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Vigil honoring slain Aiken Public Safety officer calls for end to violence

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 7:59 PM
Last updated 10:37 PM
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AIKEN — A stunned Jack Rogers stared Sunday evening at the candles Aiken residents had set in a small circle in the ground at Eustis Park.

Leaning heavily on a cane and accompanied by a uniformed officer on each elbow, Rogers looked silently at the tiny dancing flames before being escorted away.

His daughter, Aiken Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandra Rogers, was shot around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, in the very spot he stood, while responding to a suspicious vehicle reported by a neighbor. She died later at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Less than five weeks earlier, Master Officer Scott Richardson was gunned down across town.

A prayer vigil and a rally for peace was held Sunday evening where Rogers was shot. Organized just 24 hours before on Facebook by SHARP, or Sisters Honoring African Rites of Passage, and BOLD, or Brothers Offering Leadership Diversity, a few hundred people came out in support.

Both officer slayings led to the arrests of young men. Joshua Jones, 26, is charged with the killing of Rogers, and he is the suspect in the fatal shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Cayce Vice. Stephon Morrell Carter, 19, has been charged with Richardson’s death.

The rally was a prayer for peace as well as a way to show Aiken residents that not all young people turn to violence, organizer Jared Holloway said.

“We, the youth of Aiken, have a different face,” he said.

Another organizer, Rozlyn Humphrey, said she thought the kids need someone to talk to and to look up to.

“They need positive groups to join,” she said. “It can’t be just a message from the elders; it needs to come from other young people.”

During the rally, white balloons were released as a sign for peace, and “flowers of remembrance” were laid where Rogers was shot.

“We pray for peace of the souls of Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson, Cpl. Sandra Rogers, Ms. Cayce Vice and her unborn,” Holloway said.

The organizers said Aiken needed to come together to pray for their community. Twenty-four hours after they decided to act, Aiken showed up.

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thewayitis 01/29/12 - 09:49 pm
God bless you Sandra Rogers.

God bless you Sandra Rogers. I have no doubt you are with Him now.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 01/30/12 - 02:32 am
RIP, Officer.

RIP, Officer.

seenitB4 01/30/12 - 07:16 am
You know

You know vigils...prayers...etc....that is all good but we need to change our laws concerning the killing of police officers...
Why not make a public execution of a killer---give then 1 year only to state their case----if found guilty they should be shot in public....without mercy.....I'm sick of this....soon we will be like the wild wild west one will want the job.

lawchic 01/30/12 - 08:22 am
I knew Sandy personally for

I knew Sandy personally for many years. We will miss her and we thank her for her many years of service. At the same time, I am so proud of my son, Jared Holloway, a recent Clemson graduate, and the other students that worked together to sponsor the peace rally and prayer vigil at Eustis Park yesterday to let Aikenites know that Aiken is a peaceful place - that our youth are ready to step forward and confront difficult challenges head on. These young people will meet with our Mayor and other community leaders in an effort to find opportunities to help young people make that critical move toward education and employment and away from crime and violence. I love you, son. Very proud of you.

charlesaiken 01/30/12 - 09:23 am
RIP, Officer Rogers

RIP, Officer Rogers

kiwiinamerica 01/30/12 - 10:30 am
Preaching to the choir. The

Preaching to the choir.

The thugs aren't listening. Prayer vigils aren't on their radar screens.

We're living in a culture of death. Have been for several decades. It starts before birth in the womb and encompasses all stages of human life.

This will not end well.

Conservative Man
Conservative Man 01/30/12 - 10:54 am
Agree with SB4, maybe public

Agree with SB4, maybe public executions should be re-instated when convicted of killing a police officer...Prayers to the family.

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