and the protests are really directed at the lack of accountability," Morial said. "We're going to have to focus on what is needed to create a better system of accountability since it appears that state grand juries are not inclined, even when in the Eric Garner case when it was obvious to the world, to take action."

Morial said that the changes to reform both policing and police accountability need to be made by not only Washington, but also in Congress, at the Justice Department, and by local mayors, police chiefs and communities. He said the changes that his group is seeking are "a shift away from what I would call a broken windows or a stop-and-frisk approach to policing to more of a community policing model which focuses on violent crime but also which builds relationships between police and the communities that they serve."

The Justice Department is investigating the deaths of both Garner, the Staten Island father who died in July after an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold, and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, who was shot by a white police officer. Morial said there would be "a great degree of disappointment" if those investigations find no wrongdoing, but said it was premature to judge what might happen.

"In many cases when the Justice Department does step in after the fact you can achieve justice, so I have great faith that the attorney general, those local united state attorneys are going to be completely thorough in their investigations and that's really what we want," he said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.