SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In response to the tragedies that took place in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission held an event to remember those who were killed and injured.
A memorial service was held at the Bridge Church to bring together the Schenectady community and remember the lives that were tragically lost last week.
“Numbness, shock, disbelief, grief and also sadness to continue to see senseless acts of gun violence being done,” Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition Exec. Dir. Angelica Morris said.
Last week, two black men were shot and killed by police. Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile was killed in Falcon Heights, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.
As a result, protests were held across the country. In Dallas, a peaceful protest turned violent when a sniper shot and killed five Dallas officers. Seven others were wounded.
The Dallas police chief said the sniper wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers.
In Schenectady on Monday, the memorial service brought together law enforcement, church leaders, city leaders and members with the MLK Jr. Coalition. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said he was happy to see his district set an example of unity for others.
“We are calling for peace, to come together to find solutions, and to make sure that we are coming together as a community,” he said. “We don’t want to see senseless violence. We don’t want to see vengeance. We want solutions.”
Speeches were given by local clergy who reminded everyone it should never be law enforcement versus the black community.
“It’s sad. It’s sad,” Schenectady Sgt. Ryan Macherone said. “I mean, there’s not a winner in this.”
Sgt. Macherone attended the event. He said it provides comfort in knowing he was invited and that he was wanted at the event.
“It makes me feel really good,” he said. “It makes me feel like the job that the guys go out and do it right every day doesn’t get unnoticed.”
The service brought together people of all ages and nationalities. Bridge Church said it’s an example of what should be seen in communities across the country.