(NEW YORK) — In religious services around the country Sunday, Americans mourned and sought to heal after a week in which five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas and two African American men died in fatal shootings by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.
At The Potter’s House megachurch in Dallas, Bishop T.D. Jakes told the mostly black congregation that the city’s police officers “have done an incredible job” in honoring the law enforcement officers who were shot Thursday night by suspect Micah Xavier Johnson during an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
“When wickedness raised its head, they stood up for our protection,” Jakes said of the police. He called for unity among “black folks, and white folks, and brown folks” in the wake of the week’s violence, which included the police-involved killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota., as well as the shooting death of five police officers by sniper fire in Dallas, Texas, as a week marked by violence and protest in America drew to a close.
In Minnesota, Pastor Eric Elikin addressed the mostly white members of the Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, a city about 15 miles from St. Paul. On Wednesday in suburban St. Paul, Castile was shot by officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car at the time of the shooting, streamed the direct aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live.
“The nation is wounded,” Elikin said.
The Sunday services followed a fourth consecutive night of protests in cities around the country against police brutality. Although most protests have been peaceful, the demonstrations in Baton Rouge and St. Paul on Saturday night resulted in more than 200 arrests.
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