Tags: Al Sharpton | Ferguson | Missouri | officers shot

Al Sharpton: No Protesters I Know Would Condone Shootings

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 01:08 PM

The Rev. Al Sharpton Thursday attempted to put distance between the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri and the shootings of two police officers, saying that he doesn't believe anybody he knows who is involved in the protests would condone such an act of violence.

"We're not saying the protesters did anything with the shooting or not," Sharpton, a MSNBC host, told the "Morning Joe" show Thursday. "We don't know. But absolutely, unequivocally, no one I know involved in the protests or the [Michael] Brown family would condone shooting at police, shooting police, and hopefully these two policemen, or any other violence."

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The shots were fired shortly after midnight, while protesters gathered following  Wednesday's resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who stepped down following a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police force and local courts.

One of the officers was hit in the face, just below his right eye, with a bullet lodging behind his ear, while the other was hit in the shoulder, with the bullet coming out of his back. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said both are expected to recover fully.

Neither officer was on the Ferguson Police Department. The one shot in the face was from nearby Webster Groves, and the other was from St. Louis County.

Sharpton pointed out that hours before the shooting, Brown's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, appeared with him on his MSNBC "PoliticsNation" program in Chicago, and said without the protests, the Justice Department would not have investigated the Ferguson Police Department.

"And we were commending a lot of those who had continued those protests, nonviolently," said Sharpton. "And then this happens. Now, we don't know whether — we will find out later."

National Urban League President Marc Morial, also on Thursday's show, said he saw a report that said the shots did not come from the protesters, and only an investigation will "tell the truth" about what happened.

He praised the St. Louis County Police Department for exercising restraint after the shots, because "sometimes when officers hear shots, there's a tendency to overreact."

But still, the continued protests show that there is still need for change in Ferguson, said Morial.

"People want further change," he said. "The resignation of the chief and the city manager are just steps towards the type of change that needs to take place. "

Sharpton pointed out that Brown's family called him when Brown was shot and Sharpton arrived within 72 hours, and that from "day one there were those that believed in protests and the family wanting to do it in a very respectful way."

But there were also those "who were just angry," and there were"outsiders that come in who just want to exploit it," he said, "but we don't know if any of these factions had anything to do with the shooting."

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The Rev. Al Sharpton Thursday attempted to put distance between the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri and the shootings of two police officers, saying that he doesn't believe anybody he knows who is involved in the protests would condone such an act of violence.
Al Sharpton, Ferguson, Missouri, officers shot
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2015-08-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 01:08 PM
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