Local Clergy: Ferguson Decision ‘Evil, Sinister, Inhumane Disregard For Life’

Led by State Rep. Charlie Stallworth who also serves as president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and pastor of the East End Tabernacle Baptist Church, city clergy leaders Tuesday condemned a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, adding … “we will not cease, give up, crumble under pressure or sell out in our efforts to continue calling upon the current city administration and any future administration to make sure the Bridgeport Police Department is a reflection of our community, which will at least ensure that law enforcement officers are sensitive, unafraid and have a vested interest in the community they serve.”

Stallworth’s remarks follow. See YouTube video as well.

I will give remarks condemning last night’s Grand Jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, and other selected persons whose names I will give later will follow with their remarks.

Like 9-11, the Newtown Massacre, the execution of Trayvon Martin, the killing of Emment Till, the assassinations of both Dr. Martin Luther King and President Kennedy, last night’s Ferguson verdict not to indict Officer Wilson was another evil, sinister, inhumane, disregard for life and of a people, act of injustice in America’s history.

What is as sad is that probably very few African Americans, if any, are surprised or shocked at this verdict. The justice system is not justice to the majority of African Americans in this country, a truth supported by facts. This country and every city in this country, including our own wonderful city of Bridgeport has a serious problem with justice for all.

These acts of violence against minorities and others at the hands of law enforcement officers will not stop until vigilante, thug-acting, law-disregarding police officers are indicted, prosecuted, convicted and given long, if not life sentences for the slaughtering of unarmed African American males. I am not saying there are not bad people–but we expect the highest wisdom and self-control from those in authority.

I am sure there are many upstanding law enforcement officers of honor who serve communities every day. However, when you mix barbaric law enforcement officers with a system of injustice, you will always get repeated manifestations of young unarmed African Americans and others being unmercifully shot and killed in their own neighborhoods, the places they call home.

Every city, including Bridgeport, is only one step away from Ferguson being repeated if police departments do not begin to reflect the communities in which they serve. We are not anti-law enforcement–we are anti-bad law enforcement. We are not anti-justice–we are anti-injustice.

But we, the members of the IMA, are not just here to talk today. We have enough talk–which is cheap.

We, the members of the IMA, go a step further than just a press conference.

Therefore we, the members of the IMA, renew our pledge and promise that we will not cease, give up, crumble under pressure or sell out in our efforts to continue calling upon the current city administration and any future administration to make sure the Bridgeport Police Department is a reflection of our community, which will at least ensure that law enforcement officers are sensitive, unafraid and have a vested interest in the community they serve.

We cannot have such a Ferguson event in our community because we know the justice system is not blind, she sees clearly those she wishes to oppress. That’s our pledge.



  1. To the Rev. Stallworth, before you canonize Michael Brown let’s look at some facts; Michael Brown stole cigars from a local store and pushed an employee or owner when an attempt was made to stop him from leaving. Michael Brown and his friend were told to stop walking down the center of the street. When the officer started to exit his vehicle Michael Brown slammed the door on the officer, punched him twice in the face and then tried to get his gun. That’s when the officer fired two shots, one of which hit Brown in the thumb. Gunshot residue was found on Brown’s clothes. Brown walked away from the officer and then turned and charged him, that’s when the officer fired more shots. Brown stopped and then charged again and was shot and killed. Brown was found to have marijuana in his system. The police were wrong in leaving his body uncovered in the street for four hours.
    Can I ask what would you do if you were the cop and a 6’4″ large man reached into your car window and punched you twice and tried to get your gun?
    Rev. Stallworth, where have you been with all the black-on-black homicides?
    There is no excuse for burning stores and looting stores.

  2. Rev. Stallworth while a member of the police commission had an opportunity to present his argument regarding much-needed diversity on our police department. He was a no-show!

  3. Hey Stallworth, the police department does reflect the community. Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, where have you been when it come to black on black crime?

    1. Currently, 42% of the police force in Bridgeport is either Hispanic or African American. This statistic may not 100% accurately reflect the demographic of the citizenry in Bridgeport, but it doesn’t suck either.

  4. For months I have watched and listened to Ferguson. It is sad for Michael Brown’s family and they are certainly not alone in their grief of the death of a young one before his time across the United States. I was however, pleased with the Grand Jury verdict and absolutely appalled at the community reaction, but not at all surprised. What do people think they would accomplish by burning down their town and local businesses? It is not 1964. It is always amazing the community always picks the wrong stand to rally behind. Whether it is their opposition to gay marriage, OJ Simpson, Tawana Brawley or Michael Brown … I do not need to look at Ferguson to see injustice. I believe the police officer was doing his job. The police have a tough job. The loss of life is always a terrible thing. Moments before, this same individual robbed a store. The stories by friends were changed and revamped. Enough of this crap. I would have been amazed if the grand jury handed down any other verdict. It is sad for the Brown family but I truly believe the officer was doing his job. The police put their lives in danger every day; black, white and Hispanic. I put my faith in them. So for the local black leaders instigating, cut the shit. You are perpetuating racism and hate. The media is mostly to blame as well as pure ignorance. Maybe the cops should leave Ferguson to the blacks, whites and Hispanics. Let those burning down buildings and looting in the name of Michael Brown kill themselves. 150,000 people were murdered in Syria, where is the outrage? Just pure ignorance. There are many battles in life. I don’t think this was one of them. Let’s not elevate Michael Brown to sainthood. He was a hoodlum.

  5. Rev. Stallworth, what have you done to correct the fact blacks have not been hired in the last two classes of police officers? Rev. Stallworth, all you have to do is to look at the past 20 years in both the police and fire department here in Bridgeport and you will see blacks, Hispanics and females were being hired but now under Mayor Finch and David Dunn the Civil Service Director, blacks, Hispanics and females are NOT being hired in the police and fire department. Rev. Stallworth, your statement means nothing because you don’t even know the record of hiring in Bridgeport and when you see those numbers you can see how Bridgeport is moving in the direction of Ferguson.

  6. Mr. Stallworth, I wish I could comment on your statement with a logical understanding of your emotions. Instead, your inflammatory remarks reflect the ignorance of those in the black community who are looked to you for guidance. You are a divisive voice at a time when the black community should be looking inward, asking why young men like Michael Brown act the way they do. You reap what you sow.

  7. How can anyone justify the heinous behavior of the citizenry of Ferguson who burned businesses, car lots, police cars, looted, etc.? They call that non-violent? Perhaps insanity would be a better way to describe a totally chaotic scene. What did Walgreens, McDonalds and the mom & pop stores do to deserve what they did? The city is a burned pile of rubble thanks to these model citizens. Michael Brown robbed a store, attacked and struck a police officer and tried to take his firearm. Mr. Stallworth, please describe what you would have done if you were that police officer. Condoning Michael Brown’s behavior rather than praying for his misguided soul sends a message to the black community it’s acceptable to behave as he did. You, as a man of the cloth, should be guiding the young black men of the community to a better way of life, not leading them to believe they can break the law and get away with it. As for Michael Brown, may his troubled soul rest in peace. As for you Rev. Stallworth, time for a little soul-searching yourself.

  8. I heard Stallworth missed eight out of every 10 Police commission meetings and when he was there, sought to make everything racial. He is also threatening to have the East End vote against Finch if he doesn’t give in to a certain police lieutenant’s demands for power over the hiring process. Finch is said to be in favor of it for votes. How does this happen? From what I see in my travels while on deliveries, the pd is very diverse.

  9. Now Andy, I am not saying I agree with everything Rev. Stallworth is saying, but:
    1) Even in Ferguson Missouri, stealing a pack of cigars is not a capital offense.
    2) The police officer did not know of the alleged theft at the time he confronted Mr. Brown.
    3) If walking in the street were proper grounds for excessive force, the city of Bridgeport would turn into the wild west.
    4) Most of the “facts” you cite were filtered by state/local officials and you were not in the grand jury room hearing days’ worth of testimony.
    5) The state acted like cowards in the manner in which they handled the indictment. They did not recommend any indictment but just punted to the grand jurors, threw their hands up and said, “here, you decide what to do” knowing damned well the most likely makeup of the jury would be Caucasian.

    1. Walsh, you really can’t be that ignorant, can you? Brown was not shot because he stole a handful of cigarillos. He did not get shot for walking in the middle of the street and ignored a police office to get off the road. Walsh, the police officer DID KNOW about the theft of the cigars none of what I wrote above is cause for shooting someone and no one was shot for the above offenses.
      Walsh, Brown was 6’4″ tall and heavily built, when the cop tried to get out of his car, Brown slammed the door shut, punched the cop twice in the head and tried to take his gun. The cop fired twice from inside the car and Brown was hit in the thumb. Brown also had gunshot residue on his clothes, which proves he was very close when shots were fired. No, like you I was not in the grand jury room but have read some of their testimony. I suggest you read the testimony of witness #10. You are watching too much liberal TV and they have been proven to have distorted many facts in this case. Just so you know, the grand jury make up was nine whites and three blacks. When the prosecutor goes before the grand jury they do not recommend one way or the other, if they felt it was clear the cop was guilty they would have sworn out an arrest warrant and there would be no need for a grand jury.

    2. Mr. Walsh, you are mistaken. The call went out via police radio regarding a robbery and the location. All police hear those calls. It wasn’t as if the victim were out for an evening stroll. While stealing cigars isn’t a felony, he also assaulted the store owner.

  10. Reverend Stallworth, I find it somewhat disingenuous on your part to be now concerned with the hiring process used by the City of Bridgeport to hire police and let me add firefighters. You said in part, “calling upon the current city administration and any future administration to make sure the Bridgeport Police Department is a reflection of our community.” Where were you when we tried to get a meeting with the IMA in 2011 to address changes to the hiring process that would be of detriment to blacks?

    The fact is Reverend, the Firebird Society tried to get a meeting with the IMA in 2011 after meeting with Mayor Finch and David Dunn about the changing of the process to hire firefighters and police in Bridgeport. The IMA would not meet with us after several attempts by us and my minister. We told the Mayor if the process were changed this new process is geared to remove city residents, blacks and women from the opportunity to be a Bridgeport firefighter in the city where they live. We also knew the fire department was the test dummy for these changes and if they were successful then they would be implemented in the police department.

    Reverend, for the first time in 35 years the fire department put on a new class that didn’t have any blacks and for the first time in 25 years, a new class didn’t have any women. Further. the police department put on a class and for the first time in over 40 years there was was only one black in that new class. How did we know this was going to happen in 2011? We knew because cities across the country were using these same tactics to remove blacks and women from the fire and police service.

    Reverend Stallworth, the Firebird Society sent a letter to the DOJ asking for a federal review in the hiring process and promotional process of the Civil Service Department of the City of Bridgeport. We believe the hiring process used by Mayor Finch and David Dunn is discriminatory to blacks and women. Our letter detailing our disdain with the hiring and promotional process in Bridgeport was carried on the front page of the Connecticut Post as well as OIB. I guess it’s possible you missed both articles, but it’s certainly not possible our request for a meeting in 2011 with the IMA didn’t reach you. My belief is it wasn’t politically expedient for you to meet with us to discuss how your boy Finch was discriminating against blacks and women and their desire to be Bridgeport firefighters and police officers.

    Reverend, the religious, political and business leaders of Bridgeport should call upon Mayor Bill Finch to stop these methods of exclusion and to give our residents a fair opportunity to be firefighters and police officers in the City of Bridgeport and to remove the architect of these discriminatory practices, David Dunn. We need to tell Mayor Finch that David Dunn has used enough methods of exclusion and enough is enough!

    While I too am disturbed by the events in Ferguson MO and the coldblooded murder of Michael Brown, I am equally disturbed young black males in the City of Bridgeport are being denied the opportunity to be a firefighter or a police officer in the city in which they were raised, educated and where they pay taxes and live. I am equally disturbed that these jobs that can change a person’s life are being given to suburban white males to change their lives. I am equally disturbed white suburban males are given these jobs to the detriment of Bridgeport residents. I am equally disturbed millions of dollars are leaving the City of Bridgeport each year to pay for the salary of suburban white males who have no interest in the uplift of our great city.

    We can’t afford to wait for something dramatic to happen to express our disapproval with the blatant racism and discrimination that is happening every day in the City of Bridgeport. Put your big-boy pants on Reverend, and fight the fight young black males need you to fight here in our city.

    1. This is such an easy fix I can’t figure out why Finch and his administration won’t fix it. Could it be because the president of the civil service commission lives in Trumbull? Could it be they are prejudiced against all Bridgeport residents as you do not see any of his top people who live in Bridgeport? As mayor you call in the commissioners and tell them to change the job requirements as they relate to residency at the time of appointment. While I am at it the commission should also put in a maximum age like 38. We keep hiring older people who will never reach retirement age and go off on disability leave. There is no way a 50-year-old rookie cop is going to catch a fleeing 20-year-old suspect.

  11. Shooting fellow citizens in a community, whether young or old, is criminal activity for the most part. Because we are part of a “gun culture” as well as the fact we often celebrate our rights to do ‘this’ or ‘that’ without equal concern for our obligations, we have too many deaths from firearms.

    Here is another City police department heard from with a commentary that shares the complexity of voices calling for attention in tragic situations.
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=T7MAO7McNKE

    Do we expect citizen-elected representatives and mayorally appointed Board and Commission members to be more proactive in attention to community needs? What are other communities doing to improve their communities? What will we do in Bridgeport? Time will tell.

  12. Some of the statements here are baseless and are riddled with confirmation bias in which evidence is sought to support our assumptions rather than to try to disprove or challenge our strongly held assumptions. Statements are generated about violent protests in Ferguson as though violent protests constitute the majority of protests. People often regurgitate what they see on the evening news as if the African American community, and other communities (because it is not just the African American community that is protesting) only utilize violent means to protest, but do not point to all the peaceful protests. And then the irony is when people do engage in peaceful protests, as was done by Rev. Stallworth, they are then deemed to be hypocritical. And so I wonder, then what is the mechanism that is appropriate? And to take these points further, where is the outrage when college kids and sports fanatics engage in herd behavior and burn cars, flip over cars, and toss things at cops? But somehow we don’t question our perceptions as to why we flip the channel when we see this on the evening news without much disdain and why we have never viewed such behavior with underlying racial undertones. I am not making these points to convince anyone they should agree or disagree with the result of the Ferguson case, but rather to think deeply about simplistic heuristics that go unquestioned.

  13. When I was a rookie police officer over 25 years ago, the Department had nearly 100 black police officers and about 30 Puerto Rican officers, and more women than the state police that outnumbers us in strength nearly three to one. At this writing I believe there are fewer than 50 black police officers, I believe the Puerto Rican officers now outnumber the blacks on the department. You can throw blame at this problem at any wall, the civil service process, recruiting, testing and it will stick.

  14. The shooting and killing of young black men by the police will change once white mothers and white fathers see their young white men shot and killed by the police at the same rate as young black men, then this country will demand change.

    1. Ron Mackey, you are pathetic! Your comment is ignorant. Run Joe, Run! Let’s kill some white crackers. Yeah, that will solve the problem. As though there aren’t black police officers. Oh there you go. Let’s get the black officers killing off some white trash and have their parents complain and yeah, that’s it. Problem solved. Great response, Mackey. You really have just one agenda that is clearly dated.

      1. Steven Auerbach, you are pathetic! Tell me about the number of young white men who have been shot and killed by the police anywhere in America. My point is once white mothers feel the same pain as black mothers, things will change. Steven, here is a little American history, try looking this up.

        The Kerner Commission Report (1968)

        Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a commission chaired by Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois explored the reasons behind the Detroit riots of 1967. The commission presented a report in February 1968. “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white–separate and unequal,” the report said. “What white Americans have never fully understood–but what the Negro can never forget–is that … white institutions created [the ghetto], white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

        1. Sorry Ron, your response about whites getting shot and white mothers complaining is just sad. A life lost is a life lost. To make it a race issue or assume black lives have less value in the eyes of a white Christian nation is something I choose not to believe. Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe there are race issues in this country. I totally believe there is racial profiling, I totally believe, given the opportunity, a huge portion of white America would vote to re-institute slavery. My point to your post was to assume the way to solve the problem would be to up the amount of white deaths was just way out of line, totally unacceptable and sad you actually believe the deaths of white youths would change this sad situation. We do not need to look at Ferguson to realize the problems in America, but not every issue is a racial one. Black police officers have to deal with the same problem. A criminal i a criminal. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds. Rich, poor, blond, brunette, etc. etc. etc. EDUCATION is the only way to fix the problem. People who are economically challenged do not all become criminals or have problems with the law.

          1. Steven Auerbach, mothers, black and white, have a love of their children men will never know. When mothers have a common issue like the death of their child, race is not an issue, they will fight together for what is right for their child and other children because that’s what mothers do, they love.

          2. Ron Mackey, I read your post in question. Again I find it totally disturbing and out of line. Everything with you is about race and clearly you have an issue with white America. Sad. You need to expand your horizons and embrace diversity.

  15. Andy, I beg to differ on your last observation. The drop in blacks being hired for the police and fire departments can be laid at the feet of David Dunn. Every exam in the last 15 years blacks have been fairly represented on the BFD even though they allowed out-of-towners to take this exam.

    David Dunn has changed protocols that worked in the past and implemented new ones that assured blacks and women would not be hired. We told him and Mayor Finch at a meeting on March 11, 2011, if you implement these new changes then they will insure blacks and women will not be hired. They did and they weren’t. David Dunn is the worst thing to ever happen to the black community in their pursuit to represent the City of Bridgeport on the police and fire departments.

  16. Ron, you and I both know that is not going to happen. The killing of young black men by the police will stop when we realize the youth of today need to have hope for a future. We are not giving the young blacks that hope.
    We are processing kids through our schools and when they leave many of them can’t read nor can they compete for good jobs.
    Right here in Bridgeport we are not giving our young people a chance at moving up the economic ladder by being able to be police officers and firefighters. I don’t want to hear the bullshit about if you want the best you have to go further than Bridgeport. These kids coming from the ‘burbs to these public safety jobs have no idea how to relate to the inner city young people and young adults. The first time one of these guys is called a MF’er they take it as a personal insult and want to go after the person who said it but in the city it’s everyday language. It’s time for Finch and Dunn to go back to hiring just city residents for these jobs.

  17. David, you are absolutely correct. “You can throw blame at this problem at any wall, the civil service process, recruiting, testing and it will stick.” David, what you didn’t say was the one person whose job it is to maintain those three walls is David Dunn. Civil Service, Recruiting and Testing.

  18. Great observation. As stated, the city has poor schools, low esteem and you want to hire only City people. Take a strong look at the City, a good portion of the population are now arriving on the fourth or fifth generation that has not worked a day in their lives and relay on Gov’t handouts. Great MF’s logic.

    1. MAGOO, you have absolutely no facts to back up what you are saying. What percentage of the population is the 4th and 5th generation who have not worked a day in their lives?
      I have interacted with the teenagers and younger of this city for over 30 years and I am telling you, you are 100% wrong.


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