COLORADO SPRINGS — As congregations across Colorado lifted up their voices in song and praise Sunday morning, a different message was being sent behind the podium, from a group of pastors.
"We stand in solidarity with those who are protesting around this nation for justice and against police brutality, that continues to affect African-Americans," said Reverend Kevin Daniels, President of the Southern Colorado Ministerial Union.
Reverend Daniels was joined by other African-American pastors who are calling for justice, at a time when cities across the country, and Southern Colorado, are in the thralls of rage over the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died while in police custody.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said riots are the language of the unheard. We are not condoning rioting. So how do we overlook this fatal violence?" Daniel asked.
Fountain Police Chief, Chris Heberer, says the answer to that question is we can't.
"It's tragic, it's sad, and it angers people and I get it," Heberer said. "It angers the Black community, and I'm sure the people that are living there with the rioting are angry."
Chief Heberer says the video of George Flyod's death is something he can't be quiet about.
"He says I can't breathe, I can't breathe. It's because the officer was on his neck," he said. "This is not a law enforcement tactic, trained, utilized, or taught, by anyone that I know of."
Heberer says George Floyd and so many others did not have to die.
"Once the cuffs go on the fight is over. We have a legal and moral and ethical obligation to protect that person that's in our safety."
Heberer hopes more officers will speak out now, at a time when our nation needs more healing than ever.