On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we experienced another senseless murder of a black man by a police officer. As the nation reels, religious and secular leaders are offering their prayers.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was suffocated to death after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for eight minutes while George lying face down on the street; repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” After the officer released the hold, Floyd went limp and unresponsive. Preluding this, George cried out to his late mother, lamenting for her presence. Later, he was pronounced dead at the hospital. The four police officers involved in this incident, including Derek Chauvin, were fired; with one officer being charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
We want to begin by soliciting prayer for the family members of George Floyd and the Minneapolis, Minnesota community. The death of George Floyd has sparked national outrage and inflamed tensions of thousands who are protesting, in Minnesota and around the nation. Reports are showing at least 30 US cities are suffering from these eruptions.
The Social Justice Department of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ stands arm and arm with those who are seeking justice in these mounting occurrences. We are disturbed, brokenhearted, and deeply grieved that the life of George Floyd was ended by those charged to protect and serve. We hurt for those afraid and upset, discriminated against, and marginalized. We do not condone hate in any form, but we will stand together to end this injustice.
You might never understand what it is like to be followed by strangers in a store or afraid that your loved ones would be mistreated because of the color of their skin. But that does not mean we cannot speak up, pray hard, lend a hand, and do whatever we can to work toward justice, equity, unity, and peace.
During this time, we are facing a COVID-19 global pandemic, a racist pandemic, and an economic pandemic; all while navigating extreme violence, and civil unrest. We have the power to stop this; through faith in action; through prayer in action; and through a protest in action. Remember when we vote, we pray, when we call our senators, we pray; when we protest the pandemic of poverty, we pray. It never stops with just prayers; you also have to follow up and take action. Jesus prayed, then He healed. Jesus prayed, then He fed the masses. His prayers were always followed by effective action.
Finally, in these dire times of unrest and distress, we must remember God’s response to King Solomon. The Lord promised to heal the land of those who call on His name, seek His face, and turn toward Him for healing (2 Chronicles 7:14). This includes being active in seeking justice where injustice prevails. The Social Justice Department led by the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith strongly condemns the actions of those who betrayed the trust they have sworn to uphold and protect. The Floyd family, civil rights protesters, the faith community of Minneapolis, along with many others around the world, continue to cry out for justice.
Apostle Dr. James I. Clark, Jr.
Elder Van Adams
Elder Ashley Johnson
Social Justice, Economic and Racial Equality Commission
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Apostolic Faith, Inc.