Annabel Grossman, Daily Mail, December 1, 2014
Reverend Al Sharpton delivered an impassioned sermon to a packed St Louis church, in which he warned prosecutors that ‘the fight is not over’ and ‘justice will come to Ferguson’.
As Michael Brown’s parents sat in the front row of the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist, Sharpton told a congregation of around 2,500 that Darren Wilson’s resignation was a distraction from the family’s quest for justice.
But he claimed he found bits of evidence in the grand jury transcript that might help the cause of those who think the failure to indict Wilson over the shooting of 18-year-old Michael was a mistake.
‘All you’ve got to do is read the transcript,’ Sharpton said. ‘Better yet, let a federal grand jury read the transcript.’
Addressing his comments at Robert P McCulloch, Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Sharpton warned that the battle would continue, and people would continue to march and protest.
‘We lost the round, but the fight ain’t over,’ he said. ‘You won the first round, Mr Prosecutor, but don’t cut your gloves off, because the fight is not over. Justice will come to Ferguson!’
On Sunday, Darren Wilson’s lawyer revealed that the police officer chose to resign without severance pay after being made aware of threats that his fellow officers would be harmed if he stayed in the force
But Sharpton insisted that Wilson did little good by resigning.
‘You can’t heal if you are leaving the injured out of the process,’ he said. ‘This is not about Darren Wilson’s job. This is about Michael Brown’s justice.’
Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and his father, Michael Brown Sr sat among family members for the service where their son’s funeral was held three months ago.
The unarmed teenager was shot dead by white police officer Darren Wilson in August. Last week, a grand jury chose not to indict Mr Wilson in shooting, sparking violence and protests in Ferguson and across the United States.
Sharpton urged his congregation to join the peaceful protests in Ferguson, but condemned those who had used Brown’s death as an excuse to burn and loot businesses in the community.
‘Don’t confuse them with the young folk who are standing up and marching, and the old folk,’ he said. ‘They are the true patriots in this country, because they are asking for the system to correct itself.’
After the service at Friendly Temple Missionary, Sharpton spoke at a service held at a parking lot on West Florissant Avenue, next to where The Flood Christian Church once stood.
In the background stood the remains of the building that was torched during the violence that followed the grand jury decision not to indict Mr Wilson.
Michael Brown’s father is a member of the church, whose pastor Carlton Lee has been active in the movement of those calling for justice in the shooting death.