WSJ Editor: Sharpton Makes a Living Off Community Unrest

Monday, 25 Aug 2014 02:47 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Rev. Al Sharpton makes a living by jumping into inflamed communities like Ferguson, Missouri, and demanding instant solutions, says James Taranto, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and editor of its online editorial page, OpinionJournal.com.

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"When you think about what Al Sharpton does for a living to the extent that he does anything, it is to go around and protest things like this and insert himself into these situations," Taranto said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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Sharpton, a civil rights activist and MSNBC host, spoke at the funeral of Michael Brown, the black teenager shot dead by a white police officer, sparking more than a week of rioting.

He has proposed a revamping of the nation's law enforcement system.

"The idea that he's proposing 'legislation' — we have no idea what such legislation would consist of. Obviously, it's already illegal to murder somebody; it's illegal for the police to use excessive force," Taranto said.

"You can't pass a statute saying policemen who are charged do not get due process, are not entitled to reasonable doubt, and so forth. And obviously policemen have to be able to use force when it's absolutely necessary, and so I don't think that there is a legislative solution to this.

"But I don't think it's necessarily in Al Sharpton's interest to have a solution to this because it's what he does to make a living."

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