Christian Chronicle

In city where George Floyd died, minister emerges as key champion for justice

Russell A. Pointer Sr. thanks God for Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction but says the struggle goes on.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

MINNEAPOLIS — To Russell A. Pointer Sr., fighting for justice is a biblical pursuit.

Most residents of Minnesota’s largest city might not recognize the 56-year-old preacher.

But to prominent leaders from Gov. Tim Walz to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, he’s a familiar — and respected — advocate.


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The Minneapolis Central Church of Christ minister’s influence was evident on a recent Sunday after a state jury found fired police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison visited Pointer’s congregation — the state’s only predominantly Black Church of Christ — the same day CBS News’ “60 Minutes” featured Ellison’s high-profile role overseeing Chauvin’s prosecution. 

Pointer made the closing announcements at the end of a nearly two-hour worship assembly, then invited Ellison to speak. 

The former U.S. congressman hugged the preacher before turning his attention to the congregation.

“It ought to be safe for your son and daughter to be able to go out, even if they’re pulled over by an officer for an infraction, to leave that exchange and come home safely,” Ellison told the roughly 65 church members gathered in person — with many still watching online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It ought to be the case that if somebody stops your child that they don’t put them up under their knee and crunch the life out of their body until dead,” he added. “It ought to be that our families don’t have to worry about their safety from the people whose job it is to keep them safe.”

“Amen! Amen!” the crowd responded. “That’s right!”

Read the full story.

This story appears in the June edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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