Clergy take role of mediator between protesters and police -

Clergy take role of mediator between protesters and police

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FERGUSON, Mo. ( – A large group of clergy feel they have been marginalized by police and the broader community. While there are some protesters who have a different, illegal agenda, the clergy firmly stand by the young adults' peaceful protests.

Reverend Traci Blackmon of Christ the King United Church of Christ said it is important to guide the young voices of protesters in a constructive way to help their message get across. Just two weeks ago, she was at the St. Ann Jail trying to help protesters get out of jail.

“They want their voices to be heard, and if those of us who have lived relatively comfortable lives all of our lives have to be inconvenienced for their voices to be heard, I think that’s a fair trade-off,” said Rev. Blackmon.

The aftermath to the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. highlighted the deep disconnect between police and community. Young African-Americans say they’re hurt and angered by the way they are perceived by police. Clergy members say that it is their obligation to respond.

“We heard suffering. We heard young people saying they were being provoked and profiled and harassed, and they didn’t feel safe on their own streets,” said Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation. “When clergy is present, there is a different tone. There is a gravity, a spiritual gravity that takes hold which changes the atmosphere.”

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