In a spirit of unity and reconciliation, the Sisters of St. Joseph recognize that the work of law enforcement is becoming increasingly challenging and complex, particularly in these polarizing times. We also acknowledge that incidents of police brutality and misconduct have become more widely known nationally and locally through filming by concerned citizens.
In May, we watched in horror as Mr. George Floyd’s life was taken at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Over this past weekend, the world also saw a video of members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police performing what they called a “low visibility arrest” of a peaceful protester. Indeed, this low visibility arrest by plain-clothes officers in an unmarked vehicle didn’t look like a routine arrest; rather, it looked like a kidnapping. Such actions promote public terror and distrust of law enforcement and place both the police and the public at risk. Shining a bright light on such troubling actions may prevent them from recurring.
We are grateful to the members of Black, Young, and Educated for their commitment and action toward increasing awareness of the need for more accountability regarding the use of deadly force by members of law enforcement in Pennsylvania. We are thankful, too, for Pittsburgh’s Community Task Force on Police Reform for its work toward creating a safe and healthy place for all in the city. Lastly, acknowledging that this is not an easy time to be in law enforcement, we also thank those members of the law enforcement community who are working to ease tensions and keep our communities safe.
As we serve God and all dear neighbors without distinction, the Sisters of St. Joseph pray for healing, peace and justice in all cities across the United States.