Al Sharpton gave a sermon at a South Carolina church service on Sunday that mourned the death of Walter Scott, who was killed by a North Charleston police officer last week. A video shot by a bystander showed Scott being shot in the back while fleeing. The police officer involved is in jail while the killing is investigated.
Sharpton was uncharacteristically subdued in his sermon, in part because the family of Walter Scott asked him not into inject himself into the tragedy. “We don’t want another Ferguson type of circus here,” a source close to the Scott family told the New York Daily News.
Ferguson was the scene of protests and violent demonstrations for weeks after teenager Michael Brown was shot by a white cop in an incident in which the Obama Justice Department ultimately concluded there was no civil rights violation. Sharpton was a major polarizing speaker at Brown’s funeral, which was attended by a crowd of thousands.
Scott family attorney Chris Stewart told the Daily News “the funeral is only to close family members.”
Sharpton may have shown restraint in the Scott case while in South Carolina, but back in New York City last week he used the platform of his annual National Action Network convention to take his demands to a new level.
“There must be national policy and national law on policing,” Sharpton thundered at the event’s kickoff. “We can’t go from state to state, we’ve got to have national law to protect people against these continued questions.”
After his audience gave him thunderous applause, he continued: “We cannot have a justice system that hopes we have a mayor in the right city or a police chief. We have to have one policy that is national.”
Despite local incidents that are often are disturbing or outrageous, the last thing the country needs is a national police policy. Over 100 federal agencies already have the equivalent of their own SWAT teams, and the history of such teams is rife with abuse.
Adding to that record is the horrific “Fast and Furous” scandal in which the Obama Justice Department allowed illegal guns to be infiltrated into Mexican drug gangs, resulting in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and hundreds of Mexican civilians.
Nor was that the first time that a national police policy overrode the sensible conclusions of local law enforcement officials. Jack Cashill, a writer with the American Thinker, recalls
how the FBI ignored the advice of local Texas officials and tried to end a siege that began with a botched and suspect raid by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched a tank attack on a Branch Davidian religious compound in Waco in 1993.
“The assault did not work quite as planned. The wood frame buildings caught fire, and seventy-four Davidians died, twenty of them children,” Cashill recalls. Thirty-nine of those who died were racial minorities. “I do not know how much Sharpton knows about Waco, but he can be confident his followers know nothing at all. If they knew the truth, they might not have applauded his call for nationalization of the police.”
Al Sharpton has had a checkered career when it comes to law enforcement, ranging from his involvement in the Tawana Brawley rape hoax to his fiery speeches that preceded the fatal arson attack on a fashion store in Harlem in the 1990s.
When it comes to recommendations on police policy, common decency would suggest he restrain himself. But that has never been Al Sharpton’s style.
John Fund is an expert on American politics where politics and economics and legal issues meet. He previously served as a columnist and editorial board member for The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including "Who's Counting: Bow Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk." He worked as a research analyst for the California Legislature in Sacramento before beginning his journalism career as a reporter for the syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. Fund also is a Newsmax TV contributor — More Info Here. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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