CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In the wake of the shooting deaths this past week in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, communities throughout the Charlotte area held meetings, rallies and protests throughout the weekend to honor the victims, and call for a change.
Singing, praying and holding hands are not an unusual sight at church on Sundays, but at St. Luke Baptist Church, families and neighbors had extra pain, and more reason than normal to pray.
At that service, city council members, county commissioners, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney spoke to the congregation, to open a dialogue between the community and law enforcement.
"It's all about engaging with our community, having conversation, difficult conversations even, and doing the proactive work that prevents tragedies, and that's what we're trying to do," Putney said.
Just hours later, a committee called "We Need a Solution" sat down with current and former police officers, in an effort to continue a conversation, and to let people in the community tell law enforcement what their fears are, as they relate to police brutality.
"I wanted to educate myself on what I can do to help better the situation and interactions between police and civilians," said Corey Brown.
During that meeting, neighbors were able to air out their frustrations, as well as ask questions. Many of these questions centered around why police officers react the way they do in certain situations.
While people both in the Charlotte area and throughout the country continue to grieve the deaths the past weak, those who went to these gatherings this weekend say it is important to stay united in order to move forward.
"The main solution is to stand together and unite. Unity. Start loving the community, like I said from the beginning. It starts with love," said Shelton Morris.
There were at least nine gatherings Sunday. All of them were peaceful.