Charleston calls for peace amidst high-profile trials

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – City leaders are urging Charleston to keep the peace during the Walter Scott and Charleston Church shooting trials taking place now through possibly December.

“It’s truly an opportunity for the city of Charleston to continue its role to show the world a community that’s united,” said Mayor John Tecklenburg during press conference at Marion Square on Monday. Officials also asked that out-of-towners not make the trek to Charleston to stir unrest during the trial. “We do not want outsiders coming into our city to speak for the people of Charleston,” said National Action Network Elder James Johnson, “we can speak for ourselves.”

The gunman in the Mother Emanuel Massacre has confessed to crime turning the focus of that trial to whether he will get the death penalty. It is the murder of Walter Scott along with pending verdict that some fear would polarize the community.

“We don’t want the violence, we just want justice to be done,” said Debbie Pinson of North Charleston.

Justice is a guilty verdict according to Anthony Smith who runs a barbershop in North Charleston. “I hear a lot of people talking about rioting and stuff like that,” said Smith, “but I don’t think that will be an issue.”

Smith wants a fair trial and hopes the evidence speaks for itself. “The guy was running away,” said Smith, “that’s the bottom line.”

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