You knew it would come to this.
According to the Mercury News, the First Congregational Church of Oakland shares a neighborhood with many homeless people, and they often come to the church in times of mental health crises.
Sometimes church members feel unequipped to deal with the erratic behavior: the most heart-wrenching scenes, volunteer leader Nichola Torbett says, are the times when the church is closing for the day, and a person with nowhere else to go absolutely refuses to leave the building.
At least once or twice a month, at their wits’ end, the church members call 911.
That’s not how it’s done in the Police State any longer. Police brutality and unrelenting racism has forced the church, and a small handful of like-minded congregations, to stop calling the police.
In fact, they don’t call the police for ANYTHING!
Not for mental health crises, not for graffiti on their buildings, not even for acts of violence.
These churches correctly understand the American police system is so racist and brutal that they should wash their hands of it entirely.
The churches call their drastic approach “divesting” from policing. And they say that one headline after another, about policing around the country, shows that it’s necessary.
The churches that commit to ending their use of police resources are training members in alternate responses to danger.
Torbett said at First Congregational, church leaders have invited experts from several nonprofits to train members on de-escalating mental health crises, and on self-defense in the case of a violent person at the church. “Our goal is to never call the police,” she said.
No need to explain. Wanting to stay alive in the Police State is a powerful incentive.