COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Midlands community activists made a plea for peace and unity in area neighborhoods on Friday. And that rally and appeal included voices with first-hand experience.
The "Love Thy Neighbor" peace rally started at the Richland County Courthouse. Advocates marched down Main Street to the State House on what they called a mission to show the community love.
The Prosper Strong foundation put this event together, bringing together advocates who've ended up in prison and who have loved ones still in in prison, as well as Levar Jones, who was shot by a state trooper two years ago, and those touched by last year's Charleston church shooting.
"It's really about building our communities, getting our committees back involved with these processes," Jones said. "Whether it's the judicial part of the process, whether it's the legislative part of the process or whether it's just having community involvement. A lot of times the community is just not involved with what's going on."
Jones called for faster deployment of police body cameras around the state. His shooting was captured by a dashboard camera and the trooper who shot him has pleaded guilty to assault charges.
Jones also demanded faster action for that trooper to be sentenced.
The rally also included appeals to give more consideration to felon ex-convicts trying to get away from their criminal histories and start new histories as productive, law-abiding citizens.