*The Reverend Al Sharpton is responding to comments made by Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) president Patrick Lynch.
“It is outrageously insulting to all police officers to say that we go out on our streets to choke people of color, as Al Sharpton stated while seated at the table right next to our mayor at City Hall,” Lynch said. “It is a person’s behavior that leads to interactions with the police, not who they are, not what they look like or how much money is in their pocket.”
Lynch was referring to a roundtable meeting at City Hall last week between Sharpton, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and others on police-community relations.
“Al Sharpton’s words do nothing to build a bond between New York City police officers and the communities that we serve and protect each and every day,” according to Lynch.
In an email to EURweb, here is Rev. Sharpton’s response:
“It is time to have a mature conversation about policing rather than immature name calling and childish attempts to scapegoat. Within the realm of criminal justice, my credibility and that of the National Action Network is established, even the President of the United States and the United States Attorney General spoke at our convention here in New York in April, and both have participated in several prior conventions. So my visit to City Hall is not exactly the highlight of my year or necessary to accreditate our views. We have called for a fair and impartial federal investigation to provide the public and the Garner family with results. If other parties feel that the evidence will support their view of events then they should support us in a fair, independent investigation and allow the facts to come out. To say that only people with guns call us, shows the reckless, immature manner in which some parties want to engage, because the fact is that all of the people who have called on us, who we have stood up for, from Sean Bell to Trayvon Martin to Amadou Diallo, those people did not have guns, but their shooters did.
Again, we will continue to pursue a fair federal investigation to determine where the facts lie and to advocate for policies that do not enforce policing differently according to zip code. We will address this issue at a closed meeting of local leadership in the morning, after which I will speak to press.”
-Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network