Part of being Pittsboro Presbyterian and a Matthew 25 congregation is our commitment to dismantling structural racism. Simply put, this means recognizing racist policies (written and unwritten) and helping replace them with anti-racist policies. Part of our task is to learn how racism works nationally and historically so that we can recognize anti-racist and racist policies affecting our own congregation and community. While there is much in our tradition for which to repent, the material below also highlights how many aspects of our Presbyterian heritage offer us hope in understanding and reforming racist policies to become more like God’s intended church and kingdom.
Check out these links to learn more about how YOU can help your community and congregation be anti-racist and allow God’s love, justice and mercy to permeate more of our ministry!
PPC’s Anti-Racism Email List
While PPC provides anti-racism resources to our entire congregation and community through our webpage and Messenger emails, PPC also wants to connect people who are particularly interested in understanding racism and responding with love and courage as Christians or members of this loving community.
Simply fill out your name and email below to get on our Anti-Racism email list and receive emails 1-3 weeks about opportunities to learn and collaborate. Passionate about something else?…click HERE to take our passion survey and connect you with people experiencing similar callings.
Our Sign & Social Justice FAQs
Don't You Believe that All Lives Matter? Shouldn't the sign say All Lives Matter?
While all lives matter and are beloved by both God and our congregation, this is no excuse to derail the compassionate attention required after severe, longstanding injustice and trauma to various groups of God’s people.
As Christians, we, indeed, believe God made humanity equally in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and loves all humanity (John 3:16-17). We have continually tried to demonstrate God’s love for everyone in our personal lives and the collective ministry of this congregation, as people in Pittsboro can attest.
But the bible shows countless times where God’s people have mistreated and marginalized people, ignoring their cries of pain and their calls to be treated equally. When people are being mistreated or ignored, countless scriptures from both testaments show God comforting those who are disturbed and disturbing those who continued to seek their own comfort during their neighbors anguish. To simply say “All Lives Matter” without acknowledging especially Black lives who are shown to be at the most risk of being hurt by myriads of unexamined polices would belittle the trauma at hand. If someone has a heart attack at our church, we don’t ask everyone if they need an ambulance, but give focused love and support to the one needing immediate attention.
Here are but a few examples from scripture to consider:
The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” – Genesis 4:10
Do not exploit strangers, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. – Exodus 22:21
Love your neighbor as yourself – Leviticus 19:18
Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain…Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. – Amos 5:11a, 24
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? – Matthew 18:12
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. – Luke 13:10-17
Luke 4:14-30 show what happened when Jesus tried to tell his town that the people society treats as second-class actually matter greatly to God. Jesus said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s Favor” the crowd was initially pleased until Jesus reminded them that “there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman (the foreigner from Syria).” “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”
Are you trying to be political or pledge allegiance to a Black Lives Matter website?
The wording on our sign was meant literally and not as brand or more narrow political group. Hopefully everyone agrees that Black lives matter!
Is that sign going to be up forever?
Pittsboro Presbyterian Church’s session decided before we ever put up the sign that it would only be up for about a month. Since part of the impetous of the sign was the trauma of recent events, we believe the sign will have served most of its intended significance in that time. When the sign comes down, our support for black lives will only increase as our congregation continues to educate ourselves, look at our own institutions and the many in this county, state and country for ways in which people are disproportionately advantaged or disadantaged by race.
What Can We Do As a Congregation?
Understand the Original Sin of US History (click to read)
UNDERSTAND OUR HISTORY AS ORIGINAL SIN (perpetuating white supremacy through silence & inaction)
The PC (USA)’s 2016 policy, Facing Racism, offerings a powerful vision of understanding the sin of racism. Here are some excerpts (with bold added for emphasis):
Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is entirely contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ. It is a form of idolatry that elevates human-made hierarchies of value over divinely-given free grace. Through colonization and slavery, the United States of America helped to create and embrace a system of valuing and devaluing people based on skin color and ethnic identity. The name for this system is white supremacy. This system deliberately subjugated groups of people for the purpose of material, political, and social advantage. Racism is the continuing legacy of white supremacy. Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. It is also a lie about God, for it falsely claims that God favors parts of creation over the entirety of creation.
Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against, and work against racism. Antiracist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Since the invasion of the Americas by Europeans, indigenous peoples have borne the brutal consequences of white supremacy. Racism against Native Americans has led to lower health, income, and education indicators, as well as higher rates of suicide and other forms of violence. Although they are the most legislated racial group in the U.S., Native Americans are often rendered invisible in national conversations about race, erasing their struggles, perseverance, and contributions.
Anti-black racism has been a structural component of the United States from the beginning. The Constitution defined an African American as three-fifths of a person, denying their full humanity. The economic foundations of the United States were built on slave labor. The legal system of the United States has consistently perpetuated the subjugation of African Americans throughout the history of the nation.
Hispanics/Latinos-as have been a vital part of the fabric of the United States, particularly since the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, when a large part of Mexico became what is now the southwestern United States and when the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico in 1898. Yet Hispanics/Latinos-as are often presumed to be undocumented and difficult to assimilate.
Asian Pacific Americans experience racism as perpetual foreigners, whether they and their ancestors have been in the United States for seven generations or one generation. Vastly different Asian American populations, such as Chinese Americans and Cambodian Americans, are grouped together, erasing cultural differences and unique contributions. Immigrants from all over the world continue to experience oppression, exploitation, and inequality due to racism in America. Furthermore, a
persistent focus on race as a black-white binary has been used as a tool of white supremacy to prevent coalition-building among different groups. For example, the representation of Asian Americans as model minorities has relegated them to a “wedge” position between white and black, in service of white supremacy.
While recognizing that racism victimizes many different racial ethnic groups, we acknowledge its unique impact on the African American community. Given the particular forms that anti-black racism has taken in the United States of America both historically (including slavery and Jim Crow) and today (including mass incarceration, disproportionate policing, economic inequality, and continuing acts of racially oriented violence and hate), we state clearly: GOD LOVES BLACKNESS. Too many have denied this basic truth for too long. Our choice to align ourselves with love and not hate requires both a rejection of racism and a positive proclamation that God delights in black lives.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we stand against racism in all its myriad forms. As Presbyterians, we have specific resources in our tradition that can be useful in turning away from racism and towards the diversity and justice that God desires. In particular, we have received wisdom regarding sin, confession, and repentance.
Reformed theology offers a nuanced understanding of sin. Calvin did not understand sin to be simply an individual belief, action, or moral failing (Calvin, 1960). Rather, he viewed sin as the corporate state of all humanity. It is an infection that taints each of us and all of us. No part of us—not our perception, intelligence, nor conscience—is unclouded by sin. This does not mean that human beings are awful. Rather, it means that we must have humility about our own righteousness, and that we must cling to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
Nineteenth century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher reiterates the corporate and communal nature of sin. He writes that sin is “in each the work of all and in all the work of each” (Schleiermacher, 288). He uses the terms “original sin” and “actual sin” to explain. The sinful actions and beliefs of each person (actual sin) contribute to communal ways of being that are in opposition to God (original sin). As people are born and raised in the context of original sin, they begin to commit actual sin, and the cycle continues.
These old-fashioned terms can be helpful in understanding contemporary problems, including racism. Bigoted beliefs, hate crimes, prejudice, and intentional discrimination are all actual sin. They stem from, and contribute to, the original sin of systemic racism that permeates our culture and society. The actual sins of past generations—such as slavery, the Indian Removal Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the colonization of Hawaii and Guam, the Immigration Act of 1924, and so on—become the original sin in which we live. This is manifested in severe inequality in education, wealth, income, and opportunity. For example, consider a white man returning from Army service in 1945. The G.I. Bill offered him college tuition and a low-interest mortgage, potentially on land taken from Native Americans by force or coercion. A black man returning from an equal length of Army service did not receive the same benefits due to racism in the administration of the G.I. Bill and widespread discrimination in housing. In 2015, the white man’s descendants have the benefits of inherited wealth (home equity) and increased education, while the black man’s grandchildren do not.
Breaking the Cycle of Silence and Inaction (click to read)
Continuing from the vision of the PC (USA)’s 2016 policy, Facing Racism: No one today needs to commit an actual sin for this inequality to continue. Original sin does not need our intentional consent to thrive. Silence and inaction are enough. This nuanced concept of sin can be particularly useful in understanding how people of goodwill who do not harbor prejudice or intend bigotry are still participants in original sin.
White people in the United States of America continue collectively to reap the benefits of white supremacy, even when they individually believe in the equality of all people. Our theological heritage regarding sin makes it possible for Presbyterians to acknowledge the complex realities of racism instead of moving to defend an illusion of individual innocence.
The second valuable resource from our tradition is the importance of confession and repentance. Acknowledging our sinfulness ought not to produce self-hatred or paralyzing guilt. Rather, the appropriate response is to confess our sin before God and one another, confident in the grace and love of God. The grace that enables us to confess also empowers us to repent, that is, to turn and walk the other way, towards the eschatological vision of God’s new creation. By grace we are forgiven, and we respond to this grace with gratitude, humility, and renewed zeal for the Gospel.
Finally, as Presbyterians we know something about work. While aspects of the Protestant work ethic may be problematic, to the degree that it signifies our determination, persistence, and stubborn strength, we embrace it in this regard: we commit ourselves to DO THE WORK of countering racism in our witness to the Gospel. In our affirmation that God loves difference, we will honor diversity as a good in which God delights. In our conviction that God desires justice, we will learn from others to broaden our understanding of equality. In our humility as sinful people, we will listen openly to diverse voices regarding how racism functions in our society. In our gratitude for God’s grace, we will turn again and again towards the vision of whole community found in the Word of God. In our joyous response to God’s love, we will love one another.
Questions for Pittsboro Presbyterian (click to read)
The Study Guide about Shifting Accountability for Racial Ethnic Ministries
in the PC(USA) from Variety to Equity offers these as the necessary quesitons for every congregation to answer:
Patterns—In the light of the “history lessons” learned about interracial relationship, multiracial inclusion, cross-cultural communication, and culturally attentive governance, what unproductive and unhealthy patterns of relationship need to be broken?
Postures—What new postures (ways of being in relationship) and perspectives (ways of seeing one another) need to be set and cultivated in order that “inclusiveness and diversity” are experienced in new or enhanced forms of mutual respect, genuine fellowship, and meaningful representation and inclusion?
Processes—What new or revised approaches are needed in planning, managing, and evaluating in order for the appropriate conception, creative design, and sustained development of racial ethnic ministries?
Practices—What needs to be done so that culturally-different approaches to racial ethnic ministry can be understood, encouraged, interpreted, and supported as diversity-enhancing differences rather than division-causing differences?
Positioning—What immediate adjustments and experiments do we need so that efforts to begin new regional racial ethnic ministries not only celebrate gifts of ethnic culture but also demonstrate sensitive and innovative ecclesiastical culture?
The PC (USA) has several resources to help inform approaches to anti-racism. (click on the picture)
This 15 page study provides great questions for congregations that can help guide us into anti-racism work of dismantling our own systems of racism.
The Stated Clerk has an excellent article showing how church leaders remain complicit in racism when they do not speak up against it.
What Can I Do As An Individual?
“Love Your Enemies” – Jesus
Matthew 5:43-48 has Jesus telling his disciples to be different from others by loving their enemies. Learn how Daryl Davis took his curiosity about why people didn’t like him to courageously befriend his enemies resulting in the dismantling of the KKK in Maryland.
Who is someone you’re almost certain to disagree with bitterly, and yet God is calling you to speak with them with greater frequency, calmness and respect?
Every-Day Practical Tips
Corrine Shutak offers 75 ideas white people can do to stop standing by in compilcit silence when our non-white sisters and brothers are killed and placed in danger every day due to the lack of these actions taking place.
Anti-Racist Resources from Berkley’s Greater Good
In response to the killing of unarmed black people by police, the Greater Good compiled pieces that explore our potential to reduce prejudice in society and in ourselves.
Racial Trauma – A Mental Health Perspective
On Being with Krista Tippett
‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’
The best laws and diversity training have not gotten us anywhere near where we want to go. Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.” Krista sat down with him in Minneapolis, where they both live and work, before the pandemic lockdown began. In this heartbreaking moment, after the killing of George Floyd and the history it carries, Resmaa Menakem’s practices offer us the beginning to change at a cellular level.
Learn about RACIAL TRAUMA from MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA.
Dive Deeper with information and links from the nation’s largest community-based nonprofit dedicated to mental health.
‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’
Black People Are So Tired
I took my friends re-post about how we are so tired as black people, which included names and hash-tags and tried to write a few words about what happened to them and some of the aftermath of the tragedy (with Heather’s help). I encourage us to continue researching the trials and reforms corresponding to these tragedies. – Evan
List of Black Lives Lost
Black people are so tired. 😓
We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).
- Ahmaud Arbury, 25 years old, was chased, shot, and killed by white men in a pickup truck while he was jogging.
- The attackers were Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and retired investigator for the DA’s office, and his son Travis.
- The men were not arrested until 74 days later after weeks of public outcry.
- McMichaels charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. Denied bond.
We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson). And #BreonnaTaylor).
- Botham Jean, 26 years old, was fatally shot in his own home when an off-duty police officer entered his apartment, mistaking it for her own, and open fired upon seeing him.
- Amber Guyger sentenced 10 years for killing Bothem Jean in the “wrong apartment”.
- Atatiana Jefferson, 28 years old, was fatally shot in her own home by a police officer responding to a neighbor calling about her front door being open. She was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew.
- Aaron Dean indicted and released on bond.
- Breonna Taylor, 26 years old, was shot and killed while in her own bed after police officers used a battering ram to enter her apartment in the middle of the night while searching for suspects who were, at the time, already in custody.
- The officers fired over twenty shots. Taylor was shot eight times. The police filed an incident report which was nearly entirely blank and false.
- All officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of an investigation.
We can’t ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
- Jonathan Ferrell, 24 years old, was fatally shot 10 times by a police officer while seeking help after being involved in a car accident.
- When he went to a nearby home seeking assistance, the owner of the home didn’t call for an ambulance. Instead, they called the police, reporting a home burglary in process.
- Hung jury, case will not be retried by Gov. Roy Cooper
- Renisha McBride, 19 years old, was shot in the face after coming to Theodore Wafer’s home in a predominantly white neighborhood hours after crashing her car nearby.
- Found guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and possession of a firearm
We can’t have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
- Stephon Clark, 22 years old, was fatally shot 8 times (primarily in the back) in his grandmother’s backyard by police officers responding to a report of a man breaking car windows. Officers mistook his cellphone for a gun.
- Officers not charged
We can’t leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
- Jordan Edwards, 15 years old, was fatally shot by police officer while leaving a party with his two brothers and two friends.
- Officer sentenced to 15 years.
We can’t play loud music (#JordanDavis).
- Jordan Davis, 17 years old, was fatally shot at a gas station following an argument with a man over loud music played by Jordan and his friends.
- Hung jury in the first trial, found guilty of the first-degree murder in second trial
We can’t sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
- Alton Sterling, 37 years old, was fatally shot by police officers while selling CDs outside of a store.
- Officers, responding to a call of a man threatening outside with a handgun, tased Sterling and then shot him three times for “reaching for a gun”.
- Officers not charged.
We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)
- Aiyana Jones, 7 years old, was fatally shot while sleeping in her grandmother’s arms when police conducted a surprise raid in search for a murder suspect that lived in the apartment upstairs.
- Captured on video by an A&Ecrew filming an episode of The First 48, its true-crime program.
- Officer not charged.
We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
- Mike Brown, 18 years old, was fatally shot by a police officer for allegedly stealing a pack of cigarillos from a shop.
- Brown had his hands up in surrender and said “don’t shoot” before he was shot at least six times. Protesters to this day use the slogan “hands up, don’t shoot”.
- His body left on the street for hours as community members watched on.
- Officer not charged.
We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
- Tamir Rice, 12 years old, was fatally shot by a police officer while throwing snowballs and playing with a toy gun.
- Officers were responding to a call that a male “keeps pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people” and that the gun is probably fake and the male is probably a juvenile. The officer fired a shot within two seconds of getting out of his car.
- It took over two years for the officer to be fired.
- Officer not charged
- Would this have happened if it was a little white boy? Cop did not disclose history of being deemed an “emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty” when applying to this department.
We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).
Charleston 9 / Charleston church massacre
- During a routine Bible study at the church, white supremacist Dylann Roof, opened fire with a handgun, killing Clementa Pinckney (41), Cynthia Hurd (54), Susie Jackson (87), Ethel Lance (70), Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49), Tywanza Sanders (26), Daniel Simmons (74), Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) and Myra Thomspon (59)
- Roof charged with nine counts of murder and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, 3 counts of attempted murder, 12 hate crime charges and 12 counts of violating people’s freedom of religion. He’s been sentenced to death on federal charges and life in prison on state charges.
We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
- Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman during a physical altercation between the two.
- After reporting to 911 a “suspicious person”, Zimmerman disregarded instructions to remain in his car.
- Claiming self-defense, Zimmerman found not guilty. #BlackLivesMatter began as a hashtag on twitter following Zimmerman’s acquittal in 2013.
- Photographs have emerged of Zimmerman autographing bags of Skittles (what Trayvon was carrying when murdered) in front of a Confederate flag.
We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
- Sean Bell, 23 years old, was fatally shot by undercover police officers on his wedding day.
- Sean was leaving his bachelor party with friends and family when they were gunned down with over 50 rounds.
- Officers acquitted
We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
- Oscar Grant, 22 years old, was fatally shot by police officer on New Year’s Day.
- Oscar and others were detained by officers responding to reports of a fight on the metro/train. The officer claimed to have mistakenly shot Oscar instead of tasing him.
- Found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Sentenced two years. Released under parole after serving 11 months.
We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
- Encinia had a history of performing pretextual traffic stops, having issued 1,600 mostly minor tickets in less than 12 months, using the pretext of little-enforced minor infractions to then perform random searches in the hope of finding something criminal.He began following Bland in Prairie View, Texas on the afternoon of July 10, 2015, accelerating fast on her rear, closing in so near to her that she changed lanes to give him the right of way, believing he was headed to an emergency call – at which point he pulled her over on University Drive for failure to signal a lane change, though he could have still stopped her if she did signal, under a different section of the Texas Transportation Code requiring a continuous lane change signal for a minimum of 100 feet (30 m). In a series of events recorded by his dashcam, along with a bystander and Bland herself, Encinia spoke to Bland, the interaction became heated, and he pulled her from her car. After they moved out of frame, he forced her on the ground, and arrested her.
- Sandra Bland, 28 years old, found hanged in a jail cell after being arrested for an alleged traffic violation.
- Officer who lied about being afraid for his life was suspended for 3 years and now works security in the private sector.
- “Sandra Bland Law” passed in Texas provides some minimal things to help such as requiring de-escalation training of all Texas police, Texas has sat on a bill for over a year that would have kept Sandra alive: prohibiting arrests for certain misdemeanors punishable by fine only.
We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
- Philando Castile, 32 years old school cafeteria worker who often paid for kids lunches himself, was fatally shot by a police officer 7 times during a traffic stop when he reached for his driver’s license. He let the officer know he had a legal gun.
- Castile’s fiancée, live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook
- Five months after the incident, officer Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughterand two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. After five days of deliberation, he was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017 in a jury trial, and was immediately fired by the City of Saint Anthony. Wrongful death lawsuits against the City brought by Reynolds and Castile’s family were settled for $3.8 million.
We can’t break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
- Corey Jones, 31 years old, was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer while stranded and waiting for a tow truck.
- Officer charged with manslaughter and first degree murder and sentenced 25 years.
We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
- John Crawford, 22 years old, was fatally shot by police officers at a Walmart for picking up a pellet gun for sale in the store. He was falsely accused of pointing the BB gun at people. Video footage shows officers shooting him before asking him any questions.
- Officers not charged.
We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerenceCrutcher).
- Terence Crutcher, 40 years old, was fatally shot by police officer whose vehicle was found stalled in a road.
- Dashcam footage showed Crutcher raising his hands moments before Shelby shot and killed him.
- Officer found not guilty and now teaches other police officers how to ‘survive’ such incidents.
We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).
- Keith Scott, 43 years old, fatally shot by police officer while reading and waiting in his truck for his young son to come home from school.
- Keith’s wife recorded the murder as she pleads for the cops not to shoot.
- Officers not charged.
We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
- Clifford Glover, 10 years old, fatally shot by undercover police officer in 1973.
- He was walking with his grandfather, when a car pulled up and out jumped 2 men with guns. Clifford and his father tried to run, fearing they were going to be robbed, but one of the gunmen fired. Before firing the fatal shot that would strike little Clifford in the back and take his life, the man yelled out, “You black son of a bitches!”
- The officer was the first NYPD to be tried for murder while on duty. He was found not guilty.
We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
- Claude Reese, 14 years old, was fatally shot by a police officer in 1974. Officers were investigating a possible burglary in Claude’s apartment building. Claude and his friends were decorating the basement for a friend’s birthday party. The officer shot Claude for thinking the handsaw was a gun.
- Office stripped of duties but continued working for the PD.
We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
- Randy Evans, 15 years old, fatally shot by police officer responding to a call in Randy’s apartment. Randy asked “Did you go into Apartment 70?”, and the officer replied “Damned right” and shot him point blank in the head.
- Officer found not guilty, but remanded to Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.
We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
- Yvonne Smallwood, 28 years old, died while in police custody, six days after being arrested in a dispute over a summons issued to her boyfriend. While police said Smallwood attacked them, her boyfriend and another witness said they saw police kick and beat Smallwood, who died from a blood clot.
- Officers not charged.
We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
- Amadou Diallo, 23 years old, was fatally shot by police officers who said they believed him to look like a rape suspect from a year-old case, opened fire on Amadou outside his home.
- Officers found not guilty.
We can’t run (#WalterScott).
- Walter Scott, 50 years old, fatally shot by police officer five times in the back for running away after being pulled over for a broken taillight.
- Officer sentenced to 20 years.
We can’t breathe (#EricGarner & #GeorgeFloyd).
- Eric Garner, 43 years old, died from a choke hold from a police officer. Garner was arrested on suspicion of illegally selling loose cigarettes.
- His dying words “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for protests against police brutality.
- Officer not charged
- George Floyd, 46 years old, died from a police choke hold for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes.
- The police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds as he cried out for his dead mother repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”.
- After Floyd’s death, protests were held globally against police brutality, spurring the largest civil rights movement in history.
We can’t live (#FreddieGray).
- Freddie Gray, 25 years old, died from cervical spine injury from police brutality and neglect after being thrown into a police van for having an illegal switchblade, when—in actuality—it was regular spring-assisted folding knife many people carry.
- Officers found not guilty, and still work in Baltimore PD, but settlement paid to family.
Tired of making hashtags.
Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.
Tired of dying.
So very tired.
Pittsboro Presbyterian Church
95 East Street (physical address)
PO Box 713 (mailing address)
Pittsboro NC 27312
Call ahead if you would like to meet the pastor or other staff outside of regular office hours.
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Sunday School 10am
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