We have all seen the recent protests in Charlotte following the killing of Keith Lemont Scott. People looting and marching in anger on the streets of the place I call home. My church that I have attended for over 25 years is just blocks from where most of the protesting took place. I know it seems selfish but I was really hoping that they would not going near the church and not damage it. I believe people are more important than property but the church is a place I have found peace and sanctuary. Fortunately, it has not been damaged but many other places were. An area of Charlotte called the Epicenter where there a lot of bars, bowling alley, restaurants etc has been damaged. In fact, these are places where my child and I have eaten and she goes almost yearly to the bowling alley with her Choir School.
These are streets where I felt safe even at night. I walk up to restaurants, coffee shops, parks and other places. I felt safe at night. I walk with my child up and down these streets. If I didn’t feel safe in these Uptown streets, I surely wouldn’t walk anywhere with my child. This is the Charlotte I know. Not this mob mentality that has been seen on the national news these past few days. I have noticed that reporters do not want to see the peaceful protests at Marshall Park or Remer Bearden Park. I noticed one report come about a group praying or sitting in silent protest but he didn’t want to have anything to do with them. He wanted the Boom Boom Pow. He wanted the angry people. He didn’t want to show peace. The peace that was there if you just looked. Other stations reported the next morning people out on the streets cleaning. Normal citizens. People are baking cookies and handing them out on the street just because. Donations poured in of food for police officers. This is the Charlotte I know. This is the Charlotte I call home.
It was reported on the news today that 70% of the people that were arrested during the protest are not from Charlotte. It’s like somebody bussed them in and dumped them in the street and tried to cause trouble. These people need to go home. the 70% number has been disputed by others. However there numbers are there. They are not from here and they are giving us all a bad name. This is not the Charlotte I know because these people are not from here. They don’t care about us. They don’t care about this town. They need to go home so we can recover. We can get back to the Charlotte that we all know and love. They need to move on to the next town they can cause havoc on. We need to get back what we have lost and have a serious dialogue.
I am not going to pass judgement at this time. I don’t know what happened. I haven’t seen the film. They released a video today put out by Mr. Scott’s family. It shows a wife trying to explain that her husband had a TBI and didn’t know what he was doing. All I heard was audio on NPR. I agree with our mayor Jennifer Roberts that the video and the dash cam shouldn’t be released until an investigation can be completed. We don’t need anything tarnished and not giving investigators a clear chance to investigate. I pray for the Charlotte Mecklenburg police department and the family of Mr. Scott. I just don’t know why these people are dying because they look like somebody in a warrant or somebody gets Trigger Happy. I just don’t get it however I understand A police officers desire to go home to his or her family at the end of a shift.
Please continue to pray call Charlotte. That we can return to normal. Return to her people who live in harmony and peace.