Of course the news that two New York City police officers had been ambushed in their patrol car and shot to death on Saturday would require a statement from the Rev. Al Sharpton. Sharpton said that he and his National Action Network would hold a press conference Sunday morning, but for the moment the nation will have to settle for a statement — a statement that showed more concern for the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown than the police officers who were executed.
Truer words were never spoken, but it was inevitable.
Sharpton’s statement reads, in full:
I have spoken to the Garner family and we are outraged by the early reports of the police killed in Brooklyn today. Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases.
We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. We have been criticized at National Action Network for not allowing rhetoric or chanting of violence and would abruptly denounce it at all of our gatherings. The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad.
We plan to hold a press conference in the morning to express our outraged and our condolences to the families and the police department. Details to follow.
So, use of the names Eric Garner and Michael Brown in connection with any violence is forbidden? Well, you can’t fault Sharpton for trying to protect the brand, but the rioters who burned down at least a dozen buildings in Brown’s name weren’t exactly following orders. Neither was shooting suspect Ismaaiyl Brinsley, whose Instagram account allegedly pictured a gun alongside the hashtags #ShootThePolice, #RIPErivGardner [sic] and #RIPMikeBrown.
Sharpton doesn’t really have to bother with that press conference, does he?