Civil rights leader slams ‘divisive protests’ and ‘rioting’ under the guise of social justice

Civil rights leader Rev. Markel Hutchins is calling for trust and re-engagement with police in communities and to stop the “divisive protests” and “rioting” in the name of social justice.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“We’ve got to turn to each other, turn to our faith in one another, and our faith in the divine to begin to reset conversations around police-community engagement,” Hutchins told Fox News host Trey Gowdy on Sunday.

That is a sentiment that Gowdy supports fully and he pointed out just how hard and dangerous the jobs of police officers are.

“Police officers have difficult, dangerous jobs seeing people at their worst, their lowest, their most desperate. Officers also have awesome and unique powers. The power to arrest and search and seize, and impact reputations, jobs, and freedom, the right to use force, including deadly force. Most police officers are good stewards of those powers, and they don’t abuse the public trust, but there are officers who do not deserve the uniform and the badge and their actions have lethal consequences for innocent people,” he noted before introducing Hutchins.

“Some of these incidents have shaken the bonds of trust between police and some communities within the American family, and that puts all of us at risk. Police need the public. They need witnesses and information and that depends on trust. And people need to know when they call 911, the person who responds is worthy of trust. The key is a relationship,” Gowdy continued.

He then addressed the case of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten to death by officers in Memphis, Tennessee. He asked the civil rights leader how communities can overcome such an incident and mend the rift between citizens and law enforcement.

“What we have seen over the last several years, whether it was Tyre Nichols of George Floyd or any of the other incidents have really been used in a lot of instances to drive wedges between law enforcement and communities when the truth of the matter is, the vast majority of the American people, despite our ideological or political differences, overwhelmingly support our law enforcement professionals,” Hutchins responded.

“But what we have allowed, Congressman Gowdy is what Dr. King called the ‘vocal minority’ to monopolize the conversation when the majority of people in the African American, Hispanic, Latino, and white communities want the same for more law enforcement. We’ve got to turn to each other. Turn to our faith in one another and our faith in the divine to begin to reset conversations around police-community engagement,” he insisted.

Both men touched upon the issue that police, like other human beings, become numb to what is going on around them and can lose their humanity over it and he warned against that tendency.

The reverend said what happened to Nichols should never have happened and the skyrocketing level of crime and violence in Memphis could have driven those police officers to “a place where they no longer had a sense of humanity about the people that they’re policing.”

“It’s incumbent upon all of us, despite whatever differences we might have, to come to tables of reconciliation and healing and begin to really build some bridges and get communities involved with public safety in their local communities,” he urged.

Hutchins recounted leading protests, marches, and demonstrations. He’s a strong supporter of civil rights and social justice, but not the way it is currently being pushed. He blasted “divisive protests” and “demonstrations that have turned into rioting” for failing to meet the “spirit of nonviolent social change.”

“We’ve never progressed when we turn on each other, we’ve only progressed when we turn to each other. So our idea now is that the marching and protesting has not done a lot to deal with some of the social injustices,” he claimed.

Hutchins also spoke about being involved with the launching of the largest police community outreach project in history. It’s called the National Faith and Blue Weekend initiative and he described it as “an apparatus where faith-based organizations of every kind can collaborate with law enforcement, not for religious purposes, to give access to the community residents that these officers are sworn to protect and serve.”


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