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A United Evangelical Response: The System Failed Eric Garner

What pastors, professors, and others are saying about the grand jury's decision not to indict.
A United Evangelical Response: The System Failed Eric Garner
Image: Thabiti Anyabwile / Twitter

On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury announced its decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who put an unarmed black man in a chokehold that resulting in the man's death. Law enforcement attempted to arrest Eric Garner, a husband and father of six, for allegedly illegally selling cigarettes in July. His death made national news after a video was captured of the altercation, where Garner, who suffered from asthma, said repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” as law enforcement brought him to the ground.

Not all evangelicals believed that Darren Wilson, a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August, should have been indicted in a recent grand jury hearing. Others were silent on the issue. But Wednesday’s events brought a more forceful, and more united response that justice had not been served. Christianity Today presents a selection of these responses below. (See also our editorial, :"What One Racially Divided Family Can Do," by Mark Galli.)

Propaganda
Hip-hop artist
“Okay now do you believe us?! People swear we make this stuff up. That the ‘media’ is spurring on the civil disharmony. … No charges. None. Let that sink in. My own daughter said, ‘Daddy I’m scared for you because when police kill black men [they] don’t get in trouble!’ What do I tell her?!!” (Source: Twitter)

Christena Cleveland
Associate professor of reconciliation studies, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota
“The church needs less Niebuhrs (privileged folks who talk about justice) and more Bonhoeffers (privileged folks who live & die for justice).” (Source: Twitter)

Thabiti AnyabwileAssistant ...

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