Sharpton with Gwen Carr; file photo
National civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton spoke today at New Hope Baptist Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with over a dozen mothers in attendance that lost their children to police misconduct.
The mothers were led by Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner who organized the mothers with National Action Network (NAN) to lay flowers on Eric Garner’s grave site on the two year anniversary of his death.
Rev. Al Sharpton offered a moment of silence for the police officers killed this morning in Baton Rouge and immediately decried the unspeakable and horrendous attack on the officers that took place in Louisiana.
“Before we go to lay flowers on Eric’s grave I want us to stop a minute and pray. And I want us to pray for the families of those three policemen in Baton Rouge this morning,” he said. “At a time when the country needs healing this deplorable and merciless act of violence against officers of the law is wicked and we must fight the principalities of darkness and evil spirits that are turning to violence.”
Rev. Sharpton said that all of the mothers present who have lost their children do not see this as a political issue. They are fighting for justice for their children– their flesh and blood. He said that some forget the human side of a parent burying a child. It is the expectation that the child will bury the parent. Imagine the pain when the parent has to bury the child. He said that every one of these mothers had dreams for their children. Plans for their future.
He strongly stated that the mothers are fighting for justice and anyone that feels the spirit of revenge becomes a part of the problem not a part of the solution. This is not a battle against police. It is a battle against wrong.
“Anyone that shoots police hurts these mothers even more and undermine the cause of justice because this is not about violence against violence,” he said. “This is about stopping the violence. We need more people that will stand up when cops are shot and we need more cops to stand up against bad cops when innocent lives are taken,” Rev. Sharpton said. “We have got to break this cycle of violence and sometimes you might have to deal with an uncomfortable reality and that may mean working with folks you don’t always agree with. We aren’t fighting police. We are fighting bad policing. We are fighting violence against each other. It is wicked to have some prosecuted and not others.”