- The American People
Whereas August 9, 2014 Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old teenager with dreams of going to college, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson.
And whereas, the bullet riddled body of Michael Brown was left uncovered in the street in Ferguson for over 4 hours, adding dehumanization to his death.
And whereas the parents of “Mike Mike” now live with the gaping hole of heartbreaking grief that no parent should have to endure: the death of their child.
And whereas the law enforcement officials in Ferguson have sought to place Michael Brown on trial for his own murder by assassinating his character, leaking video with no context, as if to justify his death.
And whereas the law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri and St. Louis County have lost moral authority and credibility.
And whereas Ferguson and St. Louis County police have a history of arbitrary and abusive policing of Black, Brown and poor people.
And whereas the biggest threat to public safety in Ferguson is the Ferguson Police Department.
And whereas the militarization of the police, and the call for a state of emergency, sends a wrong and wicked message to a community that is already suffering from injustice and inequality.
And whereas the bedroom community of Ferguson has suffered from years of institutional injustice and structural sin reflected in failing schools, a lack of representation in the corridors of power, insufficient services, financial divestment and the proliferation of economic predators, i.e payday and car title loan stores.
And whereas the spirit of Dred Scott, who is buried 4 miles from where Michael Brown was killed, still haunts this nation, exposing the hypocrisy in American democracy as he pleads for the rights of people of ebony hue to be respected in spite of Supreme Court rulings to the contrary.
And whereas Ferguson is symptomatic of a justice system in America that is criminal and unjust, so that Michelle Alexander prophetically indicts it as the purveyor of “The New Jim Crow.”
And whereas Kametra Dotie-Barber, Oscar Grant, Robbie Tolan, Amadou Diallo, Clinton Allen, Eric Garner, Sean Bell and countless others have had their beautiful black bodies violated and victimized, terrorized and traumatized by this racist policing system.
And whereas in Chicago, Illinois Blacks are 10 times more likely to be shot by police than whites.
And whereas one study in 2012 revealed that a black male is shot and killed every 28 hours in this nation by a white police officer.
And whereas God thunders in Isaiah that we are to “loose the chains of injustice...”
And whereas Jesus announced that He was anointed to set the captives free and set at liberty those who are bruised.
And whereas the Drum major for justice Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and then declared that “peace is not the absence of tension but the presence of justice.”
And whereas Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri have been trained to non-violently demonstrate while calling for justice recognizing the wisdom of Frederick Douglass that "power concedes nothing without demand.”
And whereas eight young people from Chicago, Illinois, under the banner, We Charge Genocide, went to Geneva, Switzerland addressing the UN Committee Against Torture to raise awareness and speak out against police abuse in America.
Therefore be it resolved that we stand in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson and the young people from Chicago "We Charge Genocide" and raise our voices in prophetic protest against injustice and Governor Nixon's “state of emergency.”
Be it further resolved that we call on Governor Nixon to call on police to not be violent against the peaceful protestors, to not use tear gas and to protect the protestors and their right to peaceful assembly and non-violent civil disobedience.
Be it resolved that Black people have been in a “state of emergency” when it comes to injustice, arbitrary and abusive policing systems, economic disparities and poverty, failing school systems and the vicious assault on our voting rights.
Be it further resolved that we are calling for structural change in police training, transparency and trust, so that every police department in America goes through racial sensitivity training and that the police become a part of the community as opposed to licensed terrorists of communities of color.
Be it further resolved that if there is no indictment that the Justice Department file civil rights charges against officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department.
Be it further resolved that we demand that police departments be de-militarized.
Be it further resolved that people of conscience and good will across this nation should rise up in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson and engage in peacefully disrupting the status quo until “justice rolls down like waters...”
Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, III, President
Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary
- The American People
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