Black Leader Says Teen’s Death After Pulling Gun on Police Reveals Sin, Not Skin Problem


BERKELEY, Mo. — A prominent black Christian leader who works with youth says that our nation needs to stop pointing fingers at the police and start preaching the gospel following the second shooting in the Ferguson, Missouri area, which resulted in the death of an armed teenager.

At approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday night, a police officer with the city of Berkeley—just two miles outside of Ferguson—arrived at a local Mobil on the Run convenient store after receiving a report of theft.

The officer, who has not yet been identified but is described as a 34-year-old white male, met and spoke with two young men outside, one of which was 18-year-old Antonio Martin. According to the St. Louis County Police Department, Martin had been arrested three times over the past year for armed robbery, assault and the illegal use of a weapon.

Moments into the discussion, according to police and video surveillance from the scene, the teen pulled a gun on the officer, who then fired three shots. One of the bullets struck Martin, who died from his injuries.

Martin mugshot from previous arrest.
Martin mugshot from previous arrest.

Violent protests broke out the same night with approximately 300 area residents gathering outside of and across the street from the convenient store. Reports state that some of the protesters threw bricks at the officers who arrived to keep order, while others screamed at or assaulted the police. One officer was taken to the emergency room after a protester lit fireworks, and another was injured after being hit by a brick or rock. A fire was also started down the street but extinguished.

“Our hearts certainly go out to the family, but bad choices were made,” Col. Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said in a statement Wednesday. “This individual could have complied with the officer, he could have run away, he could have dropped the gun. Things did not have to end with him approaching an officer with a 9mm pistol in his hand.”

Jesse Lee Peterson, a California pastor, president of the organization BOND (the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny), and leader of the BOND Leadership Academy for youth told Christian News Network that he agrees with the police on the issue and does not see the incident as being racially motivated.

  • Connect with Christian News

“When he made that decision [to pull the gun on the officer], he made the decision that he was ready to die, because you don’t pull guns on cops and think that you’re going to get away with it,” he opined.

Peterson said that instead of the crowds placing the blame on police officers for these incidents, they should be more concerned with the lifestyle choices that are leading youth to their death in the first place.

“God is not in the hearts of these young boys and girls, and accusing the officers of being racist is not going to solve the problem,” he stated. “If anything, it’s going to encourage these boys and girls to do what they’re doing—to confront the cops even more so.”

“This is not a racial thing going on; this is due to a lack of moral values,” Peterson asserted, contrary to the messages of protesters and statements from black leaders. “Sin doesn’t care how old you are or how black or white you are. It doesn’t care if you’re a male or female; it will destroy anything that gets in its way. … It’s not about color. It’s about good versus evil, right versus wrong.”

He agreed that many today have lost their respect for those that God has placed in authority over them—and have no fear of God Himself.

“They absolutely have no fear of authority anymore,” Peterson said. “They have no fear of their parents because most of them are coming from single parent homes, [and] at some point, the mothers and grandmothers can’t do anything with them. … They don’t respect God and the values of God and the love of God. They’re not afraid of God because they’re not being taught how to love God and believe in Him.”

“They don’t respect the authority in the public school system. They have no respect for their teachers, their principals,” he continued. “They don’t respect the police officers because they have no respect coming from the homes, so they don’t respect the authority of the officers.”

“If they don’t respect God, if they don’t respect the authority of their fathers and mothers, they are not going to respect authority once they walk out of their home,” Peterson stated.

He said that the answer to the problems the nation is facing in Berkeley, Ferguson and in cities around the world is the gospel.

“We need to preach the gospel to these children, get them to repent [and] turn away from their wicked ways and to God,” Peterson explained. “Because if you don’t change their hearts by getting them to repent, nothing is going to change with them.”

He noted that change needs to begin in the home as well.

“We need to rebuild families,” Peterson advised. “We need to encourage single people to wait until marriage to have sex because sex brings on children and it’s difficult for single mothers to raise children on their own. They need God’s order. They need a father and a mother, and Christ needs to be the head of the family.”

Peterson opined that many churches are also to blame for the condition of today’s youth because they are not endeavoring to seek and save the lost.

“Many, if not most, of the churches have allowed secularism to creep in, and they’re too afraid to tell the truth. They’re afraid to be honest with the men and women who need to repent,” he said. “They’re afraid to rebuke because they don’t want the congregation to leave; big churches are more important to them than salvation itself. And since the churches are failing, the families are [also consequently] failing.”

“We need the Church to turn back to God and go back to being honest and strong and showing these people real love [by] pointing the way to God,” he said.

Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • James Grimes

    This is only a small symptom of a sick and evil society. When Atheists succeed in removing God from the public sector, then people become bold enough to commit to evil rather than to God’s will. This evil mindset was not as prevalent when God resided in people’s hearts and minds. Merry Christmas to all and may the spirit and knowledge of God replace the evil that resides in people’s hearts and minds.

    • Asmee Geiger


    • TheAngel

      Sorry but the Atheists don’t have to remove the god that the Roman cath church gave you because they are the inventors of hate and murder; open your eyes. Check your world history, the church is the persecutor of mankind; wars and rumors of wars have been happening forever to force others to believe. Get real please.

      • James Grimes


  • reply guy

    Don’t preach to us preach to racism this preacher is pointing a finger at young black youth and letting racism of the hook! I don’t buy this half baked argument! This sounds like a bill cosby move rant on black folks give oppression a pass!

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Black or white, gay or straight, male or female, hate is hate. God bless you, and Merry Christmas!

    • Tux

      If you are going to draw a weapon on an officer, you better be ready to face the consequences of that.

    • TheAngel

      Oh no, this one is worst than Bill Cosby; hopefully, his skeletons will fall out of the closet soon. I am sure there are plenty. He goes far beyond what blacks calls an uncle tom, he is the father of that notion. Keep your eyes open.

  • thoughtsfromflorida

    So it’s not Psoriasis. That’s good to know.

  • robertzaccour

    He pulled a gun on a cop and the cop shot him. And people are protesting this why???

  • TheAngel

    Sorry but this man is not a Black Leader. I am still trying to see a gun in the video so I am not sure how to comment on this. Because it looked as if a hand of expression went up and a scary officer ran away; never seen one shot either. Also, the first images on the scene from a bystander of the same location that a hand gun was photographed later is a little puzzling to me. However, if in fact he pulled a gun to shoot an officer and anyone for that matter, he should have expected to be shot. But honestly, the police never had any reason to stop those guys in the first place. They were simply standing in front of a store talking for a couple minutes; not robbing, not running, not doing anything criminal. It does not matter what the person’s record shows, if at the time of this situation, that person was not committing a crime. This is what pisses me off, when people cannot separate situations and incidents simply because someone has a record. Fact is, even the innocents have records now and from all of the police admissions coming out now and the lies being uncovered about police; many blacks will have records and then the police can kill that same innocent person that they have chosen to pick on and say, look he has a record. Not all people are guilty.

  • bop

    Some people need religion to do the right thing, some don’t. Being an Atheist doesn’t mean youre a bad person. Just like being religious doesn’t mean youre a good one either. Whatever people need to teach them, and make sure they pursue doing, what is right (church, family, school, community, all of the above) then so be it. But don’t take one part of any one persons life and assume that is the problem. What we simply need, is nothing more than pure accountability.

  • Gary Fortson

    First let me start with this scripture

    Matthew 24:4

    And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you;

    I will show you without a doubt that Jesse Lee Peterson and most bishops, priest and preachers are deceiving is humans by catoegoeizing humans as A race. Race was invented to divide humans.

    The CREATOR did not create race of humans, he created one human beings.

    Here’s proof:

    Acts 17:26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

    The CREATOR knew that evil inside men would try to setpate humans by using brainwashing programing tecnique like using the word Race. So the CREATOR left no room for doubt about humans branched off from one man. This is what the CREATOR did.

    In Genesis 2:21–24 it states: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

    Now let me explian what the CREATOR did in more modern terms. The CREATOR perfrom an opration on Adam and took a body part from Adam, and closed up Adam flesh instantly. The body part, the CREATOR had taken from Adam, made a CLONED.

    Listen Adam and Eve share the same DNA this make them kin NOT A race of two people, how can anyone aruge with that.

    Here’s more proof:

    When Adam saw his companion Adam said, Genesis 2:21–24: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

    Now the world has only two people, so this mean Adman and Eve offspring can only Inherited traits of Adman or Eve, NO RACE.

    So what you call race is really physical defects in our Genetic_traits .. will show you, step by step, how so-called Blacks, Whites and Asians branched off from one human.