Reverend Sharpton and the family of slain Officer Randolph Holder. Courtesy of Facebook.
The Reverend Al Sharpton has announced in a letter for press release that he will not speak at the funeral of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder.
In his letter, Sharpton stated he did not want to be in the middle of a confrontation during Holder’s service.
“It is clear though after reading several articles that some union leaders and some others want to turn your and your pastor’s noble efforts into some kind of confrontation or sideshow and not keep focused on the brutal, senseless murder of your son,” Sharpton said in his letter to the father of slain Police Officer Randolph Holder. ” I refuse, despite my strong feelings on police issues, to be part of anything that would marginalize and take away from the focus of this city and nation mourning your son tomorrow.”
Sharpton said that while he “respectfully” declines the invitation, he is committed to helping the family and will contribute $5,000 to compensate the funeral costs.
After Sharpton’s invite to attend the funeral was publicized by a report from the Daily News, NYPD Sergeant’s union head, Ed Mullins, told the newspaper that, “This is an ironic twist. Maybe the family doesn’t understand his history with the NYPD. The city is divided because of people like Sharpton.”
Many NYPD officers and union officials were blatantly outraged when they received buzz of the Civil Rights Activist’s planned attendance. Some took to their social media sites to express their anger, believing Sharpton’s presence would only agitate the hundreds of officers appearing to pay their respect to the fallen officer.
Officer Holder was fatally shot last week after chasing a gunman amid a shootout in East Harlem.