Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton has received death threats from people blaming him and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for the weekend killing of two police officers.
During a press conference Sunday, Sharpton played a voice mail warning left on his cellphone, according to the Daily News
in New York.
"Hey, n*****, stop killing innocent people. I'm going to get you," a person on the voice mail can be heard saying.
Sharpton said, "We are now under intense threat by those who are misguided and those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight."
Sharpton revealed the threat while calling for peaceful protests in the fight for justice following the chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of an arresting police officer.
"This is a pursuit of justice to make the system work fairly for everyone," Sharpton said at the Harlem headquarters of the National Action Network, according to Mediaite
. "This is not about taking things into our own hands. That doesn’t solve the problem of police misconduct."
Sharpton, who has reported the threat to the FBI, was standing next to Eric Garner's widow and mother, who also both denounced the shooting deaths Saturday of the two NYPD officers.
"We are for peace and anyone who's standing with us, we want you to not use Eric Garner's name for violence because we are not about that," said Garner's mother, Gwen Carr.
And his widow, Esaw Garner, said, "Please protest in a nonviolent way. My husband was not a violent man so we don't want violence attached to his name."
The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had talked about planning to kill cops on his Instagram account in the hours leading up to his ambush of the two officers, Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32.
Brinsley shot them as they sat in their marked patrol car parked in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. He later killed himself.
His Instagram post included three hashtags: ShootThePolice, RIPErivGarner [misspelling was his] and RIP MikeBrown, the Daily News reported.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has attributed the killing to months of propaganda about how the police are the enemy of the black community.
"What happened [Saturday] was an assassination, which we haven't had since 1988 with Officer [Edward] Byrne," Giuliani said Sunday on Fox and Friends
, referring to a young police officer who was murdered while on duty. "We have not had an assassination murder like this in a long, long time."
NYPD union chief Pat Lynch blamed de Blasio for the murders, saying he had "blood on his hands." But he also called for a peaceful solution to the protests surrounding Garner’s controversial death during his arrest.
"To blame the mayor and others is not what we need," he said. "The blame game will only lead to further venom and further division."
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