Officer Brentley Vinson's pastor calls for peace, understanding after Scott shooting

Published: Sep. 25, 2016 at 4:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 2:49 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Churches across the country came together Sunday to preach messages of healing and peace. But this week's events are personal at Central Church in Charlotte. Officer Brentley Vinson and his family have been apart of the congregation for over two decades.

Pastor Loran Livingston didn't waste time addressing Charlotte's recent turmoil.

"In four decades of pastoring this church, I have never had my insides so wretched, torn, as I have had this week," Livingston said.

Vinson and his wife were not present for the service, but his parents and sister were.

"This awful tragedy in our city hits so close to home," Livingston said.

Livingston described the man who CMPD says pulled the trigger Tuesday, killing 43 year old Keith Scott. Police say Scott was armed and refused multiple commands to drop his weapon.

"The officer involved, who did his sworn duty is a member of our church, who grew up in our church and you will not find a finer young man," he said.

Livingston, like so many across Charlotte, was disappointed to watch rioters hijack the demonstrations that played out on Charlotte's street's Tuesday and Wednesday night.

"People with legitimate concerns, with social and racial concerns, who have genuine grievances, didn't deserve to be represented by illogical and irresponsible rioters. They were not speaking for good people who want to see change. They don't represent people asking sincere questions," he said.

Livingston also had a message for CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, who received intense criticism for not releasing the body and dash camera video of the incident sooner.

"I respect you and I appreciate that you stood by your convictions and you did not let public pressure cause you to sway and bend," he said.

Livingston ended the service with a call for his congregation to replace hate and anger with an understanding that only comes from above.

"I'm not going to let talk and assumption and accusation and prejudice and racism and anger. I'm not going to let it in here," he said.

Central Church usually relies heavily on CMPD for traffic and security assistance on Sunday's but were told all officers were tied up working in uptown.

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