National Council of Churches statement on the grand jury action in Ferguson, MO
Washington, DC: The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA expresses its deep disappointment with the decision of the grand jury, sitting in Clayton, Missouri, not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown.
An indictment would not have been a conviction nor a judgement of Officer Wilson’s guilt; rather, it would have permitted him to be tried before a jury of his peers where his innocence or guilt would have been appropriately decided. Without an indictment it now seems unlikely that justice will be done.
Nevertheless, we reiterate our call in this time of serious tension for the city of Ferguson and its citizens, law enforcement officials, justice-seekers, and others to respond in a nonviolent manner. We join with Michael Brown’s father’s plea that protests not become violent.
All hope is not lost. We will not forget Michael Brown nor cease to advocate for justice to be carried out in the matter of his death. His death has helped galvanize across the country a moral will to address the crisis our country faces in the systemic marginalization of young men of color.
Recall the words of Jesus, “And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.” (Luke 18:7-8, NRSV)
We are especially thankful to the churches and faith community in St. Louis, Missouri who have declared themselves to be ‘sanctuary churches’ and ‘sacred spaces’ as well as to many others who continue to advocate for justice and peace. Many of these churches and individuals are part of our member communions. We surround them with prayer and love.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact: Steven D. Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org