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Faith Leaders Testify to City Council on Need to Defund the Police


December 10, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, (540) 280-3393

Rev. Dan Clark, dclark@faithinpubliclife.org, (614) 648-3663

Faith Leaders Testify to City Council on Need to Defund the Police

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Tuesday, December 8th, faith leaders testified before Columbus City Council for the hearing “Reimagine Public Safety.” Following a summer of demonstrations demanding an end to racist and aggressive policing, it is unconscionable that Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade, who is pastor at Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church, would fatally shoot and kill Casey Christian Goodson Jr. as he walked into his family’s home with Subway sandwiches. The Franklin County Coroner has determined this shooting was a homicide.

David Weaver, United Methodist Church for All People, Safety and Justice Committee:

“We believe that Black lives matter. After 400 years of racism, murder, slavery, Jim Crow redlining, racial profiling and devalued Black lives, things have got to change. That’s what we believe.”

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kee, New Faith Baptist Church of Christ:

“We have to do something different, because now we are who we say we don’t want to be when it comes to the atrocities of accountability in law enforcement. I strongly denounce a militarized police department because it only kills more of my people.”

Paisha Thomas, Faith in Public Life:

“We are invited to reimagine public safety. And since I know how to rock with calls to action instead of calling them slogans, I accept this invitation and attempt to imagine a city where public safety means that policymakers end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. How long will law enforcement continue to oversurveil and aggressively police Black people in our city? How long will taxpayers have to fund police misconduct? As people of faith, we call for the defunding of Columbus Division of Police, and for a more just public safety system.” 


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, we are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level. Our network of 50,000 leaders engage in bold moral action that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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