SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Interfaith Council, a coalition of leadership of the religious communities of Summit, has issued a public statement regarding the killing of George Floyd and the events that have occurred in the aftermath of his death. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died while handcuffed by Minneapolis Police officers, one of whom kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while he was pinned to the ground.
The Council states that it exists to “seek the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7). We recognize our common spiritual ground while celebrating the diversity of our traditions." Its statement reads:
"The Summit interfaith Council is compelled to speak out in protest over yet another murder of an unarmed black man at the hands of police officers. We come from different faith traditions, yet we are united in our belief that we must not stand idly by at so grave an injustice. The very people sworn to protect and serve our citizens instead became public executioners of George Floyd. The officers’ actions revealed an utter and intolerable disregard for human life.
When we see injustice, we must not be silent. We echo the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “One who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as one who helps perpetrate it. One who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
At a time when so many throughout the world are dying from a coronavirus that robs us of our ability to breathe, we are horrified by the irony of those who are sworn to serve to and protect us violently denying another human being the right to breathe.
In a country that claims to be based on the rule of law, how can we allow murder to go unpunished? We call upon the leaders and residents of Summit not to be silent. Speak out to friends and family. Post on social media. Contact your local and federal representatives. Our country has a long history of denying human rights to African-Americans. Let it end with us."