Father Paul Shovelain, pastor of St. John the Baptist in New Brighton, Minnesota, received the alert about a 7 p.m. curfew on his cellphone April 12 after civil unrest in wake of the police-involved death of a Black man during a traffic stop in nearby Brooklyn Center.
He returned to the church, grabbed an umbrella, braved wind and rain and climbed on the roof, focusing his gaze about eight miles away, at the homes and businesses, churches and schools of Brooklyn Center, and he prayed a rosary.
In one sense, he was not alone. Father Shovelain invited people who follow him and his parish on Facebook to join him.
Mounting his cellphone on a tripod on the flat roof, Father Shovelain prayed for the repose of the soul of Daunte Wright, 20, who was shot and killed April 11 while struggling with officers who were trying to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.
About 60 people participated live in the rosary, and the Facebook post now has over 1,300 views.
The officer involved, Kimberly Potter, a 26-year veteran of Brooklyn Center Police, submitted her resignation April 13. Body camera footage of the incident indicated Potter intended to use a Taser to subdue Wright, but mistakenly reached for her handgun and fired.
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