The Path Forward Executive Council member Pastor Michael Fisher shared his response to the September 12 shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Compton in a recent story by Libre Lelliot of The Bulletin. Pastor Fisher has been a leading voice in Compton for improved relations between law enforcement and the community and has advocated for the creation of a citizen’s advisory council to advise local police.
In a statement, Fisher described the shooting of the deputies as a “vicious, cold-blooded ambush—the definition of evil.” He says that the “wholehearted, impassioned response to this shooting” is what people in communities of color long to see when they are the victims of violence.
“If we accept that all life is precious,” he said, “it is the responsibility of our community and law enforcement to respect all life equally. It is our responsibility to respond with equal outrage, sadness, energy, urgency, passion when Black lives, blue lives, any lives are targeted or taken.”
Acknowledging the pain in the community, he said, “When a deputy is shot, the world stops and there’s a massive manhunt. When we get killed, the killer is resting comfortably at home and the house is protected by fellow deputies.”
But Fisher, himself a young Black man, issued an impassioned caution against the urge to exact vigilante justice. “I know many of us are filled with so much hatred right now. We are filled with so much disdain. I fear that in our hatred, we are losing respect for life. We believe (that) if we don’t handle things ourselves, bring justice by our own hands, it will never be handled.”