Two liberal church groups responded immediately to the Ferguson grand jury verdict. Here’s the National Council of Churches:
Washington, DC: The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA expresses its deep disappointment with the decision of the grand jury, sitting in Clayton, Missouri, not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown.
An indictment would not have been a conviction nor a judgement of Officer Wilson’s guilt; rather, it would have permitted him to be tried before a jury of his peers where his innocence or guilt would have been appropriately decided. Without an indictment it now seems unlikely that justice will be done.
Nevertheless, we reiterate our call in this time of serious tension for the city of Ferguson and its citizens, law enforcement officials, justice-seekers, and others to respond in a nonviolent manner. We join with Michael Brown’s father’s plea that protests not become violent.
All hope is not lost. We will not forget Michael Brown nor cease to advocate for justice to be carried out in the matter of his death. …
Today the community justice system of Ferguson, Missouri, told the parents of Michael Brown that his killing was justified. We grieve with the family and community about the decision, and encourage support for their continued quest for justice.
This decision calls the whole church to reflect seriously about the communities and the racial climate we have created in this country. We need a society where everyone is treated with dignity and valued, where there is no fear of walking down the street. We and the places where we live have fallen short of that.
We call the church to pray that God will give us the courage and strength to have honest conversations about race where we live, work, and worship. We pray for safe spaces in Ferguson and in all communities for people to voice their views. We hope for lessons learned, lives changed, and inequitable systems across the United States dismantled in order to bring about the kind of world God has called us to co-create.