Al Sharpton on Crime
Reverend; Civil Rights Activist; Democratic Candidate for President
Al Sharpton opined, “There was a tone. And the fact that something so vicious could be done by somebody like Justin Volpe in a police station with other officers there has to give you an idea of the mentality that the police must have had at that time, that they could get away with it. You’re not just talking about a psychotic guy that brought him down under the railroad tracks after dark; he did this in the precinct and no one turned him in, no one stopped him, no one made a move. And that’s frightening.
The Diallo movement got rid of the Street Crimes Unit. Clearly it had almost a cowboy mentality. It had no concern for civil liberties. To live every day in a community where you have to be afraid of the cops and the robbers is something I would not wish on anybody.The four officers were acquitted after a criminal trial. Attempts to bring a civil lawsuit failed.
We hear Diallo’s parents came from Africa and were talking to Mayor Giuliani. Our fear was that Giuliani was going to try and get to the family and undercut the movement for justice.
EDWARDS: No, I would not.
SHARPTON: So you would proceed even with the flaws?
EDWARDS: I think those changes need to be made in the system. We need to make those changes. I’ve been fighting for those changes in the United States Senate.
SHARPTON: But you would let them continue?
EDWARDS: States can evaluate whether their own system is working. I think they vary from state-to-state. Illinois did that and came to a conclusion that their system was not working. I think we should support that if they make that determination.
SHARPTON: That sounds like states’ rights again. I don’t agree with that.
EDWARDS: No, it is not.
A: Unilaterally opposed and unequivocally under any circumstances.
SHARPTON: I disagree with the use of the death penalty because it has been proven too many times to have been discriminatory in the way it has been applied. It has not been proven to be a deterrent against crime. And I do not think because it has been proven wrong that we have the right to take lives if we can’t give lives, and we can’t give them.
A: Very easily. I stood up for a 15 year-old girl who said to me and others that she had been violated. I joined a wide array of people from Bill Cosby to elected officials who came to her defense. A jury didn’t believe her, many of us did and do. I stood up about the same time-about a year or two later-for several young men who were accused of raping a woman in Central Park in New York. A jury found them guilty and sent them to jail-some of them for 8 years. 13 years later a completely different person came forward and admitted to the crime and their convictions were overturned. Sometimes you have to stand up for what is right and you will be vindicated.
I would say to the GOP that it is very strange if they were to attack me for standing up to a young woman who said she is violated. I suppose if I were accused of fondling her the GOP might have considered me for governor of California.
It’s no coincidence that the wealthy don’t get executed in this country. There have been wealthy individuals who have committed more horrendous crimes than Sankofa and we don’t take their lives. I’m running for president for people like Shaka Sankofa and others who have no rights or resources to save their lives and who have no one to speak for them.
|Other candidates on Crime:||Al Sharpton on other issues:|
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader