By PICO National Network
In response the grand jury decision this week against charging white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting death of 18-year-old African-American youth Michael Brown, faith leaders with the PICO National Network, released this statement.
“(The) decision is deeply disappointing, but it comes as no surprise. It is another unconscionable blow to the St. Louis community and communities of color across America who have suffered through painful patterns of police abuses, discrimination and aggressive policing tactics at the expense of human life.
“Our children, our brothers and sisters, our loved ones have died at the hands of unrepentant law enforcement right in front of our eyes and enough is enough.
“Not indicting Officer Darren Wilson highlights a clear pattern of injustice and sends this community a message: the Ferguson Police Department and St. Louis County officials do not value Black lives.
“Michael Brown’s body was riddled with bullets and left lying in the street for more than four hours. The police response to a grieving and traumatized community was shocking and shameful: tear-gassing peaceful protesters, selective arrests, violations of the constitutional right to free speech and assembly, pointing military-grade weapons at unarmed young people, running police cars over Brown’s memorial, using dogs to intimidate community members, even urinating on the site of the shooting. In America, this should be a disgrace and does not look like the will of God.
“The unwillingness to hold a public trial of Darren Wilson is rightfully seen as a moral failure and a reflection of a biased judicial system that dehumanizes and devalues the lives of Black youth.
“St. Louis County Prosecutor McCulloch took a standard process designed to protect the public by determining whether there was probable cause in a murder case, and turned it into a charade to protect Darren Wilson from public accountability.
“In the face of this denial of justice, we say, Black lives do matter and as people of faith who stand on God’s word to love each other, we will not stand for the dehumanization of any of God’s children.”
“We are here to support peaceful protesters against another round of heavy-handed police violence. We are here to urge Governor Nixon, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to use all their powers to de-escalate the militarized police response to non-violent demonstrations.
“We are here to call on the Department of Justice to charge Officer Wilson for violating Michael Brown’s civil rights.
“As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to demand justice for the Mike Browns in this world and to stand firm for human dignity, respect and peace when people are being abused. Justice requires action and GOD requires justice.
“We are committed to standing with the community of Ferguson and its courageous youth as an extension of our religious ministries.”