According to the FBI, local police kill Black people at least two times a week, on average. But other estimates put that number to around once per day.
— killedbycops.org @KilledByCops
There is a custom followed by many Catholics that when you hear a siren from a fire engine, ambulance, or police car, you say a prayer (traditionally, a Hail Mary) for the people who are in trouble. This devotional is inspired by that custom. If you are on Twitter, I invite you to follow @KilledByCops, an account which tweets in remembrance of people who have been killed by the police, and join me in this prayer practice.
When you see a tweet from @KilledByCops appear in your timeline,
Pause for a moment, and pray for the person who was killed; for the repentance of the police officer(s) who killed them; and for an end to the sinful structures of racism and injustice that allow these extrajudicial killings to continue.
Pray in your own words, or use these prayers:
– a Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blest is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
– a variant of the Fatima prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell; bring all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of thy grace.
– Psalm 94:20-22, 15 (NAB translation)
Can unjust judges be your allies,
those who create burdens by decree,
Those who conspire against the just
and condemn the innocent to death?
No, the LORD is my secure height,
my God, my rock of refuge.
Judgment shall again be just,
and all the upright of heart will follow it.
For more information about why police killings are associated with racism, read Pro Publica’s finding that young black males are at 21 times greater risk than their white counterparts of being shot by police.
You may also want to read This Is What We Mean When We Say It’s About Race.