The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

The epidemic of police-involved killing of unarmed black people in the USA


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jun. 19, 2020 - 6:05 PM

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For the last three years, Newnan First Seventh-day Adventist Church has conducted an annual Law Enforcement and First Responders Appreciation Day at our church here in Newnan.

We will continue to do so because we support law enforcement and appreciate what these agencies do to enhance safety in our community. In particular, we thank our Sheriff Lenn Wood and Chief of Police Douglas Meadows for their leadership.

Over the last several years, all of America and the world have watched the emergence of cell phone video clips showing varying degrees of police brutality, including the unnecessary and oftentimes unjustifiable killing of unarmed black people, both men and women.

It is against this backdrop that our church makes this statement to express our concerns and to add our voice to the national conversation on the obvious disparity in how policing is being done on a racial basis.

While we count ourselves fortunate to have the benefit of constructive community policing in Newnan and Coweta County, we would be remiss if we did not register our outrage at the senseless acts of abuse of power, such as the unjustified killing of Mr. George Floyd, among others.

Enough is enough. We support good police, but we stand with the victims of those who misuse the authority of the badge and uniform to hurt our community. We call for justice to be done.

Newnan First encourages our local law enforcement to continue to strive for excellence in serving and protecting all of our citizens, employing both best practices for policing and the most qualified personnel.

We ask that our law enforcement agencies regularly review department policies and guidelines, and also give critical analysis to the training curriculum. We call for the immediate and appropriate professional and policy intervention regarding concerns about any personnel, whenever warranted, for the public good.

Our hearts break in support of our fellow citizens across the country because of the prevalence in the breakdown of law enforcement and community relations.

As always, Newnan First stands ready to be a positive and constructive conduit, forum, safe place and partner for community dialog and understanding as we work together to be One Community

Dr. Everton A. Ennis

Senior Pastor, Newnan First Seventh-day Adventist Church