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Why I join in proclaiming #BlackLivesMatter

Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Kollin Truss beaten here in Baltimore.

All of these people are made in God's image, as we all are. Every life matters. Every life deserves respect and honor. Yet those men and boys did not get that respect. They did not get the chance to live their full lives, to accomplish who knows what? What might they have become? What good might have come from their lives?

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We will never know. Our justice system is currently sending black people the message that their lives do not matter the same way that others do.

Fear and distrust of people who don't look like us is all too common, and it's a sin. Because of my faith, I add my voice to those boldly proclaiming that black lives matter.

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New levels of accountability for the justice system and justice for its victims — those treated differently because of their socioeconomic status and/or the color of their skin — is required if our society is going to change for the better. I do not believe that this is a matter for police only. We have given them our trust, and it is up to us to give them the training and guidelines for what is acceptable to us as a society. If we are clear that black lives matter, that the poor and voiceless need to be treated with the same respect and dignity as the powerful and wealthy, they will abide by that.

I respect and admire the police officers who every day risk their lives that my life and those of my friends and family might be safe. But the time has come for us as a society to re-order our priorities and to ask the police to uphold those priorities with us.

Sherri Alms, Baltimore

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