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ACTION ALERT

Police Reform and COVID-19 Justice

Nathan Hosler, Director of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, signed on to a letter to Congress calling for police reforms and the demilitarization of law enforcement. The letter was submitted by the Washington Interfaith Staff Community, an organization to which the Church of the Brethren belongs. The letter is in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and people of color who disproportionately experience the effects of police brutality.

“We call on Congress to enact long overdue policing reforms, such as eliminating federal programs that provide military equipment to law enforcement. Congress needs to raise the use of force standard for police and require the use of de-escalation techniques. Congress should also deem excessive measures federal civil rights violations (such as neck holds, chokeholds, and other maneuvers that restrict blood flow to the brain).”

The letter also includes a call to enact justice for people of color who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black and brown communities have seen higher rates of the coronavirus and higher economic devastation. The letter calls on Congress to “enact laws that reverse policies that perpetuate the racial income and wealth gap in our nation….This preference for the wealthy was seen once again in the CARES Act that gave 46,000 millionaires more money than was given to all of the hospitals in dire need. This must stop.”

As we work to live out our 1991 Annual Conference Statement and the recent statement by David Steele, General Secretary, we stand in solidarity with communities of color across the country expressing grief and outrage. We also join them in working to transform the criminal justice system and work toward justice in the broader society reversing oppression and violence toward people of color. “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).

More information on police reforms

Use of Force

More information on how COVID-19 has affected people of color

COVID-19 Rates

Economic Impacts - Pew Research

Peace,
Alexandra Toms
Racial Justice Associate
peacebuildingandpolicy@brethren.org

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