Jayme Ali wished more people would offer solutions instead of criticizing the movement.
She was out at the Fourth Precinct protest almost daily. At one point, she said, she stayed up for 30 hours straight.
But it was frustrating, she said. The last straw came when a coalition of North Side politicians, ministers and power brokers made a public plea for protesters to go home.
"It was like being punched in the stomach for some," said Ali, pastor of the God of All Truth Church.
She said that she was disheartened to hear that some black leaders had "turned their backs" on the protests just as they were reaching a critical juncture. The protest brought attention to police brutality in the community, she said, and the demonstrators needed to figure out what to do next.
Ali said that community members had little choice but to protest bad treatment by police. It's time for change, she said.
Ali said protesters should boycott any faith and community leaders who aligned themselves with city officials.
She's a longtime North Side resident — she still remembers when the site now occupied by the police station was the Way, a popular community center. The protest brought "outsiders" with their own agendas to the neighborhood, she said, and she expects them to vanish now that the spotlight is gone.
"We all know that Black Lives was out here for Black Lives," she said. "I don't sugarcoat nothing."
Story by Libor Jany
Photo by David Joles