Pastor calls for ‘ban on violence’

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Rev. Al Sampson.

A former aide to Martin Luther King Jr. called for a change in mindset to combat violence during a rally Sunday in south suburban Robbins.

“This violence that’s going on in our communities rose out of the fact that somebody else got our child’s mind,” said the Rev. Al Sampson, who worked with the late civil rights leader. “Somebody else got our child’s pocket. Somebody else got our child’s spirit.”

Sampson, pastor of Fernwood United Methodist Church on the South Side, was the keynote speaker at the rally at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to help symbolize a coming-together of the city and its suburbs.The rally is part of a state-to-state campaign among members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

During the program, the Rev. Anthony Williams, pastor of Good Shepherd, invoked the furor over the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin and the man charged with his second-degree murder, George Zimmerman, as he proposed a “legislative ban on violence” from politicians to change cultural mindsets.

He pushed for the end of illegal handgun sales and comprehensive psychological screenings for people who want to buy firearms.

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