Hundreds pray for law enforcement in Harnett County

LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds came together in Harnett County Thursday to pray for law enforcement officers.

The prayer vigil, organized by the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, was held in response to police killings nationwide, most notably in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

“This was to join our communities together, to reach out and trust each other and just know that we’re here to serve and protect the citizens of Harnett County,” said Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats.

The vigil also comes following several incidents in the county that have severed the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

Most recently, the death of 33-year-old John Livingston, who was shot and killed on his porch by a Harnett County Sheriff’s Deputy last November.

Family friends of Livingston showed up to the prayer vigil to let law enforcement know they still have their support.

“Even though we may be fighting the county for change and accountability, that doesn’t mean that we do not support law enforcement, because we do 100-percent,” said Maria Arias.

The sheriff says the goal of this prayer vigil is to help bring healing to the community in light of incidents like this and he says the response indicates they’re heading in the right direction.

“There was no negative here today and that says a lot,” said Coats.

The sheriff says due to the large turnout Friday they hope to hold similar prayer vigils on an annual basis.

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