WHEREAS, Philando Castile and David Jones were two African-American men in their thirties who were gunned down by law enforcement simply because of the color of their skin.
WHEREAS, both men were hardworking individuals; Castile working as the nutrition services supervisor of an elementary school and Jones working as a long-haul truck driver.
WHEREAS, both men were armed, but neither tried to use their weapons in a harmful manner. Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm, but he was reaching for his ID when he was fatally shot in his car. Jones was seen running away from law enforcement when he was fatally shot in the back.
WHEREAS, both men had witnesses to their murders; Castile was murdered in front of his girlfriend and daughter, and Jones was murdered in front of two civilians in a police car.
WHEREAS, the officers who murdered these two men have not been held accountable for their actions. Jeronimo Yanez, who shot Philando Castile, was acquitted of all charges brought against him. Ryan Pownall, who shot David Jones, has simply been placed on administrative leave.
WHEREAS, Jesus was in his thirties when He was put to death by law enforcement.
WHEREAS, Jesus was a hardworking individual who spoke radically, but served the community.
WHEREAS, Jesus was armed with the promise of Almighty God, but was peaceful throughout His trial and execution.
WHEREAS, Jesus had many witnesses to His murder, including his mother.
WHEREAS, the people who put Jesus to death never met any legal ramifications.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this is not new because we have seen this before. People of African descent have been racially profiled and killed unjustly for centuries. But just as our spirits were not broken back then, they will not be broken now.
BE IT RESOLVED that we will not go quietly into the night, we will not be silent, we will not “stand by while [our] neighbor’s blood is shed” (Leviticus 19:16). The blood of Philando Castile and David Jones is crying out from the ground, and mixes with the blood of countless other African-Americans. We will keep declaring, “Black Lives Matter” until America is forced to live up to the creed that is set forth in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal;” until no black man or woman has to fear for their life when interacting with law enforcement; and until the justice system truly believes in “liberty and justice for all.”
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the same God who brought us through slavery and the Jim and Jane Crow era is the same God who is with us now! And if we keep trusting the God that has kept us over the years and keep making our voices heard, then we shall overcome some day!
Richard Franklin Norris, III
Global Social Relations Committee