Rev. Alvin Herring joins the struggle against injustice in Missouri

By on October 22, 2014
By Cherrelle Marable:
The death of Michael Brown sparked outrage across Missouri. A young African-American life was cut short when he was fatally shot by a white police officer, Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014.
Tensions are now on the rise after another African-American teen was killed, Vonderrit Myers Jr., was shot to death on Wed., Oct. 8, 2014 by an off-duty police officer.
Myers allegedly shot at the officer three times before the officer pulled out his own weapon and shot at the high school student 17 times, killing Myers instantly.
Police said that Vonderrit Myers Jr. opened fire on the unidentified 32-year-old officer in Shaw, Missouri, which is less than 10 miles from Ferguson, where Brown was fatally shot.
Since the killing of the two teens, protests have been ongoing in the area. Recently, hundreds of people participated in street rallies and sit-ins.
On Oct. 13, 2014 religious leaders joined a demonstration outside the Ferguson police department, where 49 people were arrested, according to the St. Louis County Police Department. Those arrested were charged with refusal to disperse and disturbing the peace.
Among those detained by the police was Rev. Alvin Herring, a previous executive director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville. He also served as the Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Campus Life.
Prior to being arrested, Herrings recalls police officers acting violently towards a peaceful protest.
“Other protestors and I were shot at with rubber bullets. Police officers would use pepper spray, sound cannons, sniper rifles and other weapons against peaceful protestors”, stated Herring.
Currently, Herring serves as the Executive Director of the Working Interfaith Network (WIN) and the former lead community organizer in West Contra Costa County for CCISCO (the Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization).
As the Executive Director of WIN, his goal is to ensure that the death of people of color will not be forgotten.
“Young people have issued a general call for other young people to join them in their struggle for justice”, said Herring.
Herring joins other faith leaders as they help organize the fight for racial and economic justice. The last four weeks they have had a continuous presence in Ferguson participating in peaceful protests.
The morning Herring was arrested, he and other protestors were insisting on speaking to the police chief inside the police station.
“We were there to offer the police an opportunity to seek God’s forgiveness and to pray with them. We want to help them repair their relationship with the God and the community. However, they rebuked our efforts”, Herring stated.
Herring was asked what he thinks needs to happen before the community of Missouri can find a common ground.
“Police will need to discontinue their aggressive treatment of the young people and Darren Wilson needs to be brought to justice before anything will change,” he said. “In the mean time we will keep lifting up the young people. They love the community. The people in Missouri simply want justice.”

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