Mourning the deaths of two men of color in ECCO

Over the last few weeks, the ECCO community has been rocked by the deaths of two young men of color. Sam Dunn, son of E-Team Director Tony Dunn, died while being transported by the Essex County Sherriff’s Department, and Randolph McClain was shot by the Lynn Police. Randy’s mother is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Lynn and today I will offer prayers as his family and friends bid him farewell.

Randy McClain died last Friday morning in a shootout after police sought to arrest him due to several warrants. Over the last week, conflicting reports have emerged regarding the details of the shooting. The media has reported police descriptions of McClain pointing a gun at them and carjacking a vehicle. Some community members have challenged the reported details of the shootout and have asked questions about the use of force by the Lynn Police. Whatever happened leading to his death, we must remember that Randy was a beloved child of God. We are heartbroken that he died violently and too young.

In this moment of heightened tensions, ECCO’s Beloved Community Campaign seeks to be a positive force building trust between police and the community. We want to work with police and community members encouraging transparency and open communication, discussing police procedures, training, and accountability, seeking clarity about what constitutes appropriate and excessive force, and moving forward in a way that builds trust between police and the community. With both sorrow and love in our hearts, we hope that this moment of loss might provide an opportunity for strengthening our community, and creating greater safety for both police and the people of Lynn.

To this end, please join us Monday evening as we pray together, and as we explore how we might respond as people called to respect the dignity of every human being.

When: Monday 2/8, 7:30-9pm
Where: St. Stephen’s, 74 S. Common St., Lynn
RSVP: Please RSVP here.

Blessings,
Rev. Jane Gould
Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Lynn, MA

Image credit: Lynn Item

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