Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell
Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, senior pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem, invited his Christian counterparts and local elected officials to address Police violence against Black citizens, on April 14, 2021.
During the press conference, the killing of unarmed Black citizen Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, along with the pepper-spraying and rough handling of Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario were condemned.
Speakers included Rev. James Kilgore of Friendship Baptist Church, Harlem District Leader-70A Cordell Cleare, NY State Senator Brian Benjamin, Harlem District Leader-70A William Allen, Rev. Keith Roberson of Southern Baptist Church, Rev. Shepherd Lee of Baptist Temple Church, and Rev. Jermaine J. Marshall of Williams Institute C.M.E. Church.
Rev. Johnson mentioned that the next step after the press conference would be to engage with local precincts to help them deal with what is an apparent fear of Black citizens especially Black males.
Senator Brian Benjamin went further by calling for a law that would hold police officers accountable according to the similar set of rules as are accomplices to a crime.
“I think the cop who watched that abuse from the cop who was closest to the military guy should have to resign – and possibly do jail time,” said Senator Benjamin. “The only person who could have stopped the cop in the moment was the other cop… They should be held accountable.”