SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island minister is calling on churches across the country to ring their bells for eight minutes on Friday to mark Juneteenth, honor the life of George Floyd and call for racial justice.
Rev. A. Fred Evenson, senior minister at Peace Dale Congregational Church in South Kingstown, said a group of local churches will ring their bells at 8 p.m. and he has invited other churches across the U.S to join.
Friday is Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
The church bells will toll for 8 minutes to signify the amount of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck, Evenson said. Prosecutors say Floyd was pinned by Chauvin for 7 minutes and 46 seconds.
Evenson said it’s time to “break the silence on racial injustice.”
“We will ring for justice, equality, and unity, that all might finally be free at last! Ultimately, we will pause on Fri. evening for 8 min. and listen to the bells, remembering George Floyd’s now famous last words, “Please, I can’t Breathe!” Evenson said in an invitation to religious leaders.
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