NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston celebrated its hundred-year anniversary Sunday, it also mourned the death of the two New York City police officers killed yesterday.
"We grieve with the families," Reverend Nelson Rivers III, the pastor at the church said. "We grieve and understand what they're going through."
Al Sharpton was scheduled to speak at the church today but instead, stayed in New York after the allegedly revenge-motivated killings.
"That was wrong," Rivers said. "It was evil and wicked and nothing good can come from it."
Rivers is also a vice president for the National Action Network which organized the Washington DC march with Garner and Brown's families and he knows the families personally.
"It's just the complete opposite of everything they would've wanted," Rivers said. "Anyone who did that, who thought they were doing something to avenge Eric Garner was sadly mistaken and tragically mistaken."
Rivers said the black community in North Charleston has a good relationship with the police but still sees some problems.
"We've had issues and continue to have issues," Rivers said." We still believe there's racial profiling particularly in North Charleston, but the North Charleston Police Department and the National Action Network have worked well together on a number of issues."
A spokesperson for the Charleston County Sheriff's Department said the shooting is an unfortunate lesson and the department will remind deputies to be on their toes and stay alert, but haven't planned any extra action.
Nelson said the bond between law enforcement and the community needs to be built on a shared respect.
"We pray that they go home safe every day and every night," Rivers said. "Police officers should not fear us and we should not fear them."