The beating of a homeless woman by a DeKalb police officer has prompted law enforcement officials in metro Atlanta/Fulton County and faith leaders to come to the table and talk.
A luncheon meeting is planned for Thursday, July 20, at noon at the historic Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, NW, in Buckhead to discuss ways to improve relations fighting crime and preventing a negative encounters between officers and citizens, the Rev. Markel Hutchinson said in a press release.
Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and the police chiefs of each of the other 13 cities in Fulton County are urging senior faith leaders who preside over congregations in the City of Atlanta or either of the other cities in the county to attend the meeting.
The police chiefs co-authored a letter to head congregational leaders from all faiths in the City and County, appealing to the clergy to attend a joint session. The effort is part of the One Congregation One Precinct or “OneCOP” initiative, a new, proactive program aimed at utilizing houses of worship in local neighborhoods to heal bonds, decrease mutual biases and repair fractured relationships between police officers and the residents they are sworn to protect and serve. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Solicitor General Keith Gammage,and Marshal Antonio Jackson also signed the letter.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Solicitor General Keith Gammage and Marshal Antonio Jackson also signed the invitation letter.
Erin Brooks, Esq., OneCOP’s executive director, stressed the role Atlanta faith leaders should play in this nationwide problem.
“Faith leaders from all backgrounds and communities have an important part in addressing the current environment with regard to rising violent crime as well as the police-involved tragedies we continue to see,” Brooks said. “As the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta can and should lead the nation in implementing multiple strategies to heal the rift between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Faith leaders who preside over a congregation in the City of Atlanta or the North or South portions of Fulton County is urged to attend. Admittance is limited to police chiefs, head/lead/senior clergy, denominational leaders and media only.
For more information, faith leaders should call (404) 605.7000.