Panel offers pastors advice on becoming ‘ministers of reconciliation’ in African-American communities

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Sanford Police Department Chief Cecil Smith speaks with a reporter as he took part in his "Walk and Talk" program in the town where George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial is being held in Sanford, Fla., on July 11, 2013. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Joe Skipper 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GOSPEL-FERGUSON, originally transmitted on April 15, 2015.

Sanford Police Department Chief Cecil Smith speaks with a reporter as he took part in his "Walk and Talk" program in the town where George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial is being held in Sanford, Fla., on July 11, 2013. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Joe Skipper *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GOSPEL-FERGUSON, originally transmitted on April 15, 2015.

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ORLANDO, Fla. (RNS) The panel offered an alternative approach to that of evangelist Franklin Graham, who was widely criticized for his recent “Obey the police, or else” comments on Facebook.

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  • James Carr

    People should try obeying the law, and stop thinking that every police officer is after you.

  • Jeremy

    “The Cross and the Switchblade”- This is a powerful book that addresses the heart of the matter. We need more people like the Wilkersons. Love changes lives. Let the healing begin.

  • Larry

    Except in Ferguson, they were!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/03/ferguson-as-a-criminal-conspiracy-against-its-black-residents-michael-brown-department-of-justice-report/386887/

    The system was designed to shake down the black population with onerous bullcrap fines and piling up pointless civil citations as a form of revenue for the town. To penalize people for being working poor.

    Then you get brain dead amateurs like Eric Harris shooting people in the back
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/13/us/tulsa-police-shooting-eric-harris-deputy-charged/

  • James Carr

    Sounds like the usual martyr mantra.

  • Doc Anthony

    PS….if you are pulled over, keep your hands visible and don’t try to show the police how tough you are. Just comply with his or her instructions. If she says stay in the car, you just stay in the car. Doesn’t cost anything to follow instructions.

    Show simple respect. Keep your back-talk and your hands to yourself. And keep your hands off the cop’s gun already!

    You can always dial up the lawyer, the pastor, or the news media tomorrow. But today, just use some Common Sense and Respect !!

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  • MarkE

    Eight bullets in the back for a busted tail light? Just sayin’

  • Larry

    Because if you are white, they would let you run off and send you a desk appearance ticket. Since they have your address already. If you are black, 8 bullets in your back by an overeager amateur.

    You know that if it wasn’t for the video, the cops story would be much much different.

  • No, Eric Holder’s press agentry was designed to spin it to defame the local police department to justify pointless federal intervention in a local dispute and stoking rabble rousing.

  • You have north of 14,000 instances of homicide in this country and fewer than 3% are non-justiciable. Of these, the number with regard to which prosecutors determinations are truly dubious are few (and that in Ferguson was not among them). The notion that the police are a threat to slum populations is inane. What’s a threat to those populations is the social pathology to be found therein, with regard to which vigorous and well-manned police forces are an antidote. Inducing the police to withdraw or hit the doughnut shops is a fine way of damaging the quality of life. If these pastors had any sense, they’d make that clear to the duller and more truculent members of their flock, as well as to the har-de-har public interest bar. Not holding my breath. Humbug and performance art have been the order of the day in racial politics for fifty-odd years now.