For Immediate Release: May 18, 2020
Contact: Heather Cabral | 202-550-6880 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Williams | 202-748-0699 | email@example.com
WASHINGTON – Civil rights leaders with Faith in Action, the nation’s largest faith-based grassroots organizing network, have issued statements in response to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Breonna was a 26 year old Louisville EMT who was gunned down in her home after police executed a “no-knock” search warrant for which they falsified documents to obtain. On March 13, Louisville Kentucky Police officers emptied more than twenty rounds from outside Breonna’s home where the curtains were drawn, leaving them no line of sight. Breonna’s death is one of many recent fatal shootings of unarmed Black people killed by police across the nation, like Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Sean Reed in Indianapolis.
Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould, executive director of Missouri Faith Voices, Rev. Ciera Walker-Chamberlain, executive director of LIVE FREE Chicago, and Kortni Blackmon, of LIVE FREE National have delivered the below responses:
Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould “If you are White in America in 2020, all you have to worry about is when your country will reopen because even a pandemic doesn’t disrupt your privilege. If you are Black especially but even Asian or Brown you fear being hunted and gunned down even while sleeping in your home. Breonna Taylor is another Black life that has been reduced to a hashtag because even in a a global health pandemic Black people are not protected from state sanctioned murder with impunity.”
Rev. Ciera Walker-Chamberlain “It sickens me that another Black woman was brutally murdered by city employees. COVID-19 did not end the threat against the lives of Black women in this country. And it saddens me that many are just learning about her execution. Where was the ongoing coverage and outcry for this life? This loss only highlights the fact that Black people have to now battle two deadly viruses: racism and COVID-19.”
Kortni Blackmon “I don’t wish to give another statement. This trauma is far too routine. I tear my garments and cry out in the street. And still another is shot. I write my heart out, and they laugh at our execution. I reach for God in the solitude of nature, and you hunt me down to kill me there. I am not safe in this country, the country my ancestors built for free, the one to which I pay my taxes, the only home my loved ones and I have ever known. Here, there’s been no value assigned to my Black body or the spirit it carries. So, I always end my family visits with “be safe” and “call me when you make it.” And what terror does that circumvent? None, honestly. At any given moment the state may take another life. I shape my petitions into prayers, because surely we are not heard in this place.”
The LIVE FREE Campaign is a campaign of Faith in Action, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. LIVE FREE is committed to ending structural discrimination and the mass criminalization of people of color by mobilizing the faith community to reduce the number of gun-related shootings and homicides, decrease the number of individuals incarcerated and increase opportunity for those caught in these deadly cycles.
Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.