The past week in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been tumultuous to say the least.

The shooting of Keith Scott sent protesters into a rage, and protesting turned into looting and violence that led to another life lost. So many businesses were destroyed, ATMs left in pieces, even the Hornet’s stadium was left depleted of every pair of basketball shoes in the building.

As a North Carolina native, Charlotte is a city very dear to my heart and has had its fair share of sadness and pain during this time.

A curfew was imposed on the city, but this didn’t stop the protests from becoming violent. A man who was protesting in the crowd was shot in the back of the head by another protester. I would love to see these protesters explain to this man’s mother how their actions and recklessness cost her son his life.

I completely respect and understand peaceful protests. Change comes when you voice your opinion respectfully and educate the masses about your cause.

Violence begets violence, respect begets respect.

Walking the streets with signs and chanting is a peaceful protest, but the second that you take advantage of these events to destroy a city is the second that it is proven you couldn’t care less about your cause, and in fact you are selfishly taking away from the point of the protest and reinforcing negative stereotypes.

Selfish being the keyword, if you come out to prove a point to society, but end up stealing basketball shoes and God knows what else, you are absolutely distracting from the issue that brought you there in the first place and negating your cause.

It is disgusting and absolutely unacceptable.

This brings me to my main point of this column. Despite all of the nastiness, hate and damage harbored in Charlotte during the past week, Charlotte has risen above the madness.

Citizens in Charlotte walked in solidarity with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department giving officers high fives and hugs. Many of the people who walked were going to the Panthers v. Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday.

Pride in the community and the CMPD was reiterated; however, many news outlets are not showing footage from this 30-minute walk. I guess that peace doesn’t sell now days, which is shameful.

Even though the Panthers did not win the game on Sunday, they were still winners in my eyes.

This team decided to bring something to Charlotte this week other than negativity. They decided to stand strong and support their community even though there was predictions of protesters against Cam Newton at the game. This simply proves that community is stronger than any outsiders who come to destroy a city, and that to me is amazing.

Amanda Long is a freelance writer for The Gazette-Virginian.