Clergy members lead social protest in Mount Vernon
Clergy members led a social protest on the streets of Mount Vernon Thursday.
For eight minutes and 46 seconds, the clergy members joined dozens of Mount Vernon residents to take a knee in the street directly across the from the police department.
Their act of social protest was to honor the life of George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died in police custody after an officer kept his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.
His death was captured on video and sparked worldwide protests and a demand for African Americans to be treated fairly.
The Rev. Troy Decohen, the president of the United Black Clergy, is one of the organizers of the peaceful protest.
He says he's inspired to see all people taking to the streets.
"There's a big beautiful rainbow coalition that's now driving for justice - driving as a result of what they saw," he says.
Clergy members say rallies like this are important because when it comes to social justice, regardless of age, everyone has a role to play
Decohen says if any meaningful change is to come about, religious leaders across the nation need to let their voices be heard, and they need to take a stand against racism.
"The role that the clergy needs to play, as it has always been, is to bring a conscience and to bring a level of spirit and wisdom," he says.
He says those things, combined with the spirit and vigor of young people and activists, could force the country to live up to the principles it was founded on.
PHOTOS: Photos from around the world over the death of George Floyd