Lessons on de-escalation and conflict resolution must be learned, say religious leaders
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Religious leaders in the city share a message with their community following the death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.
We met with Bishop Timothy Clarke and Howard Rayford. Both say that we, as a community, must come together in sorrow, but also in learning.
Tragic. This is how Bishop Clarke views the death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.
“Sometimes you have to deal with the pain. You have to let it go or allow yourself to suffer, and then you have to learn from this injury, ”explained Clarke. “I think so often we don’t do either.”
Police body camera video shows the teenager being gunned down after brandishing a knife during a brawl. Bishop Clarke and Bishop Harold Rayford call on the community to get involved and learn from it.
“In many ways, we have let our children down. We must win back our community. We have to rediscover the village, ”said Clarke.
Hayford added: “When you see a 16 or 16 year old who is feeling so frustrated and so angry and feeling that way – it’s a reflection on our society. It is a reflection of not only his world, but our world, and I want us to pray for our world. “
De-escalation, conflict resolution: this is what the two bishops want to see happen.
“It’s a situation where I can’t imagine, you know, being a cop and getting out of the car and seeing it all happen and making a split second decision – of course we would have liked it to be.” used a taser, or we wished it had intervened in some other way, ”said Rayford.
Clarke says he is praying for Columbus and everyone involved in this tragedy: family, community and the officer as well.
“Sometimes it’s being angry and at the same time having human empathy, sympathy that allows you to see the other without denigrating or disrespecting,” he said.
An independent investigation into the shooting is underway by BCI. There have been peaceful protests across the city since Tuesday’s shooting, with more scheduled for the rest of the week.