Taylor Memorial UMC to Host Free Public Performance of Play about Police Violence

January 15, 2015

Pacific School of Religion's Be|Art|Now conference and Event Magic Party Rentals invite you to a free, public performance of Jinho "The Piper" Ferreira's play Cops and Robbers. Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland (1188 12th St. in Oakland, CA) will host this prophetic piece of theater centered around an officer-involved shooting on Saturday, January 31st, at 10:00 am. Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira, an Oakland native and hip hop artist, grew up amid the violent tensions between his community and the local police, actively participating in the protests following the murder of Oscar Grant by an Oakland BART police officer. But he couldn’t shake a difficult question: “If we found a way to fire all of the bad cops, who would replace them?” In response to this question, Ferreira entered the police academy, and joined the Oakland force. His experiences as a police officer and community member inspired his first play, Cops and Robbers, which has been described as "a revolutionary look into the dysfunctional relationship between law enforcement, the media, and the Black community" [The Marsh Theater]. His play is timely now as ever. The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and innumerable other men of color at the hands of law enforcement has sparked national outrage and calls for change. Cops and Robbers enters the conversation by highlighting the intersections, contradictions, distortions, and miscommunications between police, communities, and the media. After the performance, a panel of respondents will host a community discussion around the play's themes. Panelists include Rev. Sandra Sanders-West (Pastor, Clearlake Oaks UMC), Alexandra West (Youth Leader, Trinity UMC), Rev. Michael McBride (Pastor, The Way Christian Center), and Dr. Randall Miller (Professor of UMC Studies, Ethics, and Leadership, Pacific School of Religion). We hope you'll join us for this important event.