The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The pastor killed in Charleston gave a chilling speech on racism a few weeks ago

The pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church and South Carolina state legislator made remarks on the senate floor on May 9, 2015 regarding the April 2015 shooting of Wal (Video: ETV)
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Just a few weeks before he was shot to death in Charleston, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney was talking about racism and violence on the floor of the South Carolina Senate in Columbia.

Pinckney was the pastor of the Emanuel AME Church, where he was killed while participating in a Bible study, as well as a state senator. He made these remarks calling on South Carolina to equip its police officers with body cameras on May 9.

The senator was speaking a month after footage emerged of a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man named Walter Scott in the back as he fled arrest in North Charleston.

Scott, Pinckney said, died "face down in the ground as if he were gunned down like game."

The officer, Michael T. Slager, was charged with murder. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the bill requiring officers to wear body cameras last week.

"Today the nation looks at South Carolina and is looking at us to see if we will rise to be the body and to be the state that we really say that we are," Pinckney said, citing "a real heartache and a yearning for justice, for people not just in the African American community, but for all people -- and not just in the Charleston area or even in South Carolina, but across our country."

Pinckney went on to suggest that his faith requires forgiveness, even of those who kill.

"The Lord teaches us to love all, and we pray that over time, justice will be done," he said.