During a weekend of protests two months after Michael Brown’s death, clergy members speak out for unity and repentance.

Allen McDuffee
Oct 13 2014

Originally published in The Atlantic

The weekend of demonstrations dubbed “FergusonOctober,” two months after the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, came to a close with “Moral Monday,” during which local and national religious leaders tried to help heal a badly damaged community in the absence of any forward movement on legal fronts.

“My faith compels me to be here,” Bishop Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri told the Associated Press. “I want to show solidarity, and call attention to the structural racism of St. Louis.”

Over the course of the weekend in which hundreds—and at times thousands—of protesters for the most part demonstrated peacefully, clergy members called on the Ferguson and St. Louis police departments to “repent” for Brown’s killing, as well as for other acts of violence and the structural racism that many in the community feel they face. Several of the religious leaders approached individual officers.

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