Sheriff Bill Pooley and Police Chief Turu Vanderwiel are confident we will not have this type of violence here in Sonora, but are fully prepared to respond as needed.
This protest, like others before it, is intended to honor the life of George Floyd and stand in support of #BlackLivesMatter.
I want you to know that as a movement, I believe there are some significant problems with #BlackLivesMatter. That is true of most movements. Those problems, however, do not diminish the core truth and central aim around which the movement is organized: the reality of systemic violence against Black people and the need for action to bring about justice and necessary change.
As Christians—and as a local church—we must stand for what God stands for: justice and righteousness.
Justice is about setting right what is wrong. It includes both punishing wrongdoers and caring for the victims of unjust treatment. In our nation, it includes condemning systemic injustice against people of color in general and black men in particular.
But we must also pursue righteousness—that is, living in right relationship with both God and with people; it is about right relationships between individuals, communities, nations … and races. Pastor Timothy Keller puts it this way:
“In the Bible [righteousness] refers to day-to-day living in which a person conducts all relationships in family and society with fairness, generosity, and equity.”
And so this afternoon, I intend to be present in downtown Sonora standing and praying for justice and righteousness … specifically, justice and righteousness for Black men and for the Black community.
I don’t ask or expect that you will join me downtown. I do ask that you join me in praying toward that same end: for justice and righteousness. As God said through the prophet Micah, “What does the LORD require of you but do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?”