Local church gathers for Thanksgiving service dedicated to people in Ferguson

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Some Oklahomans used this Thanksgiving holiday to pray for the people of Ferguson, Missouri.

Racial tension continues there after a grand jury did not indict officer Darren Wilson in connection with the shooting and killing of teenager Michael Brown.

Folks from several different congregations gathered at St. Luke’s Baptist Church for a service dedicated to those in Ferguson.

They also talked about ways they’re working with OCPD to prevent similar violence from happening here as we get ready for a trial involving an Oklahoma City police officer.

Inside the walls of St. Luke’s Baptist Church, there was a Thanksgiving celebration and a prayer for peace.

Pastor J.A. Reed called for prayer on this holiday for the families of both Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson.

“What we know should be joyful and thankful, they’ve had to face it with pain and tremendous suffering,” Reed said.

This group is also working with city leaders to prevent similar protests and riots here, ahead of Daniel Holtzclaw’s trial.

He’s the OCPD officer accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen African-American women.

“I think here in Oklahoma City we do things differently,” City councilman John Pettis says. “I think when you have an active police department who's willing to work with the community, you are able to get positive results.”

You’ll remember protestors marched outside the courthouse during Holtzclaw’s preliminary hearing.

But so far, the protests have been peaceful.

Church leaders have had a couple of meetings with police, preparing for those who show up to the trial, to prevent more pain in this community.

“We are collaborating with the Oklahoma City police department especially the Springlake divison to establish a level of cohesiveness in an effort to avoid similar situations occurring across our country,” Reed said.

They plan to meet with police again to make sure the protests are organized and safe.

At this point, Holtzclaw’s trial hasn’t been set.

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