Below is a copy of a letter Pastor Ralph wrote back in June to the Minneapolis Charter Commission that was seeking community input about defunding the Minneapolis Police Department. In it, Pastor Ralph reminds us that we are called to choose community over chaos.
Dear Charter Commission Members,
My name is Rev. Dr. Ralph Ernest Galloway, I am African American, and I was born and raised on the Northside of Minneapolis. I attended all Northside schools, moved out Minnesota to complete my education and proudly came home and have lived on the Northside for the last 20 years. My children all live on the Northside and are raising their families here.
My wife and I, Rev. Dr. Alika Galloway, co-pastor an African American Presbyterian church with two locations, all on the Northside. We love our community and along with many others are deeply concerned, appalled, and angered by police brutality. As a grandfather of seven African American males, I am in deep despair about the reality and continuing possibility of them being targeted by the police.
It is clear that the police department needs systematic restructuring, however, I am requesting that before the police department, as we know it, is dismantled, we take the necessary steps to strategically restructure the department. To dismantle an organization and institution with haste only creates more chaos, and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we must move from “chaos to community.
I strongly encourage your thoughtful consideration of this request, please take the necessary time to listen to the community, and with thoughtful analysis implement the necessary restructuring while studying states and nations who have done so well and smoothly – not creating harm and adding more trauma to an already marginalized and traumatized community.
Please know that I am available to talk, meet virtually, or by email to help with your process or answer any questions you may have.
Rev. Dr. Ralph E. Galloway
Co-Pastor Liberty Community Church, PCUSA
Liberty Community Church, PCUSA
3700 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55412
2100 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411