In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner, religious leaders are speaking out about racism, violence, and communities coming together:
“The message that we want to get out to the community is that we don’t want the general public to react in a way that causes righteous indignation to be reduced to senseless violence. Violence won’t do anything to bring Eric back nor will it aid the family’s quest for justice . . .
The grand jury was within their purview to come up with the decision they thought was proper and they’ve done that. It’s very important for people to understand that the family still has options.”
–Bishop Victor A. Brown, Senior Pastor of Mt. Sinai United Christian Church in Staten Island
The impunity with which police officers can kill some of the most vulnerable members of our society is terrifying. Today we are reminded of the brutal force we are up against. The collusion of police and capitalist structures have prevented meaningful criminal justice reform from happening. Now is the time to build a sturdy and empowering infrastructure for a social movement representing people of all faiths, nationalities, and ethnicities. The degradation and demeaning of black life must stop. What the hell kind of country do we live in?
— Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
For more please visit the Huffington Post religion page here.