[Episcopal News Service] An interfaith coalition of clergy, including Episcopalians, gathered at St. Paul’s Chapel on lower Broadway in New York City Dec. 8 for a prayer service in advance of a walk to City Hall where they delivered a clergy-signed letter to elected officials in response to a Dec. 3 grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner.
The letter made the following requests of the elected officials,
- To join us in calling on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to automatically appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute all excessive force and wrongful death cases by police officers, and in particular, to immediately appoint a special prosecutor in the wrongful death of Eric Garner.
- That the New York City Council would expedite a draft legislation making the chokehold illegal, with significant penalties for any officer who uses it (New York City police have been prohibited by department policy from using chokeholds for the past 20 years).
The New York grand jury’s decision came a little more than a week after a St. Louis County grand jury on Nov. 24 decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting death of Michael Brown.
Protests, sometimes violent, have continued throughout the nation in the wake of both grand jury decisions.
Also, Episcopal News Service has compiled a list of diocesan statements made in the aftermath of either or both of the grand jury decisions. The statements include:
Diocese of Arizona
Diocese of Fort Worth
Diocese of Kansas
Diocese of Milwaukee
Diocese of Missouri
Diocese of Northern Michigan
Diocese of Southern Ohio
Diocese of Springfield
Diocese of Washington and Washington National Cathedral
Diocese of West Missouri
Diocese of Western New York
Diocese of Western North Carolina