Sharpton: ‘Feeling Is That Many Black Officers’ Know They Can ‘Get Away With Doing In the Black Community’ What They Wouldn’t In Others

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “MSNBC Live,” National Action Network President and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton  discussed the police shootings of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and stated that the protests in Charlotte aren’t about race, and “the feeling is that many black officers know that they can get away with doing in the black community to black suspects what they would never do in another community.”

Sharpton said, “Well, from our conversations, with people on the ground in Charlotte, there have been a litany of cases in Charlotte. This is not the first case. And that I think that this frustration sometime boils over. There also have been some that have said that the police were heavy-handed, and you’ve got to remember in Tulsa, they put the tape out. And there is — the police are claiming in Charlotte, they don’t even — they’re not even confirming they reviewed all the tapes. I think transparency and coming forward makes a big difference. And I think the tone set here is that we want accountability immediately, all citizens. I also think that what is interesting that has not been emphasized by media, is that it’s that they want accountability of all law enforcement, because the policemen in Charlotte is black. This is not even race here. So, I think the one thing you’re seeing is that the protests that are going on around the country, many of which we’ve been involved in in National Action Network, is not an anti-white or an anti-police, it’s anti-accountability, because you see the outrage in Charlotte, when clearly it is not a white policeman involved.”

Sharpton commented on the fact that the police officer in Charlotte is African-American by stating, “I think the difference is, in many cases, we do see evidence of white officers may have embedded prejudgments, which is prejudice, and you’d have to ask in the case in — that we’re dealing with in Tulsa, is what would make her think someone was a danger, when clearly from the videotape his hands are up, and there’s no imminent danger. In the case of where black officers are involved, I helped lead the fight and protests in New York, where two black cops were among the three that killed Sean Bell, and we had many, many demonstrations, and forced a trial there, and two of those policemen were black, because the feeling is that many black officers know that they can get away with doing in the black community to black suspects what they would never do in another community. What you have not seen is a lot of black cops, or white cops, do this to white suspects. So, even though they might not be the same embedded prejudice, there may be an embedded that I can be more reckless here, or not as cautious here, because why don’t we see this with black cops in other areas, where let me hasten to add, we shouldn’t see it any area. They ought to follow the law, not break the law.”

He further stated of the Crutcher case that he was “impressed” with his family, “a very religious family.” He continued, “And yet the answer here is, well, we think there was some drugs in the car. Did the policeman have x-ray vision? Let’s say there were drugs in the car, we don’t know that to be true, how did you know that? When we’re looking at the video, you’re coming down the road. The only reason he’s there is the car stalled, and the care broke down. It appears so did the justice system break down, because this man is dead, suspected of what? His car breaking down?”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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