Jacksonville prayer at police headquarters call for unity

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People in Jacksonville are sharing a different message Monday following nationwide and local protests.

The headquarters for Jacksonville police officers and firefighters became a place for prayer.

Pastor Maurice Ervin from Catalyst Church held a service in front of officers and the community to ask for wisdom and harmony.

“Divisiveness gets us nowhere. If we can unify for a common cause I really believe we can get a better answer,” said Ervin. It comes at a time when emotions are high.

Jacksonville Police Chief Mike Yaniero offered his respects to the family of George Floyd. He continued saying his death sent “shockwaves across the nation”.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to him, for having to endure this senseless loss of life,” said Yaniero.

He called Floyd’s death a violation of police policy and human indecency. He is confident Jacksonville has been able to prevent situations like Floyd’s by having conversations about the police force.

Mayor Sammy Phillips says there’s no place for racism in Jacksonville. He wants people to work to reduce injustice and create unity.

Chief Yaniero added that he would work with protestors to makes sure future demonstrations continue to be safe in Jacksonville.

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