The Rev. Al Sharpton slammed the police response to the Ferguson protests, but was optimistic justice would prevail for Mike Brown during funeral services Monday in St. Louis. “Justice is going to come,” Sharpton told hundreds of mourners inside the First Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
The civil rights activist and MSNBC host said there was no dignity for the unarmed 18-year-old black teen’s body after he was shot and killed earlier this month by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, noting it took nearly two hours for a detective to investigate the incident and the teen’s parents weren’t immediately allowed to be with their son. Sharpton said he looked at images of the scene on his iPad shortly after Brown’s killing.
“When I saw Michael laying there, I thought about how many of us were just considered nothing. How we were just marginalized and ignored,” Sharpton said. “Whatever the circumstance, an investigation led to have that boy laying there, like nobody cared about him, like he didn’t have any loved ones, like his life didn’t matter.”
Sharpton also dished out tough love for the black community and protesters who engaged in violence to vent their anger.
“This is not about you,” Sharpton said. “This is about justice.” Sharpton added Brown wouldn’t want to be remembered for the riots.
“He wants to be remembered as the one who made America deal with how we police the United States,” the minister said. “Michael Brown must be remembered for more than disturbances. He must be remembered for” change, Sharpton said, calling the teen’s death “a seminal moment.”
“The policies of this country cannot go unchallenged,” he said. “We cannot have aggressive policing of low-level crimes and can’t deal with the higher level. Something’s strange that you can get all these guns into the hood, but you go around chasing people with loosie (singly purchased) cigarettes and walking in the streets.”