Resolved, That the Executive Council, meeting virtually from June 8-11, 2020, remembers and grieves for Mr. George Floyd, Ms. Breonna Taylor, and all other victims of police brutality; and be it further
Resolved, That the clergy and laity of the Episcopal Church commit to offering a prophetic response to these deaths and acts of injustice by committing to the ongoing, patient, determined, faithful, long-term ministry of anti-racism work; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council praises the people and congregations of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota for their public calls for acts of justice in response to the murder of Mr. George Floyd by a white officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, and committing themselves to the long, steady work toward that justice by joining with activists and organizations already on the ground; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council praises the people and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky for their public calls for acts of justice in response to the fatal shooting of Ms. Breonna Taylor by white officers of the Louisville Metro Police; the effective anti-racism work of their diocesan Racial Reconciliation Task Force; and their longstanding, transformative community ministry through the Louisville Urban Partnership; and be it further
Resolved, That the clergy, laity, and dioceses of the Episcopal Church be exhorted to carry out General Convention Resolution 2018-A229 (Acknowledge Police Violence and Confront Racism), by examining all incidents of police violence in their localities and working in concert with other advocates to organize, advocate, and dismantle systems, policies, and practices that reinforce police violence and brutality; and be it further
Resolved, That the clergy, laity, and dioceses of the Episcopal Church join community and grassroots leaders in advocating with local and state governments to bring about substantive and mandatory change in police departments and policing and to allocate resources for community-based models of safety, support, and prevention.
In 2018, General Convention passed Resolution 2018-A229, “Acknowledge Police Violence and Confront Racism.” The recent national movement in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers has galvanized coalitions working to dismantle systemic racism in policing and made the church’s response to Resolution 2018-A229 both more urgent and more possible. Across the country, activists and community leaders are demanding police reforms and alternative models for community-based safety, support and prevention. Episcopalians are encouraged to participate in this work by joining existing community and grassroots groups that have substantive and long-term experience in working against police violence and brutality.
The Diocese of Kentucky’s work with local community partners—including Black Lives Matter, the Louisville Urban League, EmpowerWest Louisville, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, Interfaith Paths to Peace, the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, and the local chapters of the NAACP and the ACLU—is a commendable model. The Executive Council commends it to other dioceses and churchwide bodies for emulation and support.
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota welcomed Bishop Craig Loya on June 7. He has committed the diocese to the ongoing work of acting for police reform and exhorted congregations and individual clergy and lay people to engage with organizations working on the Black Lives Matter (https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/) platform for systemic change.