ST. LOUIS – The niece of a civil rights icon has spoken out on the tragic shooting death of Michael Brown and violent outbreaks in a St. Louis County suburb.
Alveda King is niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and author of King Rules. She said that the shooting incident is a tragedy, but it should not be turned into violent outrage.
"In memory of my father and in honor to God, I urge nonviolence in the demand for justice of Michael's death," she said. "This is not the time to burn, this is the time to turn our prayers towards heaven and seek nonviolent and just solutions to what has happened to Michael. This must be done for his family, his neighbors, and our nation."
NewsChannel 5's Mike Bush spoke to King's niece via Skype. To see what else she said during their interview, check out the above video.
Read her full statement to NewsChannel 5 below:
Praying to avoid yet another series of angry retaliation against injustice, King added: "Amidst reported angry protests of racial profiling, intended peaceful prayer vigils are turning violent as protestors of the youth's death are taking to streets with torches, looting and stealing and rampaging local business establishments. This painful incident brings to mind my father Rev. A. D. King in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 when our home was fire bombed by rabid racists. The people were angry and wanted to riot. Daddy stood on the hood of a car with a megaphone and calmed the people. This is not the time to riot. This is the time to pray. Please, protest, stand up for our rights, but do this with nonviolence!"
"In memory of my father and in honor to God, I urge nonviolence in the demand for justice of Michael's death. This is not the time to burn, this is the time to turn our prayers towards heaven and seek nonviolent and just solutions to what has happened to Michael. This must be done for his family, his neighbors, and our nation," King added.
King, who is also the Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, and the Founder of Alveda King Ministries once called the shooting death of another Black youth in Florida "a late term abortion." Trayvon Martin was shot by a self proclaimed vigilante "peace officer" as he was returning home from the store with candy and soda pop. Martin was also unarmed. King was encouraged by the reaction of young Martin's parents, who called for peace and for justice. The parents maintained their dignity while fighting for justice for the loss of their son.
"When a child is killed in the womb, or years later, his or her dreams are aborted. In order for justice to prevail, hearts need to be calmed, tempers need to be calmed, the facts need to be determined. In order for justice to prevail, the judicial system must be allowed to take its course," said King.
To burn down gas stations, loot and steal and rampage local business establishments won't bring Michael back, to his family or to our hurting world. I join my cousin Elder Bernice King, CEO of the MLK Center in Atlanta in a call for nonviolence as justice is sought for Michael Brown in Saint Louis, and for a moratorium on violence all over the world. Bernice King has launched a call for 365 Days of nonviolence at www.choosenonviolence.org. Alveda King can be reached at www.africanamericanoutreach.org. They are the daughter and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.