A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night to mark one year since the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which ignited days of volatile protests in Charlotte and exposed deep divisions between minorities and the city's police force.
The smell of incense drifted through the crowd of about 50 to 60 people, all gathered after dark in the parking lot of the Village at Common Downs apartment complex off Old Concord Road, where the events of last September unfurled.
Many of the attendees stood. Some sat on a nearby fallen tree. All held candles or sticks of incense distributed by organizers.
Near the front entrance to the complex, a row of tealights arranged on a curb signified the spot where Scott was shot by CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson last Sept. 20.
In attendance were the mother and aunts of Justin Carr, the 26-year-old protester who was fatally shot during the second night of protests. Carr's mother, Vivian Carr, spoke to the assembled, saying she didn't know why, out of all the people protesting in uptown on Sept. 21, 2016, her son was the one who was killed, but she said she wanted people to know he died for a cause.
"He came out because his grandmother always told him the story about how she marched during the civil rights (era)," she said, "And so he thought he was doing the right thing also."
Following remarks from Carr's family and other attendees, two paper lanterns were lit and flown into the air to remember the two lives lost.
"Rest in power, Justin Carr," a voice cried as the lanterns took off, "Rest in power, Keith Lamont Scott."