At a Hartford, Connecticut rally supposedly called to protest five homicides of young people in the city over the past two weeks – four of them shootings – Rev. Al Sharpton was challenged Saturday by a black pastor for asking every preacher present to donate $100 to Sharpton’s civil rights organization, National Action Network (NAN).
“I want to be here to see a memorial for the young people that have died,” said Sharpton at Shiloh Baptist Church, according to CT News Junkie. “I want the names and their stories up so children can see they don’t want to be on that wall.”
Pastor Marcus Mosiah Jarvis of Christ the Cornerstone Praise and Western Tabernacle, however, shouted at Sharpton as he strode down the center aisle of the crowded church, “How dare you ask the people of Hartford to give you their money! You’re nothing but a pimp!”
Jarvis slammed Sharpton for using the supposed anti-violence rally as a cover for “coming into a community where people are struggling for jobs, struggling for money, and demanding money to speak.”
“Don’t you come up in here asking us for money,” Jarvis yelled, according to Fox CT.
Jarvis was about to be escorted out of the church, but he instead remained in the rear. Sharpton responded to his challenge by removing $1,000 in cash from his suit pocket.
“Everything that you all raise will go to a memorial,” he said. “[F]or the lives that could have gone on to cure cancer. Lives that could have been the next President of the United States.”
Sharpton founded NAN in 1991. As Breitbart News reported in April of last year, the IRS fined the nonprofit for not properly reporting its taxes, and it was charged with $1.9 million in back taxes and penalties. Additionally, the New York Times reported last November that Sharpton owes more than $4.5 million in state and federal taxes.
“Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills,” reported the Times.
The rally was the culmination of a march through Hartford in which Sharpton and about 150 mostly black individuals participated. Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber invited Sharpton to speak.
According to the Hartford Police Department, the city saw 49 shooting victims between January and May 16.
Jarvis later said local efforts are essential to initiate change in a community, reports CT News Junkie.
“We’re setting in place classes where people can come for credit repair, establishing credit, home ownership, creating a resume, how to look for a job, mock interviews… that’s how you empower people, not creating memorials,” he said.