The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, Bishop Pro Tempore of North Carolina, issued a video on Sept. 21 responding to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police on the previous day. Violent protests fell upon the city Sept. 20 and 21.
“Once again, a deep kind of violence, darkness and gloom was enshrouding our land, and this time very nearby in our beloved Queen City of Charlotte, where last night, tragically, one has lost his life. Keith Lamont Scott lost his life under circumstances of violence that are also mysterious and yet to be fully comprehended,” she said. “But we comprehend that a life has been lost and that all life is sacred, and that this is a matter of grief and of sorry and of deep woundedness.”
Hodges-Copple said this violence occurs in a context of increasingly tense encounters between people and police. “So, in our own beloved Charlotte, after Mr. Scott loses his life, an anger of frustration and despair erupts, and many, many lives are hurt and harmed and wounded at this time.”
She said peacemakers must be involved to face this shocking, repetitive violence. “It will be the peacemakers of Charlotte and other communities who first and foremost talk about telling the truth and finding the truth and seeking the truth. It will be peacemakers who work towards justice.”
Charlotte saw another night of protests Sept. 21. According to ABC News, hundreds of protesters converged on the city, prompting Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency and deploy the National Guard. One civilian died after being shot, and four officers sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.