Matthew Lysiak et al., NY Daily News, April 9, 2015
Stay away, Rev. Al.
That was the message from the family of South Carolina police shooting victim Walter Scott to the civil rights activist Thursday two days before the funeral for the slain father of four.
“We don’t want another Ferguson type of circus here,” a source close to the Scott family told The Daily News.
That was a reference to the Missouri town that was rocked by violent demonstrations last year after black teen Michael Brown was killed by a white cop.
Sharpton gave a rousing speech at the 18-year-old’s funeral, which was attended by thousands.
Scott family attorney Chris Stewart said they appreciate Sharpton’s support but “the funeral is only going to be close family members.”
“The Reverend Al has called and expressed his support and condolences,” said Stewart. “The family is very appreciative.”
Sharpton said he has been in touch with the Scott family and their lawyers but insisted “we had no plans to go down.”
“They are in mourning and we would never come unless they asked,” he told The News. “We’re willing to be helpful to the family but only when needed.”
Sharpton released a statement Friday morning adding that, “I have been invited to preach in North Charleston, SC, on Sunday and to help lead a healing prayer vigil that afternoon by local clergy who have worked on this case from the beginning.”
In recent days, Sharpton has slammed Scott’s fatal shooting by North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager as “senseless” and proposed nationalizing the country’s police forces as a way to curb brutality against African-Americans.