Many of us have seen the horrifying video of George Floyd being pinned to the ground for nine minutes;
imploring that he could not breathe as a police officer seemingly held his knee on his neck. Soon after,
while in police custody, George Floyd was dead.
As a son, father, uncle and a fellow human being, the most troubling and shocking aspects of watching
the video, was not just the police officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, but that the other police
officers standing next to him without intervening. As a Christian man, it is my belief that when we stand
before God, we will have to answer for the things we have done and the things we have left undone.
As a one who worked in the criminal justice system, I am well-trained in the bedrock legal principle that
every person is innocent until proven guilty. That certainly should apply here; and if there is acquitting
evidence for the three other police officers, then justice requires that this evidence be fairly weighed by
an impartial panel at trial. But why have we gone so long without an arrest? The video alone is evidence
of probable cause.
That is why, in addition to mourning this tragedy and going to God in prayer for our communities,
Hampton Roads Black Caucus (HRBC) is calling for justice. God is a God of justice. He wants us to build
his Kingdom—yes. And it is a spiritual kingdom. But it is also a kingdom of justice.
It is important to note, there are many good and valiant law enforcement officers who perform their
duties without bias, prejudice, and with the outmost fairness when exercising their power and authority
as it relates to the law. Thus, coloring all police officers with a wide brush of racism would be the same
group thinking and/or mindset at the foundation of racism itself. Additionally, just thinking that this is
only a “police department problem” ignores what we have seen in the last month: It was prosecutors in
Georgia who were not going to charge the men who killed Ahmaud Aubery. It was a civilian white
woman in a New York central park who called the police and falsely reported an assault by an African
American man who was there watching birds (and asked the woman to put her dog on a leash). This
week it was Minneapolis. Next week it will be another city and another type of incident.
Based on these few examples (and we know there are more), racism is alive and well in our country and
it cannot be “fixed” with just mere institutional or legal change. By a clearer magnitude, we must
acknowledge the sin of racism that survives in our country, and in our own hearts, and show the world
that racial understanding is only feasible through our Lord Jesus and the cross.
At the heart of racism is the human heart, something that Scripture calls “desperately wicked.” Jeremiah
17:9. It is our prideful desire to be better than others, to paint those not like us as evil or ignorant or
otherwise not worthy.
HRBC speak out against rioting and burning of property. This does not solve the issues at hand! Yes,
exercise your rights in a peaceful manner. Jesus said blessed are the peace makers. If communities want
to see changes, HRBC recommend being the engaged in the pollical process by, but not limited to using
Ballot, Buck, and Books (BBB). Another important right, is to vote by putting individuals in office that
reflect your values for change; boycotting businesses that do not support the values that bring about
social changes, educate yourselves on the facts and events at hand and educating your children on the
history of our nation. Also, be a sponge for knowledge in your life. HRBC believes that communities that
works and prays together for changes will see change. Lastly, if a person is ever going to do anything
worthwhile, there will be times when he or she must risk everything by his or her leap of faith. Working
together might by some be a test of common sense, we act like pagans in a crisis only one of an entire
crowd is daring enough to invest his or her faith in the character of God. Invest in your faith in God and
come together to work our differences out to change a generation for a lifetime.
Thank you and God Bless your people and our nation
Hampton Roads Black Caucus/President