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Friends, family remember Ferguson Laurent

SALISBURY — Friends and family of Ferguson Claude Laurent, Jr., 22, gathered Saturday afternoon at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church to mourn and to celebrate his life. The memorial service was the work of local ministers, who hoped to unify a grieving community that is still seeking answers and justice.

Laurent died Nov. 3, when police served a “no-knock” search warrant for a residence at 625 E Lafayette St. Police said Laurent fired when officers entered the home, and police fired back. The incident is under investigation by the SBI.

“I think this is a way to get our community back,” Latasha Wilks, associate minister at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, said. “This was such a tragic accident. We need this.”

Laurent was a friend of Wilks’ son, and she said Laurent, affectionately called “Bigz” by friends, was a funny young man who “appreciated everything” and “smiled sort of like he was on a Kool-Aid commercial.” He was someone who loved helping others, who was dedicated to his job and his family.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the sanctuary as ministers encouraged those who knew Laurent to lean on God for comfort and to “come together” as a community in the wake of tragedy. They also encouraged friends and family to keep Laurent’s legacy of laughter and caring alive.

“Find something in life to smile about,” Wilks told them.

“Live your life and make it purposeful. And make sure his life is remembered through yours,” Pastor D.M. Mason, with the Tower of Power Church said.

Funeral services were provided Saturday by Boone-Carroll Funeral Home in Cleveland.

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