Inspired by the resolution written by Winnie Varghese and adopted by the Diocese of New York, All Saints’ rector Ed Bacon has submitted the following resolution for consideration by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles at its Diocesan Convention meeting in Ontario December 5 & 6.
Please pray for our nation as we seek to address the challenges of structural racism and our church as we seek to be agents of hope, healing and reconciliation.
Title of Resolution: Policing and Public Safety
Text of Resolution:
Resolved, that this 119th Convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles calls upon Episcopalians to be “repairers of the breach” and “makers of streets safe to walk in” by:
- engaging in dialogue and cooperation with their local police about policing strategies that value all lives equally;
- continuing the work of dismantling systems of prejudice that make some members of our human family particularly vulnerable to police violence and to receiving unequal treatment in the justice system;
- standing with those members of the law enforcement community who are committed to overcoming structural racism and making liberty and justice for all a reality in our cities, our streets and our communities;
- working against the militarization of our police forces.
Explanation of the Resolution:
The wide diversity of contexts in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is one of our greatest gifts. We are rural, suburban and urban; public safety officer, suspect, student, parent, friend, and crime victim. There is a profound breakdown in our nation’s system of public safety that at times leads to the death or targeting of unarmed people, our brothers and sisters. Our public safety officers fear for their own safety on the streets. Some of our police forces are being equipped with heavy military equipment that seems to escalate conflict in situation where their work is to protect. We believe Episcopalians can be agents of change in this seeming intractable situation by forming relationships with their local police and facilitating conversations in their communities about safety for all.