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Officers, pastors push for peace in press conference

Local church and law enforcement leaders held a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Bloch Park to announce a pastor and law enforcement prayer vigil scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. at Bloch Park.

“We have agreed to come together to have a prayer vigil here at Block Park,” said New Macedonia Baptist Church Pastor Jonathan Shanks. “We’re going to pray together for the healing of our nation and to bridge these racial divides.”

“We’re here today because our hearts are heavy,” said Cornerstone Presbyterian Church Pastor Steven Burton. “The current COVID-19 crisis has served to remind us all of the frailty of our human condition. The isolation that we’ve experienced compounded by the economic social disruption highlights our need for one another. And sadly, that need has been hijacked by the painful reality represented by the latest examples of senseless violence in Kentucky and Georgia and Minnesota, turning a spotlight yet again to on the brokenness of the human condition and our unwillingness to love and respect one another. While all of us gathered here and, in fact, spread across this earth share a common humanity there remains among us and within us a lingering unwillingness to accept one another as equals. We have a name for it, we call it racism. It is simply sin. So today we stand together, brothers and sisters in Christ to say no more.”

“I’m a firm believer that prayer does change things,” said Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum.

Granthum expressed pride to be in Dallas County and commended the peaceful protest that took place at the Dallas County Courthouse earlier that day.

“We have all these protests going around our country right now and we’re taking away the reason that we’re in protest and that reason is someone lost their life because of an unjust cop. Yes, you have a cop up here telling you that a cop was wrong. We’ve got to learn to do that. That cop was wrong for what he did but the way the country has been protesting is wrong, it’s an excuse to commit a crime.”

“It’s going to take all of us working together to get this under control and taken care of,” said Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford. “We’re in a bad situation with the pandemic and to add to it violence and destruction is uncalled for.”