Again the African Methodist Episcopal Church grieves the death of one its members in a manner that sounds more alarms and raises more questions. The Council of Bishops and our connectional church extend our sympathy to the family of Sandra Bland, and lift them in prayer in their very great and painful loss. We also assure them of our support and commitment to seeking truth and justice in the loss of their loved one.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church demands an independent and thorough investigation into the arrest and death of Sandra Bland. To begin with there are questions which must be answered about the arrest and treatment of Ms. Bland. Second, there are many questions and few answers about how Ms. Bland died. Let us be clear, we are not satisfied with the explanation that she committed suicide. A young woman having just received a job at her alma mater, Prairie View University, something she was excited about and looked forward to, is not the attitude that would suggest suicide. Waller County, Texas has a questionable history when it comes to matters of race. This incident only increases that questionable history.
While the AME Church continues to mourn the loss of the Emanuel Nine in Charleston, South Carolina, we remain committed to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of race, are treated fairly and that justice prevails. Additionally, we remain determined to end the prejudicial manner in which many Blacks are treated by some in law enforcement. We wholeheartedly support good and unbiased law enforcement, but vehemently and determinedly oppose and seek to end biased law enforcement and all forms of discrimination.
The death of Sandra Bland, 28 years old, with a new job and promising future demands and requires that her treatment by police and the cause of her death be made known. We will remain vigilant and supportive of her family as they seek the same.
For further inquiries and Call to Action, contact “Jackie” Dupont- Walker, Director of Social Action Commission at 213-494-9493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.