Sidney Park CME Church in South Carolina Holds Vigil for Ahmaud Arbery and Other African American Victims of Gun Violence

Drivers participate in a socially distanced vigil for Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia by circling the block near Sidney Park Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on Sunday May 10, 2020. Speakers wore masks and addressed the nearly dozen people standing apart from one another in front of the church as a at least two dozen cars circled the block. JOSHUA BOUCHER / [email protected]

Days after 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in Georgia, Christians and activists held a vigil at a church in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday to draw attention to gun violence against black people. Meanwhile, a new video was released and appears to show the moments leading up to the victim’s death.

Around 30 cars participated in “The Peace Vigil Support & Caravan” held at Sidney Park CME Church, following social distancing rules to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to The State.

The cars honked their horn three times as they passed the church, symbolizing the three times Arbery was shot while jogging unarmed on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia.

“When I saw the actual footage, I was brought to tears and was saddened with emotion. I said this is enough,” said the Rev. James Smith, the pastor at the church, who was one of the organizers. “The narrative that people of color are more suspicious or dangerous than their white counterparts when doing normal activities must be changed.”

“It is time for it to stop,” said Oveta Glover, president of the Columbia Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “We talk about it but we don’t do anything about it. This is a step in doing something about it. Bringing awareness is the first step. It is just to open up the ears of people to hear about what is being said in honor of all of those who have fallen.”

A video of the February shooting was released last week, stirring outrage across the nation. On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested retired police detective Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

The elder McMichael told investigators he thought Arbery had been involved in burglaries in the neighborhood. However, police records show there were no recent reports of house burglaries in that neighborhood.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar

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