NEW YORK – Thousands of New Yorkers moved by the tragic chokehold death of 43-year-old Staten Island father of six, Eric Garner, at the hands of NYPD police officer Daniel Pantaleo, and the failure of a grand jury to bring criminal charges against him, flocked to the streets for the second night in a row Thursday to call for change in a justice system they believe is rife with racial bias.
Standing in solidarity with similar protests across several U.S. cities, New Yorkers of all ages and races from a variety of religious, academic and civil rights organizations gathered with many others to demand change.
The Rev. John H. Vaughn, executive vice president of the Auburn Theological Seminary, who was among the protesters, said it was important for Christians to get involved in the movement. more >>
In early August my wife and I, along with seven of our nine children, left for a month-long ministry tour in Africa (Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa). It was a couple of days before we got settled and had any access to media. As such, I was taken aback when I began to receive Google alerts, emails, and Facebook and Twitter messages either demanding that I comment on "Ferguson," or condemning me for failing to do so. The only problem was, I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Who, what, or where was Ferguson? Why was it such a big deal? Why was I being condemned (along with other "high-profile" evangelicals) for "failing to speak out on such an important issue"?
I eventually got up to speed. Or at least I found out what all the fuss was about. Over the next several weeks I viewed this issue from a unique perspective. I was an American in Africa watching an issue ignite ethnic tensions in my homeland. It was almost surreal.
Who Am I to Speak? more >>
In a powerful show of solidarity conservatives joined a growing chorus of Americans in condemning the surprising decision of a grand jury Wednesday to not hold a New York City police officer criminally responsible for the chokehold death of 43-year-old Staten Island father of six, Eric Garner.
The stunning decision of the grand jury to not bring criminal charges against 29-year-old NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed the 400-pound asthmatic Garner in what appeared on video to be a chokehold, sparked a wave of protests across New York City Wednesday night that continued into Thursday morning.
"The grand jury's decision not to bring any charges against the officer who killed Garner is inexplicable. It defies reason. It makes no sense. Unlike the Michael Brown case, we don't have to rely on shaky and unreliable testimony from so-called eyewitnesses. We don't need to review bullet trajectories or forensics. All we have to do is watch the video and believe our own eyes," noted Sean Davis, writer for the conservative publication The Federalist in an op-ed. more >>
Bishop Eddie Long and his Georgia-based megachurch congregation recently held a rally in support of a local family who recently lost their teenage daughter to a shooting at a bus stop.
Bishop Long and members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of DeKalb County held a "prayer walk" on Sunday at the scene of the murder of 19-year-old Marcaysia Dawkins.
"#Prayer walk on Sunday with Bishop Eddie L. Long & #ChiefAlexander to the MARTA bus stop just near our church where Marcaysia Dawkins who was 19 years old and a recent high school graduate was murdered on November 23," noted New Birth Missionary on social media. more >>
As news came Wednesday that a grand jury has decided not to indict a New York City police officer in the choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner this summer, President Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president, argued that there's bias in the way law enforcement engages communities of color and asserted that it "is an American problem."
Interrupting his address at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Obama noted in sober comments that while police officers across the nation have a difficult job to do, they can only perform effectively "if everybody has confidence in the system."
As of now, he said, that does not appear to be the case. more >>
Family and supporters of Eric Garner, 43, the 400-pound asthmatic father who died after he was locked in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in Staten Island this summer, expressed collective shock at the decision of a grand jury not to bring criminal charges against the officer on Wednesday.
Reacting to the news in a report in The Daily News, Eric Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said: "Oh my God, are you serious? I'm very disappointed. You can see in the video that he (the cop) was dead wrong!"
A nearly 3-minute video of the encounter between Garner and NYPD officers posted on YouTube, shows Garner screaming "I can't breathe, I can't breathe," repeatedly before falling silent as cops swarmed him when he refused to be handcuffed after expressing surprise that the officers were harassing him for trying to break up a fight. more >>