NEW YORK (AP) — Congregants in African-American churches nationwide have worn black to services and said special prayers to draw attention to fatal police shootings of unarmed black men.
Church leaders organized “Black Lives Matter” on Sunday in response to the police slayings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. Several historically black churches, including Church of God in Christ and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, led the effort.
Several pastors prayed over the men in attendance. Others prayed for police to do their jobs with integrity. Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House Church in Dallas said in a sermon that black men shouldn’t be “tried on the sidewalk.”
The day of prayer came a day after demonstrations nationwide pressed for changes to the criminal justice system.