David N. Goodman and Ed White, WJBK-TV (Detroit), May 20, 2010
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said Thursday that the Rev. Al Sharpton is staging a “drive-by at the scene of a tragedy” by speaking at the funeral for a seven-year-old girl shot by Detroit police.
“I think it is disgusting for him to predict what someone is going to say at a eulogy where a family has invited a minister to come in,” Sharpton told The Associated Press.
In Twitter messages Tuesday, Cox said he was disgusted but not surprised by Sharpton’s planned appearance Saturday at the funeral for Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Cox accused Sharpton of “exploiting tragedy.”
The attorney general, who is white, told AP that Sharpton “parachutes in to get his name in the paper,” then leaves after creating “a worse racial divide than existed before.”
“He clearly is trying to be ‘Johnny on the spot’ and get on the news again and exploit the tragedy of a 7-year-old girl being shot in the city of Detroit,” Cox said.
Michigan State Police are investigating the death of Aiyana, who was hit by an officer’s bullet during a raid Sunday as police sought a suspect in the killing of a 17-year-old boy.
Cox said Sharpton’s visit was premised on police misconduct that Cox said remains to be determined.
Sharpton replied: “There has never been a history of me inciting any problems anywhere. For him to play politics and try to get votes off the deaths of two young people speaks more of him than it does me.”