Loading
Black pastors call for peace amid Trayvon Martin protests
George Zimmerman (R) stands as the jury arrives to deliver the verdict at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center. Credit: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images.
George Zimmerman (R) stands as the jury arrives to deliver the verdict at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center. Credit: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Reacting to the protests and scattered violence in response to the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, a group of black Christian ministers has called for peace.

“The black community knows that our civil rights were won through peace, not violence,” said Protestant minister Rev. William Owens, president of the Tennessee-based Coalition for African American Pastors.

“We are a nation of laws, not unlawful violence. The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for everyone, but resorting to violence will only hurt our own communities,” he said July 18.

“What kind of message are we sending to our children if we perpetuate the violence in our culture?” added Rev. Owens, who organized students during the civil rights movement.

Protests were sparked after the July 13 "not guilty" verdict in the second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman. Most of the protests have been peaceful, although some have become violent.

Several thousand demonstrators filled New York City’s Times Square. A Los Angeles protest of about 200 people shut down a freeway, with some in the crowd throwing bottles. Some protests in Oakland were accompanied by assaults, vandalism, broken windows and arson attempts, the Los Angeles Times reports. Similar crimes have accompanied other protests.

A July 17 protest in Victorville, Calif., resulted in 17 arrests after some protesters began looting stores.

Some crimes unaffiliated with any protests have also taken place. One beating victim in Milwaukee has claimed one of his assailants said Trayvon Martin’s death motivated the attack, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says.

Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer in a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood, said he shot and killed 17-year-old Martin in self-defense on Feb. 26, 2012.

Zimmerman alleged that Martin punched him, breaking his nose, and pushed him to the ground, slamming his head several times against the sidewalk.

Prosecutors contended that Zimmerman, who is half white and half Hispanic, had followed the unarmed black teenager only because of his race and then started the altercation that resulted in Martin’s death.

Zimmerman was detained by police but was not charged for over a month, leading to accusations that race was a factor in the processing of the case.

Rev. Owens called for non-violent action, saying that “the hearts of people have been changing” since Martin’s death.

“Instead of divisive rhetoric, let’s continue to use our stories and our voice to address society’s problems,” he said.

Tags: Violence, Peace

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
24

Liturgical Calendar

November 24, 2014

Sa int Andrew D?ng - L?c, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 21:1-4

Gospel
Date
11/24/14
11/23/14
11/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 14: 1-3, 4B-5
Gospel:: Lk 21: 1-4

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/24/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 21:1-4

Homily
Date
11/24/14
11/21/14
11/20/14