Local minister hopes to calm tensions following shooting in Missouri

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 17, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 17 at 9:28 PM

HAMPTON -- "Unfortunately, a young man had to lose his life, but let's use this as a time not for violence but for coming together, so we can better our communities and better ourself as a people," said Pastor Rashad Cartwright, referring to the death of Michael Brown.

August 9, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed 18-year-old Brown who was unarmed.

Days later, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Officer Darren Wilson initially tried to clear Brown and a friend out of the middle of a street because they were blocking traffic.

Although officers said Brown robbed a convenience store a short time before the encounter, Jackson said the confrontation between Brown and Wilson had nothing to do with the robbery.

Since Brown's killing there have been waves of violence in Ferguson. The NAACP in Missouri invited Cartwright to speak during peace rallies. The pastor of Experience Life Church in Hampton visited the location where Brown died.

"It was tough. The reason was as I was standing there, and I went with the NAACP, they had a young man there about nine or 10 years old, and his shirt read: "Is this going to be me?'" shared Cartwright. "When are we going to take this, and learn from this, and grow from this, and get these deep-rooted issues. Unfortunately you cannot change anything that you don't confront."

Cartwright told 13News Now he hopes to return to Ferguson.

"I just felt like I could have done more, and so when they asked me about coming out there next week -- there's a couple of rallies -- I am honored and I said I am honored, and if it is worked out I am there. I'm there."

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