How long, O Lord?

Minneapolis, MN – Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, issued this statement:


The Scriptures often cry out, “How long, O Lord?” This cry is emanating once again from Minneapolis and the rest of the nation with the police killing of George Floyd. Another brutal killing of a black person by law enforcement. How long, O God? He was killed while screaming, “Please, I can’t breathe.” How long, O God? Three police officers watched, heard the cry, and did not intervene. How long, O God? How long will the killing of African Americans by police officers continue? The brutal attacks on black bodies is not acceptable. How long, O God?


In this moment, I ask the faith community for these four responses:


Presence – Find ways to be present where people are feeling grief and outrage. Many of us were at the protest rally last night in Minneapolis held at the site of the killing. But this presence must continue in the days ahead. Reach out to African American church leaders and members and stand with them in this moment. Stand with the Minneapolis NAACP, Urban League, and other black-led civil rights and community organizations. Stand with the courageous young activists who have relentlessly pressed the issues through the senseless police killings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile and now George Floyd.


Protest – Presence must turn into protest. Speak truth to power. Do not allow this great violation to go unchecked. Call for police accountability. Call for a system-wide transformation of policing in Minnesota. Call this an act of anti-black racism even when some white narratives blame the victim.


Prosecution – Protest is not enough. The four police officers involved must be charged and prosecuted. Our moral voice must help ensure this happens.


Prayers – As people of faith we must pray for the family and friends of George Floyd. We must pray for the neighbors in the Central Neighborhood of Minneapolis where this great violation occurred. We must pray for African Americans and people of color who are feeling fear, rage, grief, and hopelessness. We must pray for racial justice and equity in our city and nation.


How long, O God, how long?