Sharpton In Ferguson, Mo.: Release Of Michael Brown ‘Robbery’ Video ‘Insulting’
Sharpton blasted the release by police of a video purportedly showing Michael Brown robbing a store shortly before the unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer.
The remarks came one day after another standoff between police and protesters.
The first night of a state-imposed curfew in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday ended with tear gas and seven arrests, after police dressed in riot gear used armored vehicles to disperse defiant protesters who refused to leave the St. Louis suburb where Brown, who is black, was shot by a white police officer a week earlier.
“Are we saying that it’s unreasonable to ask for unarmed people not to be killed by the folks who are to protect them? Is that unreasonable?” Sharpton said at the Greater St. Marks Family Church. “Have we become a society that we can’t question the deaths of people that there was no life-extenuating circumstance?”
“I have never in all my years seen something as offensive and insulting as a police chief releasing a tape of a young man trying to smear him before we even have his funeral or his burial,” Sharpton said.
“First of all, if this is the young man, y’all quit trying to exaggerate,” the Harlem civil rights activist said. “That was shoplifting, not robbery. … Robbery, you break in, stick something up. Shoplifting, you take some cigars. It’s wrong if he did it, but call it what it is.”