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Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL Regarding the death of Freddie Gray and current unrest in Baltimore, Maryland

Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL Regarding the death of Freddie Gray and current unrest in Baltimore, Maryland

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"With today's news of six officers being charged in the death of Freddie Gray, we now pray for justice and specifically that the judicial process will be done with integrity”

"Accordingly, we hereby condemn the death of Freddie Gray who should be alive today. This we know for certain: he was alive before he went into police custody, and he was dead by the time he came out.

"With that being said, we respect and honor our law enforcement officers who work diligently in protecting our citizenries and our communities. Law enforcement officers, overall, need to be applauded and need to be prayed for. The egregious actions of a few should not serve to condemn the entire law enforcement community.

"We call for a peaceful response and condemnation on any and all acts of violence and vandalism. There is no justification for riots, for the loss of property, and for physical attacks against law enforcement officers and individuals.

"Finally, we call upon police commissioners and police chiefs around the country – particularly in urban centers – to meet immediately with faith leaders in order to build firewalls, address concerns, and facilitate an environment of mutual respect and cooperation for the good of all."

NHCLC/CONEL is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.

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SOURCE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference