CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - St. James AME Church Pastor Renita Green wanted to show her support in resisting the power of the state after the not guilty verdict was handed down to Jason Stockley.
More than 80 people were arrested since the verdict was read on Friday. A racially mixed crowd of demonstrators locked arms and marched quietly through downtown St. Louis Monday morning to protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect.
"The ruling on the Jason Stockley case was unjust," Green said. "It's a symptom of a larger issue of how the system and the structure of our government is against people of color particularly."
Green was in Downtown St. Louis joining movements of protests. She said that the people's voices need to be heard.
"I feel like we're all in this together," Green added. "I feel that, as long as there is anyone who is bound up in oppression that we are all captive. And that is all of our responsibility to be advocates of liberation."
Green said that many don't recognize or identify with others that are oppressed. And said that white people with influence have to step up for others.
"We have skin privilege. We have to advocate, not for people, but because they are us," Green said. "We're in this together. We are one humanity."
Green first wanted to get involved after the shooting death of Michael Brown where Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson was found not guilty.
Green said that there has been some change since then for the better of uniting all people but said there is much more that needs to change.
"People are fed up," Green said. "All kinds of people are really tired of injustice and are ready to see true liberation."
She feels her part is not over yet as she said she will continue to try to make her voice be heard along with others.
Green said that while she has tried to make her voice heard, she has went through some physical obstacles along the way over the years.
She said that she has been hit with tear gas, pepper spray, zip-tied, dragged by someone, hit with billy clubs and even shot. She said all of that still will not slow her down as she continues.
"It's the power of the people. It's greater than the power over the people," Green added. "We will continue to resist the power and the promise of reward is greater than the risk of consequence."