Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, and NCPD Chief Eddie Driggers attended a vigil at Walter Scott’s memorial Sunday afternoon. They prayed for the Scott family and for justice. Sharpton referred to all of the rallied and efforts demanding justice this past week as “fingers on the same hand”, working together for a worthy cause.
Rev. Sharpton says, “Any attempts at division will not work. This brother could’ve been any one of us, or any one of our sons, or any one of our cousins. Nobody asked him what church he went to or what organization he was a member of. So, we’re here together to ask God to give us strength and fight for justice. We have not achieved justice, we have achieved a good beginning and we pray that it is not a false beginning.”
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Rutledge of Circular Congregational Church says, “He was here, our brother. His feet on the pavement as ours. And as he ran, we ran with him. Wanting for it not to be so. Wanting for a back turned to be a white flag, a momentary truce in the story of Amadeu and Trayvon and Eric and a thousand others. He was here, our brother. And now, we are here. Our prayers made of feet pressed into this ground and tears burned fresh onto our cheeks and rage with an order of things we can’t live with anymore.”
Rev. Sharpton adds, “Let us stand against all racial lines. All races standing together for justice. And fairness. And knowing that lives matter, black lives matter, all lives matter, there’s no distinguishing of how you brought us in the world, there should be no distinguishing how we’re treated in the world. These blessings we ask in your name and for thy sake, Amen.”
The group at that vigil also prayed for state legislators with the hope that they will make body cameras mandatory for police officers across South Carolina. A hearing will take place in Columbia Wednesday morning for a bill in the state Senate. This bill would require every police officer in every police department in South Carolina to wear body cameras while on the job.
Legislators say this bill has bipartisan support, especially after the death of Walter Scott and the cell phone video that captured a different story than told by Officer Slager. State Senator Clementa Pinckney is urging people who support the use of law enforcement body cameras to come to the hearing on Wednesday. He says if law makers see an overwhelming support for the bill, they will be more likely to vote for it.
Sen. Pinckney says, “I think that if my colleagues will be moved by the fact that other people are moved by the need for body cameras, and also that there will be persons that will give testimony as to why body cameras are important. Body cameras help to record what happens. It may not be the golden ticket, the golden egg, the end-all-fix-all, but it helps to paint a picture of what happens during a police stop.”
He says the legislative Black Caucus has a meeting with the chair of the Senate Finance Committee to start coming up with a way to finance these body cameras if the bill is approved.
The hearing will be Wednesday April 15 at 10am in Columbia at the Gressette Building