CRCDS Board of Trustees Chair Bishop Jack M. McKelvey and CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle on the decision not to indict in the death of Eric Garner

In the wake of the grand jury decision to not indict the police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner in New York City, Chair of the CRCDS Board of Trustees Bishop Jack M. McKelvey and CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle shared their thoughts with the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle.

Bishop McKelvey’s letter to the editor is available online through the link provided below. For your convenience, the actual text is provided as well.

Dr. McMickle’s editorial was taken from his most recent Unite Rochester blog posting. The link to Dr. McMickle’s piece is available below along with the complete text.
FROM BISHOP JACK M. MCKELVEY

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/letters/2014/12/06/letter-garner-case-shows-video-evidence-issue/19967697/
In the wake of the grand jury decision regarding the Eric Garner case in New York City, one could raise the question as to why we need expensive police cameras in order to get justice. What more do we need than a video of action taken by police, a medical examiner's report and the verbal sounds of the victim saying "I can't breathe" to have the situation taken before a jury of the perpetrators peers? Does it not seem obvious that the issue is not video evidence, but rather how we come to decisions which allow the courts of law to act and justice to be done?
JACK M. McKELVEY
ROCHESTER
The writer is a retired Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester.

FROM PRESIDENT MARVIN A. MCMICKLE
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/unite/2014/12/03/here-we-go-again/19862537/
Here We Go Again

In his book, The Souls of Black Folk, written in 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois said "The problem of the twentieth century will be the problem of the color line." As it happens, the problem of the color line has followed us into the 21st century with a pattern of white police officers using deadly force against unarmed black males in cities across the United States.
While the nation is still reeling from the decision in Ferguson, Missouri not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, we have now heard that another white police officer in New York City will not be indicted in the death of Eric Garner.
The New York City Medical Examiner did an autopsy on his body and concluded that his death was "a homicide" caused by the use of an illegal choke hold that was banned by the New York City Police Department in 1993! This death played out on national TV for all the world to see. Eric Garner was unarmed. Eric Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes. Six police officers were involved in his take-down, and all six police officers doubtlessly heard Eric Garner say 11 times "I can't breathe."
No doubt some people will blame Eric Garner for this death, because they will say he was resisting arrest. Others will say he was guilty of selling loose cigarettes and not paying taxes. All of these issues could have been resolved if there had been an indictment that would have been followed by a trial where guilt or innocence could have been determined. Instead, the pattern continues of the death of unarmed black males being killed as a result of excessive force being used by white police officers.
For many black people, the words of Du Bois still seem relevant: The American problem is the problem of the color line. In the same book, Du Bois talked about his own feeling of "double consciousness" in which he felt the conflicts and limitations of being "an American and a Negro." That is the feeling that is spreading across black communities in this country with this string of deaths that are not even resulting in an indictment, much less a conviction.

We are, as always, grateful for the efforts of Bishop McKelvey and Dr. McMickle to elevate and inform public discourse, particularly on such a vitally important justice issue.

Dr. John R. Tyson, Professor of Church History and Director of United Methodist Studies, publishes book

wesleyDr. John R. Tyson, Professor of Church History and Director of Methodist Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, announces the publication of his newest book, The Way of the Wesleys: A Short Introduction. The 212-page book offers an intriguing introduction to the main teachings and practices of both John and Charles Wesley and is available in the CRCDS bookstore. For more information, click here: http://www.crcds.edu/resources-for/the-crcds-bookstore/ or call (585)340-6601.

The Wesley brothers, John (1703–1791) and Charles (1707–1788), are famous as the co-founders of the Wesleyan tradition and the Methodist family of churches. The Way of the Wesleys takes readers through main theological points thematically and is the first book that details how Charles, the younger and lesser-known brother, contributed to Wesleyan theology.

Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans calls the book "engaging and accessible" and says it shows why the Wesleys remain relevant to the faith journey of Christians today.

Dr. Tyson has authored more than 80 articles and conference papers, has edited or written eight books. His publications include: Charles Wesley on Sanctification (Zondervan, 1986), and Charles Wesley: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 1989), Invitation to Christian Spirituality (Oxford University Press, 1999), and Assist Me To Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley (Eerdmans, 2007).

 

 

WHEC NEWS10-NBC Rochester interviews CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle tonight

MCMICKLE-e1356183697810Widely circulated but unconfirmed media reports say the grand jury in the Ferguson, MO shooting death of Michael Brown has reached a decision. At issue is whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in Michael Brown's death.

WHEC News10 NBC in Rochester, New York will interview Colgate Rochester Crozer  Divinity School President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle during the 5:30 p.m. and the 6:15 p.m. evening news segments regarding the death of Michael Brown and the events in Ferguson.

To view Dr. McMickle's interview online, see:

http://www.whec.com/news/

Dr. McMickle has published an essay on the Ferguson case on the Democrat and  Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog page, which can be read http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/blogs/unite/2014/08/20/reflections-on-ferguson/14343551/

 

Can We Learn a Lesson From Ottawa? Dr. McMickle weighs in

Dr. McMickle recently wrote about the killing of the Canadian soldier in his Unite Rochester blog. He invites us to think about the differences between our two countries when he says, "I was in Toronto, Ontario on the day the funeral was held for the Canadian soldier who was shot and killed while on duty in front of that nation’s War Memorial. It was as if an entire nation was joined together in a combination of grief and shock. That was because homicides due to the use of guns is so rare in Canada. It is strange that our two nations can be so close in so many ways, but so far apart when it comes to tolerance of guns in the hands of civilians. Today there are more guns in the United States than there are people. It has been that way for the last fifty years, and during all of that time this country has led the entire world in homicides due to the use of guns. This is not to suggest that the rights of hunters and shooting enthusiasts should be curtailed. However, I do wonder why any civilian needs a weapon that can carry 100 rounds of ammunition before one has to reload, much less the need for bullets that can pierce the body armor warn by police officers? As I observed Canadians demonstrating how much value they placed on the loss of that one life, it quickly became apparent how little value we place on human life in this country since we continue to be known as “the murder Capitol of the world.” Perhaps we can add on to the Depression-era slogan that promised “A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, and a gun in the hand of every citizen!”

To read this article online or to visit the Unite Rochester blog, please visit: http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/unite/2014/10/31/can-we-learn-a-lesson-from-ottawa/