(Christianity Today) Efrem Smith became a church planter and served as founding pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church, a multiethnic congregation in North Minneapolis. Author of The Post-Black and Post-White Church: Becoming the Beloved Community in a Multi-Ethnic World, he is now co-pastor of Bayside Church Midtown, an intentionally diverse congregation of 3,500 in Sacramento. He spoke by phone with Religion News Service editor in chief Bob Smietana.
In an interview Smith said, “It broke my heart. Because you’re listening to a man that is losing his life. And it doesn’t have to be. I don’t understand. If a guy is unarmed and he’s handcuffed and there are multiple officers on the scene with weapons. He’s saying he can’t breathe. He is saying that his stomach hurts. This grown man is, at one point, crying out for his mother. To see bystanders that are filming it on their phones and they’re crying out to the police officers to let up, and yet to see that the officer just keeps (his knee) on the neck and the back of the head of George Floyd. I don’t know how you can look at that video and your heart not be broken.”