CHICAGO, IL (November 30, 2015) – In response to the shooting death by police of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, several Covenant pastors are helping organize a prayer rally in front of the Chicago Police Headquarters to be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening.
So far, clergy from more than 30 churches, including non-Covenant congregations, have committed to participate, said David Swanson, pastor of New Community Covenant Church in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago and the director of church planting for the Central Conference. Thirteen pastors will help lead the event.
Shaun Marshall, pastor of Community Covenant Church in Calumet Park, Illinois, will lead a period of prayer that lasts 16 minutes, representing the 16 times a Chicago police officer shot McDonald on October 20, 2014.
A video of officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald has sparked anger throughout the city. Prosecutors charged Van Dyke with first-degree murder last Tuesday, the day they released the video, but critics have called for investigations into why it took 13 months for charges to be filed. As well, they allege that the investigation has included other irregularities.
“The murder of Laquan McDonald is a symptom of a much larger system of corruption and inequality,” organizers wrote in a Facebook post advertising the event.
Swanson said the evening will include prayers of lament and repentance, calls for justice, as well as prayers for police officers.
“Ministry in the Shadow of Violence,” an interview with Swanson and Michael Washington, pastor of New Community in Logan Square, Chicago, appeared in the September 2015 issue of the Companion.