PDF of News Release 

Police violence is morally wrong! CLERGY ACTION RVA Press Conference Condemning Police Brutality

Tues. June 30, 2020 – 12:00 p.m. 

Richmond – Marcus-David Peters Circle (formerly Lee Monument)
(please wear masks and follow social distancing protocols)

“We stand together in Richmond, a city torn apart by the sins of anti-Black racism and the legacy of slavery, to call for an end to police violence, state-sanctioned brutality, and structural racism.” Rev. Donte McCutchen, Pastor at Love Cathedral Community Church, Richmond

“God is always on the side of life and love. When life is threatened, it is a moral imperative that clergy use their bodies and their voices to help dismantle the oppressive regime holding life and love hostage. We cannot stand on the sidelines in silence. To do so, is to profane the very Gospel we say we proclaim.” – Rev. Hollie Woodruff, Senior Minister, Seventh Street Christian Church, Richmond

RICHMOND, VA – At a press conference on Tues., June 30 at 12:00 p.m., at Marcus-David Peters Circle, (formerly Lee Monument) Clergy Action RVA, a group of more than forty clergy of many faiths and people of conscience, will call for an end to police violence against those protesting racial injustice. They will hold local and state government and police morally accountable for the violence, racism, and systemic oppression of black and brown people and demand an immediate end to this state-sponsored violence.

In the work to end systemic and anti-Black racism and violence, Clergy Action RVA will provide coordinated support to the ongoing struggle for justice through the following plan of action:

  1. Use their bodies and their voices to advance the movement. 
  2. Offer spiritual care to those in the movement. 
  3. Advocate for changes to racist laws and systems through direct engagement with those in power.

Despite warnings and objections from health officials, city leaders, the ACLU, and community members, police continue to deploy tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and other weapons against nonviolent citizens. Clergy Action RVA condemns these violent actions and demands an immediate stop to attacks on protestors. The group includes three members of the board of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

“As clergy and people of conscience, we cannot stand idly by as our sisters and brothers who are doing the sacred work of protesting racial injustice are met by police violence. This needless aggression by state and local authorities against the people they are sworn to serve and protect only underscores the moral crisis of systemic and institutional racism in Richmond and beyond. We demand that justice well up like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream,” said Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth-El in Richmond, and a board member the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

For more information visit:

Clergy Action RVA is a group of clergy from different faith traditions and people of conscience organizing for justice in Richmond, Virginia.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates economic, racial, social, and environmental justice in Virginia’s policies and practices through education, prayer, and action. VICPP is a non-partisan coalition of more than 750 faith communities working for a more just society.

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Roberta Oster
Communications Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Rev. Jamie Lynn Haskins
Board Member, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Chaplain for Spiritual Life, University of Richmond
(804) 624-2057