Kingsway East and U-City
St. Louis cops, clergy join in prayer for end to violence
Clergy, police and community members prayed — and prayed hard — on Friday at a church on the city’s near north side for an end to violence in the area. They continued with evening vigils at the St. Louis, Chesterfield and University City police departments.
Because when I think of pandemic violence in need of divine intervention, I think of Chesterfield.
St. Louis police Chief Sam Dotson was among the brass in attendance.
“There are too many guns and too many youths, especially, who are quick to resort to violence to settle disputes,” Dotson said as he entered the church at 1617 North Euclid Avenue.
Too many yoots. You know, chiefy, you’re getting somewhere.
The Rev. Vickie Caldwell’s invocation served as a critique of the justice system.
“Forgive us, oh Lord, our genocidal crimes,” Caldwell prayed.
Our justice system is really doing a good whiz bang cracker jack job at the genocide it wants.
This presents a paradox in the whole set of events of yesterday, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Roorda stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Cornell McKay, 23, of St. Louis.
McKay was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for the armed robbery of a woman in 2012.
McKay’s attorneys had criticized the witness account as flawed. The Missouri Court of Appeals ordered a new trial and, in May, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dropped the charges, citing the victim’s unwillingness to testify at a retrial.
Beat a dozen year bid, basically on a technicality.
McKay, clutching the microphone, called on several veterans of the Ferguson protests to leave the pews and join him at the front of the church.
“The only way we can stop killing each other,” McKay said, “Is to start loving each other.”
A good way to start loving each other is not to engage in armed robbery of each other.
“We do all want the same thing. We want a city at peace that practices justice,” said the Rev. Samuel Voth Schrag. “I think every police officer and protester wants that.”
I dealt with that bromide already.
Now, for U-City’s part in all this:
Clergy pray for end to violence and racial profiling by police
In University City, pastors called on that police department to update its community policing and diversity training so it can become an accredited department.
Pastor Dietra Wise Baker of Liberation Christian Church in University City said even though the department’s statistics on traffic stops were better than many other towns “It wasn’t perfect.”
“They still showed some racial bias so we wanted to address that by coming out here tonight,” she explained.
Pastor Karen Anderson of Ward AME Church in Florissant joined the others who stood on Delmar praying as commuters headed home.
“Our voices will not be silent, oh God, anymore until we move to a beloved community where everybody is valued,” she promised.
The University Police Department did not offer any response to the criticism. Pastor Wise Baker said she had spoken to the chief previously.
“He wasn’t ready to commit to us; he wasn’t ready to say ‘hey we’ll listen to having a civilian review board.’” she said.
You’re praying to put an end to blacks being held criminally responsible for crimes they commit (“racial profiling”), and then praying for a stop to (black) violence. Why would you pray for something then pray for the consequences of that something you’re praying for not to happen?
God be like: What’s with all these mixed messages coming from down there?