Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears
in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday
THIS TIME IT’S FIFTY, FIVE AND
A CAR - Part I
The report I heard said fifty bullets were fired by the police into
a car, in which, three unarmed young black men were returning from a
bachelor’s party, killing one, critically wounding another and
injuring a third, Sean Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield respectively.
I immediately thought about Amadou Diallo. It was forty-one bullets
fired by four police officers at an unarmed African male in a vestibule.
It was what, the late attorney Johnnie Cochran called a “death
chamber.” And before Amadou there was Eleanor Bumpers, a three
hundred-pound arthritic grandmother, killed by the blast from a police
shotgun while seated in her own apartment and before Ms. Bumpers there
was Luis Biaz. Several police officers emptied their revolvers into
his frail body while he was corralled behind a fence. There have been
many many others. Many of the victims’ faces and their loved ones
came to my mind as we journeyed to St. Mary’s Hospital in Jamaica,
Rev. Sharpton had called for a prayer vigil. I had spoken to him the
night before. He conveyed to me all of the information he had been able
to gather. “When I heard it,” he said, “it took me
a half an hour to digest it all. I couldn’t believe it.”
When I arrived at the hospital, the crowd had already begun to assemble.
Media was everywhere, interviewing sundry persons and taking pictures
from all angles. When Rev. Sharpton arrived we went into the hospital
to meet Ms. Guzman. Going outside we walked across the street to a park.
Standing on a bench we addressed the hundreds of supporters. As we spoke,
the crowd kept swelling. Sean Bell’s family, mother, father, grandmother
and fiancée were led straight from the church by Bishop Lester
Williams joined the crowd. Nicole and her mother stood on the bench
with Rev. Sharpton, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Council Members Sanders
and Barron, Viola Plummer and me.
There were speeches and prayers. Periodically, Rev. Sharpton would call
out to the crowd, “How many bullet?” Then would commence
the count, one, two, three . . . . . until fifty was reached.
Nicole had on an old jacket, jeans and sneakers. It was obviously not
much attention had been paid to her appearance. The day before, Saturday,
November 25, it would have been different. It would have been wedding
clothes, with great attention given to all aspects of beautification.
With family members, we walked to our cars. The crowd was pushing trying
to get close to the family and the ubiquitous cameras. Later, we gathered
at the Christian Center Baptist Church. The church was packed, outside
people milled around, weeping, whispering and shaking their heads in
unbelief. A constant flow of people tried to console the family. There
were more speeches, prayers and even an altar call. Afterwards, Ms.
Bell invited all the supporters to her home.
It was now three p.m., for the third consecutive Sunday I had been absent
from my pulpit. I had decided that I would be where I was needed most
-that would be at the St. Mary’s Hospital with the family and
supporters. I was confident that my parishioners would understand. Driving
back to my church, where our ministers were waiting for the meeting
I had convened, I couldn’t get Nicole out of my mind.
To Be Continued: SAVE THE PEOPLE OF DARFUR
Human Rights’ Day Prayer & Rally
December 11, 2006
Where: Assemble for Prayer:
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
East 42nd Street & 1st Avenue NYC
Save Darfur Rally:
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 47th Street & 2nd Avenue, NYC
Attention Clergy: participate in Sabbath on Sudan II. . .in your religious
ceremonies on December 8, 9 & 10 we ask that you include reference
For further information call l (718) 596-1991or our see website: www.holnj.org
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry is featured in The Daily Challenge’s
Wednesday and Weekend Edition. Reverend Daughtry, known as the “People’s
Pastor,” is the National Presiding Minister of the House of the
Lord Churches (HOLC). He also pastors the Brooklyn Church. A
prolific writer, his books include “No Monopoly on Suffering,
Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights,” “My Beloved Community,”
“Effectual Prayer,” and “Tupac, Letters to a Son.”
HOLC has a weekly broadcast which airs on WWRL 1600 on Sunday from 10:30am-11:00am.
He is also on BCAT the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 2pm. Website: www.holnj.org