[National Council of Churches press release] The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA deplores the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, MO on August 9 and supports a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Brown.
Further, the Council expresses grave concern over the recent killings by police of several other African American men including on July 17, 43 year old Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY; on August 5, 22 year old John Crawford in Beavercreek, OH; and on August 11, 25 year old Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA.
“These killings, as well as those of hundreds of other Americans each year at the hands of increasingly militarized police forces is of great and growing concern. A peaceful, healthy society requires trust and positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement. That can best occur in circumstances in which deep-seated social problems such as racism and inequality are being addressed,” said Jim Winkler, NCC president and general secretary.
“The NCC remains committed to addressing the legacy of racism, to ending gun violence in our nation, to responding to the scourge of mass incarceration, and through our local congregations to providing Christ’s healing touch,” Winkler added.
Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, chair of the NCC Governing Board said, “We pray for the family of Michael Brown and for all those who have been harmed in the turmoil in Ferguson. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and we are still seeking an America where young men of color are neither disproportionately imprisoned nor are victims of violence. We are grateful for the efforts of local church leaders and churches that are at work in the community in response to this devastating tragedy and the ongoing issues of racial injustice that it has surfaced.”
Throughout its existence, the National Council of Churches, the collective voice of 37 member communions with nearly 40 million members, has stood for human rights and peace.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 37 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.