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Community activists react to Vermilion Parish officer-involved shooting

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Posted at 9:59 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 23:23:57-05

Activists are calling for unity following a fatal shooting Wednesday in Abbeville. The shooting hit close to home for an Acadiana man who is working to end gun violence.

For the man, who we featured within the past week for advocating against gun violence, this case hits close to home.

Pastor Lawrence Levy says this shooting is personal because it's someone who grew up with.

"To our community, he was definitely someone that the community could look up to. Every time you pass by him he will make you laugh because that's who he was. He will be remembered in Abbeville, Louisiana for a very long time," Levy said.

Although he has a personal connection, Levy believes the officer was acting in self-defense.

"I did talk briefly with the police chief in Abbeville. From the looks of it I do believe that the police acted in a self-defense manner, that it wasn't anything that would seem to be like a police brutality or injustice way of doing things."

Now he's calling on the community to unite to help stop future shootings.

"We can do more and we can do it much faster. By myself it will be a slow process but I will never stop because I love people. White people, Black people, Hispanic people, rich people, poor people, it doesn't matter I'm out here trying to make a difference."

Pastor Levy does plan on having a peaceful rally in response to the shooting. We also reached out to several activist organizations.

Stand Black responded, saying they are seeking more information on what happened but adding that mental health disparities within the black community need to be addressed more often.

READ MORE: LSP: Officers were attempting to serve protective order before fatal Abbeville shooting

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