Senate unveils portrait of slain Sen. Clementa Pinckney

VIDEO: State Senate unveils portrait of slain senator, pastor
Rev. Clementa Pinckney (Photo source: Facebook)
Rev. Clementa Pinckney (Photo source: Facebook)

The South Carolina Senate unveiled its official portrait of slain Sen. Clementa Pinckney in the Senate chamber Wednesday.

Pinckney, a Beaufort native and resident of Ridgeland, served Senate District 45, which covered Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties. He was also the pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston and was one of the nine members of the church gunned down after a Bible study on the evening of June 17.

The portrait was unveiled after a prayer gathering hours earlier that had been organized by members of the Legislative Black Caucus. At that service, lawmakers called for renewed emphasis on unity and tolerance.

Pinckney's wife, Jennifer, and his daughters, Eliana and Malana, were on hand as the portrait was unveiled.

A Senate committee picked artist Larry Lebby to paint Pinckney's picture. His other portraits in the Statehouse include paintings of South Carolina civil rights heroes Benjamin E. Mays and Modjeska Simkins.

Pinckney served in the Legislature for nearly 20 years. Senators voted unanimously to honor Pinckney with a portrait in the Senate chamber.

State Sen. Gerald Malloy said Pinckney's service included championing greater access of health care for the poor by Medicaid expansion, rallied against predatory lending practices and access to the voting booth for all citizens and pushed for body cameras for law enforcement officers.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.