On this night when a grand jury has determined that no charges will be brought against the police officer who killed unarmed Michael Brown, I keep seeing in my mind the picture of Michael’s father crying at his funeral. It is an anguished cry that only fathers who have lost their sons fully understand. What is clear for all of us, however, is that a terrible thing has happened. Young men shouldn’t be shot down in the streets of their neighborhood. Police officers should be trained to resolve difficult situations without killing people. What happened in Ferguson and continues to happen because of it requires serious consideration in all of our communities.
At the same time, the violence that has erupted because of the grand jury’s decision is wrong. It threatens the life and destroys the livelihood of others. After he buried his son, Michael Brown’s father said that he wanted his son’s life to mean something and asked directly for a non-violent response. Racism was at work in the death of Michael Brown. We all need to address this. The fact that we live in a society that still responds in difficult moments with violence must also be addressed.
On this night, let us pray for justice and that we may learn to be peacemakers in the spirit of Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Episcopal Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church