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Local faith leaders sound off on violence

Posted: 8:08 AM, Jul 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-08 08:08:07-04

Clarence Walker says he's been coming to forums like the one faith leaders held at the Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing on Thursday for three years. This time, he wants something to change.

"My frustration with this is I don't see too much action coming behind these meetings," Walker said.

Mid-Michigan religious leaders spoke with the community about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men killed in officer-involved shootings. They offered condolences and prayer. Walker stood up after and asked, "What's the plan?"

"Where's the action at, where's the action?" Walker asked in an interview after the forum. "There's no action."

Thomas Patrick is a former pastor, long-time Lansing resident, and activist. The faith community needs to hear from young people, he said. "If we don't know what they're thinking, and how they're thinking, we really don't know how to address them," Patrick said. "We're only addressing them from our perspective, but we need to hear and see their perspective."

Members of the clergy and members of the community agreed - they need to work together to make the changes they want happen.

"We as a people have to do something to change this," Walker said.

"If we all come together and work together and there was white clergy in there as well as black clergy so we can come together and we can work things out," Patrick said.

Walker and Patrick say they will meet to talk about possible solutions.