‘Enough is Enough’: LA County Clergy Demand a Stop to Police Violence

January 27, 2023


Media Contact: Yesenia Padilla, yesenia@lavoice.org, 415.269.3178

‘Enough is Enough’: LA County Clergy Demand a Stop to Police Violence

LOS ANGELES, CA — In light of the release of footage of the murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis Police during a traffic stop, LA Voice and its clergy leaders mourn the loss of thousands of lives to police violence, and demand an end to the culture of impunity fostered in police departments across the country. 

Tyre Nichols was a 29-year-old resident of Memphis, TN. He was an avid skateboarder, and leaves behind a four-year-old son. His death on January 7th was mere days after the death of Keenan Anderson, a 30-year-old Los Angeles resident who died after being repeatedly tased by LAPD on January 3rd, and followed by the murder of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, AKA Tortuguita, who was shot by law enforcement during a raid of a non-violent encampment in defense of the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.  

According to Mapping Police Violence, 1,186 people have been shot and killed by the police in the last 12 months, a record high. The family of Keenan Anderson has issued several demands, including the removal of police from traffic stops, mental health, schools, parks, and housing and the end of qualified immunity that shields police from accountability.

LA Voice is a multi-racial, multifaith organization dedicated to building a Los Angeles in which all people can live in dignity, and represents 70 congregations across Los Angeles county. As part of their transformative justice work, LA Voice elevates the leadership of those directly impacted by the criminal justice system to create a justice system focused on prevention and rehabilitation, and works to reimagine public safety in Los Angeles County as community-led and focused. 

Eddie Anderson, Senior Pastor of McCarty Memorial Christian Church and South LA Regional Community Organizer for LA Voice said: 

“Philando Castile. Sandra Bland. Keenan Anderson. Tyre Nichols. I say the names of these Black men and women, and thousands of others, and I am filled with sadness and righteous rage. Each one of them was brutally murdered by law enforcement with little care or concern for their dignity or human rights. The immoral culture of impunity and abuse among law enforcement that is inflicted upon Black people is not new — who could forget the brutal beating of Rodney King — but with the ever-increasing militarization of police departments across the country, and their ever-increasing budgets, we are at a tipping point. 

As a member of the clergy, I cannot sit idly by and watch as Black people are being killed by law enforcement and lawmakers feign helplessness. I pray for the souls of those lost and for safety for my community, and I demand justice. I demand accountability. I demand legislation that reins in law enforcement, and I demand that instead of putting money into police budgets, we invest in our communities through affordable housing, guaranteed basic income and other safety net programs, and policies that help all members of our communities — including those formerly-incarcerated — live their lives with dignity. Until this American project deals with the racist roots of policing we will never be safe, and ‘protection’ will continue to be a perpetual nightmare for Black people and people of color.”  

Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard, Founding Pastor of Word of Encouragement Church and LA Voice Board Member said:

“Failure to comply in a non-lethal situation should never equal authorization to kill! And we as a society should never ever be okay with someone being killed because they failed to comply and they were not presenting a lethal threat!”

Rabbi Sharon Brous, Founder and Senior Rabbi of IKAR said: 

“The Jewish tradition teaches that every person is accompanied, at all times, by a procession of angels crying out: Make way, for an image of the Holy One is approaching! Every person, like royalty. Infinitely worthy. Irreplaceable. And yet, again and again, the image of the Holy One is controlled and contained, humiliated and degraded, incarcerated and incapacitated, shot and killed before our very eyes. We will not rest until we build a society in which Tyre, Tortuguita, Keenan and so many others are treated as precious images of the Holy One. May their memories stir us to work toward a more just and loving world.”

Cedric Nelms, Pastor of Chosen Generation Fellowship Church, said: 

“The constant attacks and disregard for Black bodies is something that is not new to this nation. It has been indoctrinated into the fabric of this country in every niche and system. There are far too many names to list that have been murdered in our community at the hands of those that have been put into position to serve. As someone that is part of the community that looks like Tyre Nichols, Mike Brown, Keenan Anderson, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Stephon Clark, and countless others it is grossly despicable the injustice that is so pervasive in communities of color, especially the Black community. As someone that is part of the clergy and leads a church in the Black community, those that are entrusted to my care are hurt and angry. Today there needs to be change! I am tired and frustrated with the lack of compassion and lack of accountability when it comes to the assault on the lives and bodies of Black men and women. 

It is time for radical change to how policing is done in this nation. It is time for the lives and bodies of Black men and women to be treated with respect and dignity. It is time for the local, state, and federal government to make changes to how immunity is handled in regards to police. It is deplorable that Black men, women, children have to deal with societal issues, such as a lack of affordable housing, lack of guaranteed basic income, lack of an equitable educational system, affordable health care, and the list goes on. And on top of that, to be worried and mentally traumatized by the murder and disregard for their bodies based on the color of their skin. TODAY there needs to be a change!”


LA Voice is a multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that awakens people to their own power, training them to speak, act, and work together to transform our County into one that reflects the dignity of all people.