Prayer vigil brings healing, action for NC congressman
Posted June 30, 2015
Rocky Mount, N.C. — Tuesday’s prayer vigil at Church of God of Deliverance in Rocky Mount was more than a gathering hosted by U.S. Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D – NC).
It was also a call to action.
Butterfield said he plans to introduce legislation punishing anyone who gives a gun to someone who then uses it in a crime.
“There must be civil liability as well as criminal liability for anyone who does that,” he said.
The proposed legislation was inspired by a June 17 church shooting in Charleston, S.C. where nine people were killed. Prayers for Emanuel AME Church, where the shootings took place, and for "reconciliation and social justice" were given during the vigil.
The accused shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, 21, has been seen in pictures embracing the Confederate flag, a symbol that in recent weeks has been shunned by major retailers and a number of southern governors.
Butterfield said the flag represents a turbulent past for African-Americans.
“We have not completely rid ourselves of past acts of bigotry and racism,” he said.
Dominic Staton, who attended the vigil, said recent events have highlighted the difference in opinion for many in the area.
"We still respect one another and realize not everyone is on the same level of understanding," he said. “Will it be done, I can’t say. But we are capable of it.”