In response to the violence which has recently swept across our nation, the Church of God In Christ called a press conference while in Cincinnati, OH for the AIM Convention. After a statement from Cincinnati’s Mayor John Cranley, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. read the following statement on behalf of the Church of God In Christ, which he also shared with the congregation at West Angeles Church of God In Christ on Sunday, July 10, 2016:
“The Church of God In Christ denounces in the strongest way possible the murderous sniper attack on the police in Dallas. This vicious act perpetuates the cycle of violence and injustice that it ostensibly sought to address. We absolutely reject this brutal attack on the police, and we repudiate the notion that it is in any way excusable, even in the face of the recent homicidal behavior of police officers in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights. It seems to us impossible to justify the execution-style killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. This is true even though that young man was armed and known to the police. Execution by police force on the streets does not constitute due process in the United States.
We urge the community to maintain peaceful vigilance in pursuit of justice in this case; however we will not rush to judgement despite how things look. The tragedy of Philandro Castile’s death at the hands of another police officer is also deplorable. There must be justice in this case also. We commend the Dallas police force for their heroism in ending the attack. And we support the prosecution of any co-conspirators to the full extent of the law. Our prayers are with the families of all victims at this time.”
Presiding Bishop Blake followed the statement by a moment of silence and prayer:
How desperately our nation needs you at this troubled time. Dear Lord, the foundations on which our nation is built are not focused on hatred between races and violence between the various entities of our nation; they’re based on freedom, respect for one another, and the right of every person to pursue happiness and liberty. Dear God, turn the plague, the pandemic of violence that sweeps across our nation. Let everybody understand that violence is not the way. Love is the way. Mutual support and commitment are the way. Bless us, oh God, as we join together to make of our great nation even greater. May our conduct, dear Lord, be turned toward righteousness, and toward love, and toward support. Be with us now.
Oh God, for ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord;
Thank God, Amen.