A pastor peacefully protesting in Ferguson, Missouri was struck by a rubber bullet fired by police while chanting, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."
Renita Lamkin, an African Methodist Episcopal pastor was with a crowd protesting the death of Michael Brown, who was shot by police. Lamkin told the Huffington Post that she was "standing in the middle of the street, with people behind me, and the police were in front of me."
As tensions grew, she says that she was trying to mediate a peaceful separation of police and protestors.
"They're moving, they're leaving," she told police, who wanted the group to disperse. "And then there was a pop!"
Lamkin was hit in the stomach by a rubber bullet. She showed her injury to bystanders, who then posted the photo online. The photo immediately spread virally across the Internet, causing many to question police procedures. Jon Swaine, a reporter for The Guardian, noted that Lamkin was "calmly repeating, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.'"
"For all those that claim this is a joke or think we are being irrational, this lady is a pastor she was praying while they shot her .. [sic] We were waiting for the release of Antonio French and the armored vehicles showed up! Tell me why this is acceptable? How is this right? Mike Brown is more than a trending topic people are out here fighting for his legacy! We will have justice Ferguson Police Department your days are numbered I promise you this!!!!! Hands up don't shoot!" recording artist Tef Poe wrote.
On Thursday, officials addressed the public and announced that the Missouri State Police would be taking over handling the protests. St. Louis County Police were pulled back and on Thursday night, protests were peaceful for the first time. There were no altercations between protesters and police.
Lamkin noted that her goal was "for everybody to go home … the police and the people. We're not here to fight the police. We're here to fight the system. All people want is to be validated, to know their lives have value. People just want their voices to be heard. The people are hurting, and they need to be heard. And if you don't give people the opportunity to be heard, they'll take the opportunity to be heard. Love people, love people. Listen to them."