BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A community and faith-based organization that held its first press conference in the days following the death of Alton Sterling has held a second press conference to address the ambush attack on law enforcement officers.
"We pray for the families of the police officers who were killed with the same passion that we pray for the family of Alton Sterling…because all lives matter," said Rev. Lee Wesley, Community Bible Baptist Church.
The press conference was held Tuesday, July 19 at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Opening and ending with a prayer, all speakers had a message of unity as well as the need for progress.
"People don't want to change, as a pastor, I know that. Sometimes, people will not change until the pain to remain the same is greater than the pain to change," said Rev. Wesley.
"Our goal as an organization is not to return to the way were as a city prior to the death of Alton Sterling, our goal is to move us progressively forward," echoed Rev. Patti Synder, pastor of University Presbyterian Church. "Dialogue is essential, but there needs to be concrete action to move us forward."
Several action items were presented, such as the need community policing, meetings in each district and with mayoral candidates, and a law enforcement oversight committee that includes civilians.
"When the cameras are gone, we are still going to be grieving. In order to grieve, we need hope. Our hope is going to lie in concrete actions…to address the systemic issues that bring forth violence in our city and in our lives," said Rev. Synder. "But even that, it is not going to be enough."
Together Baton Rouge was formed from 2008 to 2010 to develop relationships across racial, religious and geographic lines.