"We plan to leave no stone unturned until justice is done" -- Pastor Dennis Grant
...The growing controversy surrounding Smith's shooting was addressed during a June 12th press conference held at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach and presided over by Bishop-elect Thomas Masters and Pastor Dennis Grant of Restoration Ministries in Margate.Grant is also the founder of People for Civil Rights and Justice.
Rhetorically asking "Is racial profiling still alive and well?"Grant
went on to state, "Once you are Black; once you have dreadlocks, or you have gold teeth, or earrings, you are a criminal.Not every individual with dreadlocks or with earrings is a criminal and [wearing] a certain hairstyle doesn't make you a criminal.Grant
, who stated he
didn't know what racism, was, until he
came to America in 1986, noted that he
himself has been pulled over numerous times simply because of the brand new Jaguar he
was driving."This must stop in this community," he
said, adding, "You shouldn't be stopped for the car you drive or where you live."
That particular question is one that won't go away, according to Grant
, who pointed out that Smith had "four gunshot wounds to the upper portion of his
body with one of the bullets exiting through his
must have been moving away from them, because he
was apparently shot from behind."Grant
went on to state that once again we have "another teenager like so many in Fort Lauderdale, Broward, Dade, Palm Beach and across the nation being shot by police on a daily basis."
Bishop-elect Thomas Masters, Pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, and President of Under Our Wings
, a national organization dedicated to fighting for juvenile justice, said that he
was "deeply troubled" by what he
had read and heard of the case. He
also said that while he
has "confidence in the State Attorney's Office and Sheriff's Department" to handle the case in a "fair and just manner," he
never-the-less added that there are "some good police officers and bad police officers; the good should be rewarded and the bad, punished."