PLAYA DEL RAY, Calif. — Every Sunday since the pandemic, Bishop Noel Jones has delivered his sermon virtually.
In addition to preaching faith, he also talks about the events impacting the world. In Sunday's sermon, he addressed the recent tension between Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the neighborhoods of Compton and Westmont.
What You Need To Know
- Bishop Noel Jones and Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a virtual community discussion on Sunday
- Tension has grown between law enforcement and the communities of South L.A. and Compton after the deaths of Dijon Kizzee and Andres Guardado
- More tension has mounted after two Sheriff's deputies were shot Saturday evening
- Bishop Jones knows it will take everyone working together in order to change the current climate
"If people don't love us, and if we don't love them, we have principles, we have laws, and let's put them in place, follow them, until we can get people to love," said Bishop Jones.
But his message didn’t end there.
After his sermon, the Bishop from City of Refuge Church L.A. held a streaming conversation for the community with Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
The meeting between this faith leader and L.A. County's top cop stems from a long history of police violence against people of color, with the latest strain coming from the shooting deaths of Dijon Kizzee and Andres Guardado by L.A. County Sheriff's deputies.
Before the two spoke, Jones expressed what kind of message he's hoping to send to the Sheriff.
"What we need is a moderate approach to the problem we have, and what I'm expecting of him is for him to say 'Yes, I understand that moderance is critical to completing and achieving the circumstances that make our community better,'" said Bishop Jones.
Since Dijon Kizzee's death on August 31, multiple protests have ensued.
Some have been peaceful while others have turned violent.
Tensions between law enforcement and communities across the country and locally have been growing over the past few months with calls to address systemic injustice within law enforcement.
Crime and police brutality have been plaguing the area of Westmont and Compton, and the situation became more complicated Saturday when two sheriff's deputies were ambushed and attacked in their vehicle in Compton.
We don't know the shooter's motives at this time, but with pain overwhelming the community, the bishop says both sides have to come together calmly in order for everyone to move forward together.
"We cannot resolve this issue on the street," he said. "We have to resolve this issue sitting at the table. Both sides being represented, both sides being respected, both sides listening rationally, intellectually, cognitively, and not emotionally."
Bishop Jones knows it will take everyone working together in order to change the current climate, but he's hopeful that positive and lasting change is possible.