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Rev. Lewis Stewart calls for change in the criminal justice system

Rev. Lewis Stewart of United Christian Leadership Ministry
File photo
Rev. Lewis Stewart of United Christian Leadership Ministry

The leader of the United Christian Leadership Ministry in Rochester is reacting to a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officers involved in the incident a year ago that led to the death of Daniel Prude.

Reverend Lewis Stewart said that, “Many of us are really angry about this because it shows the little value that some police officers place on human life.”

Stewart said that he was not surprised by the grand jury’s decision. His church has been at the forefront of those advocating for police reform in Rochester. Lewis said that reform is also needed in grand jury proceedings and he said that the decision not to indict confirms why many people of color have no trust in the criminal justice system.

“Many people of color do not trust the criminal justice system to act in our favor in such instances and this is why there is this wide gap of trust and suspension,” Lewis said after hearing there would be no indictment.

Lewis said UCLM will continue to call for the firing of the officers involved and he encouraged the Prude family to not give up hope.

“Let’s find some honor in terms of Daniel Prude. Let’s keep his memory let’s keep his name alive by continuing to fight for justice and by continuing to fight for reform as well as the police reform system.”

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April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.