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Pinckney's mother embraces Chief Thomas Carter, calls for justice, peaceful protests

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Aug 10, 2016 6:00 AM
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Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

Kim Thomas, the mother of 20-year-old Earl Pinckney, also known as Shaleek Moss. Pinckney was killed by police after they say he threatened his mom with a knife at her throat. Thomas disputes their account, and says there was no knife.

(Harirsburg) -- The Harrisburg police shooting of 20-year-old Earl Pinckney, also known as Shaleek Moss, is sparking a conversation.

Kim Thomas, Pinckney's mother, spoke from the pulpit at uptown Harrisburg's Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church during a community meeting Tuesday night, with the city's police chief Thomas Carter just a few feet away.

She says the police need to better engage with the community every day, not just when crime happens.

When Chief Carter promised to make that change, they hugged.

"Believe that, but when I see it, I'm going to give you a double hug."

The embrace between Thomas and Chief Carter came less than 48 hours after an unidentified Harrisburg police officer shot and killed her son during an encounter in their second floor bedroom.

Police say he was holding a knife to his mother's neck, but his mother says he didn't have a knife.

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Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

A crowd of community leaders gathers at Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church in uptown Harrisburg, as a minister calls them to come forward and stand as one after the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Earl Pinckney, also known as Shaleek Moss.

She is calling for the community to work together and protest peacefully while the shooting is investigated.

"It's not going to be fighting. What's fighting going to get out of this? What's rioting going to get out of this? This is a small city. If we all stick together, we don't need nobody else," says Thomas.

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Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

Harrisburg Police Chief Thomas Carter.

 

Police Chief Thomas Carter says the truth will eventually come out. The incident is under investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney.

Those at the community meeting also say better education, teamwork and parenting is needed to help stem the violence in the city.

The next meeting date to turn the potential solutions into action will be announced next week.

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