Al Sharpton in Missouri: 'We Did Not Come to Divide the City'
MSNBC host and president of the National Action Network Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference after meeting with the parents of Michael Brown, an African-American teenager that was shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb.
Poised squarely before the cameras, Sharpton demanded justice for the Brown family.
“This is not a cause for them; this is their child. This is not some prop for politics; this is their child,” he said, referring to the parents.
Sharpton also criticized members of the community who used the tragedy to exhibit violence.
“To become violent in Michael Brown’s name is to betray the gentle giant that he was,” Sharpton said, reminding listeners that Brown was an “unarmed gentleman.”
“Don’t be so angry that you distort the image of who his mother and father told us he was,” he said.
Sharpton called for the federal government to take over the investigation of the case, criticizing the local police department for not releasing the name of the officer involved in the shooting.
“We did not come to divide this city; we came to bring this city on one accord,” Sharpton said. “But one accord means that we have equal protection under the law.”
Sharpton criticized those who wanted to silence him and the rest of the community.
“There are those who are saying ‘peace,’ but they really just mean ‘quiet’… we want real peace; we don’t want to just be told to shut up and suffer in silence,” he said.