SOUTH CAROLINA — As his friends family prepare for his funeral on Friday, fellow South Carolina lawmakers are remembering their friend and colleague, State Senator Clementa Pinckney.
State Senator Tom Young, a Republican, sat just one seat away from the Democratic Senator Pinckney. He said he is still in shock over the loss of his friend “Clem.”
“To have been there with him in session on Wednesday, and then he is murdered Wednesday night, and not back on Thursday when we were supposed to be back, it’s hard for me personally,” Young said.
One of Sen. Young’s most memorable moments with Sen. Pinckney was watching him deliver a passionate speech about the need for body cameras for South Carolina law enforcement.
“He used a biblical analogy in which he compared the general public to Thomas the Diciple, and that after Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas did not believe that Jesus had risen until he actually saw Jesus,” Young said. “Senator Pinckey said that the public is like Thomas in that we don’t believe that something like this with a police officer has happened until we actually see it on video.”
Pinckney, like Young, had two daughters.
“I actually saw them at some Carolina football games,” said Young. “He would have his kids and I would have mine.”
Despite their political differences, two maintained a great friendship.
“We did have a lot of things we agreed on, but we didn’t agree all the time, but we both had a vision for a better South Carolina.”
Another Republican lawmaker, State Representative Bill Hixon, also said he will miss his colleague from across the aisle.
“He was always sort of like a dry wit,” said Hixon. “I mean he could say something to you and it would be funny to us but he wouldn’t even laugh – he was trying to make something serious out of it. And he would get you and you wouldn’t even know you had been gotten until he walks away.”
“I’m sure he’s up in heaven looking down and very pleased at this situation and showing the love and care that he always shown,” Hixon said.
The viewing hours Wednesday June 24, 2015 are from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Senator Pinckney will be laid to rest on Friday in Charleston.
President Barack Obama will deliver his eulogy.