Pastor Defends Brentley Vinson, Christian Charlotte Officer and Liberty U Grad Who Shot Keith Scott

Charlotte police officer Brentley Vinson, 26 (L), and his pastor, Loran Livingston of Central Church (R).
Charlotte police officer Brentley Vinson, 26 (L), and his pastor, Loran Livingston of Central Church (R). | (Photo: Liberty University; Screen Shot via TWC)

The pastor of Brentley Vinson, the black 26-year-old police officer and former Liberty University football player who shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Scott in a controversial incident that sparked widespread public protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Tuesday, defended him in a church service Sunday as a fine young man.

"This awful tragedy in our city has hit so close to home," Pastor Loran Livingston of Central Church said in a Time Warner Cable report. "The officer involved, who did his sworn duty, is a member of our church, who grew up in our church, and you will not find a finer young man. His parents are here this morning. They are my friends, and for 25 years they have been a part of this church."

The Christian Post reached out to the popular evangelical Liberty University for comment Wednesday and Len Stevens, director of external communications for the school, said: "The University has decided that it is not making any statement, releasing any photographs or anything about Mr. Vinson."

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According to The News & Advance, however, Vinson, who played three years for the Liberty Flames football team, was a fierce competitor of faith who ran a popular Bible study group with his teammates called Gridiron.

The late Keith Lamont Scott, 43.
The late Keith Lamont Scott, 43. | (Photo: Facebook)

"I can honestly say I wouldn't want to play ball anywhere else. And it's not just football. Spiritually, I wouldn't be where I am. I wouldn't know Christ and have a relationship with Christ like I do if I hadn't come to Liberty. It's just a testament to God's timing," said Vinson about playing for Liberty.

Vinson graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in the spring of 2012 then embarked on a master's degree in human services to follow the footsteps of his father into law enforcement.

His father, Alex, the Advance explained, was the first African-American homicide detective in Charlotte and spent 27 years in that police department as a sergeant. He had dreams of becoming a U.S. Marshall and working as a Charlotte police officer was a step towards that goal.

According to CBS News, police said Scott had a handgun when they approached him at an apartment complex on Sept. 20. Officers repeatedly told Scott to drop the weapon and he was fatally shot when he failed to follow orders.

Scott's family charged, however, that he was not armed. Videos released by police and the family provide inconclusive accounts of what happened and state authorities are currently investigating the case which has triggered violent protests in the week since the shooting.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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