Interfaith Coalition

PROP is pleased to announce a new coalition of clergy and spiritual leaders from communities throughout New York City. The Interfaith Coalition for Police Reform was born out of PROP’s panel “Conscience of the City” held in honor of MLK Jr Day. Faith leaders came together to speak out against abusive NYPD practices and to emphasize the importance of spiritual leaders reaching across religious and other divides to work together to achieve sweeping police reform and to create a more safe, just, and livable city for all New Yorkers.  To strengthen this movement, the group seeks to create the broadest coalition possible, bringing in voices and representatives from all religions, backgrounds, and beliefs. Thus far, the clergy representatives on the Interfaith Coalition include:  Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid;  Reverend Rubén Austria; Reverend Derrick Boykin; Reverend Pat Bumgardner;  Paul Decoster; Rabbi Jill Jacobs; Raquel Irizarry; and  Dr. Anne Klaeysen.

We hope to expand this coalition to include more faith-based leaders throughout the city who are willing to serve as a comfort to members of their communities who suffer at the hands of the NYPD, and to be a strong voice lifting up their congregants’ stories, to urge their communities to action, and to come together speaking out in unity against abusive police practices that cut across all lines of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.

Below is the Declaration of the Interfaith Coalition for Police Reform.  If you are a spiritual leader who would like to join the Coalition and its efforts, or if you would like to nominate your clergy leader to join the Coalition, please email prop@urbanjustice.org with “Interfaith Coalition” as the subject.

Declaration of the Interfaith Coalition for Police Reform

We, the undersigned, as leaders of the faith community, share a commitment to human rights, public safety, and the dignity of every member of our society.

Because of these commitments, we feel compelled to speak out against the harsh, ineffective, and unjust Stop-and-Frisk policy, and to call for reform of unfair police practices including quota systems; profiling on the basis of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious identity; and the resulting abusive tactics conducted by the New York City Police Department.

We believe that the widespread harassment of already marginalized residents of our city, especially African-American and Latino young men, immigrant Muslim communities, and the LGBTQ community, is an affront to the sacredness of the spirit within each and every person.

We believe that there are better ways to police our city that do not harm or alienate large segments of our communities, and that well-planned community-policing programs that promote partnerships between police officers and community residents are more effective than the NYPD’s current approach.

We affirm our love and gratitude for the men and women in uniform who fill such an important function in our city, while retaining our right to critique counterproductive departmental policies and practices that exacerbate tension between police officers and community residents.

We call upon every elected and appointed official to do all within their power to work for sweeping police reform including: the elimination of Stop-and-Frisk and the quota system, the implementation of independent entities with the sole purpose of assessing police priorities and policies, and the establishment of local problem solving measures that strengthen communities while reducing crime.

 

Signatories

Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid

The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood

Reverend Rubén Austria

Missionary Pastor for the Promised Land Evangelical Covenant Church in the Bronx

Reverend Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

Emeritus Professor, Fordham University

Reverend Derrick Boykin

Associate Minister at Walker Memorial Baptist Church

Reverend Pat Bumgardner

Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York

Paul Decoster

Lay Minister for the United Church of Christ for All Souls Bethlehem Church

Reverend Dr. Edgard Francisco Danielsen-Morales

Assistant Pastor for Congregational Life Metropolitan Community Church of New York

Katherine Henderson

President of Auburn Theological Seminary

Raquel Irizarry

Lay Minister for the United Church of Christ for All Souls Bethlehem Church

Rabbi Jill Jacobs

Executive Director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Dr. Anne Klaeysen

Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture and Humanist Chaplain at Columbia University and New York University

Reverend Tom Martinez

All Souls Bethlehem Church

Pastor Joseph Tolton

Associate Pastor, Social Justice at the Rivers at Rehoboth Church

Posted in News.