Whereas, following the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN while handcuffed in the custody of the police, and in light of the subsequent protests; and
Whereas, this has certainly not been an isolated event in police interactions with African Americans and other persons of color in the United States in recent years, and indeed dating back numerous years; and
Whereas, we believe that the death of George Floyd and the mistreatment of numerous others is the result of systemic racial bias against people of color and also a pattern of abuse of power by some, but by no means all, in police systems in the United States; and
Whereas, among the Six Great Ends of the Church are the promotion of social righteousness and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world; and
Whereas, we recognize that there are risks assumed by police personnel every day on the behalf of each of us in attempting to maintain order in our communities;
Now therefore, be it resolved, that the Session of First Presbyterian Church, on behalf of its congregation, does hereby condemn the mistreatment of any persons by law enforcement personnel, and emphasizes the imperative nature of providing due process to all; and
Further be it resolved, that the Session of First Presbyterian Church, on behalf of its congregation, does also hereby exhort the police departments and municipal authorities, along with the residents of the communities, to reach out to one another with mutual respect in an honest effort to improve communication between the authorities and the governed, and to provide necessary, compassionate assistance to the mentally impaired and training for those entrusted with encountering these individuals.
Ratified this 21st day of June, 2020, by the Session of First Presbyterian Church, Covington, Virginia.
Joseph L. Wilson, Jr.,
Clerk of Session