Memphis, Tenn., Jul 18, 2013 / 23:08 pm
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.