Al Sharpton Denounces Darren Wilson's 'Excuse' For Shooting Michael Brown

AP769992367926AP/Julie JacobsonThe Rev. Al Sharpton

The Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday condemned the reported testimony of police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown two months ago.

Speaking at his weekly National Action Network rally in Harlem, Sharpton panned Wilson’s claim to be in fear of his life as the “same excuse” as others who fatally shot African-American teens.

“We were involved in Trayvon Martin. We were supportive of Jordan Davis,” Sharpton said, ticking off the recent controversies. “The strange thing is that all of them used the same excuse … The only gun there was Darren Wilson’s! Strange parallels with all of these cases.”

The New York Times reported Friday that Wilson, who has avoided making public statements since the Aug. 9 incident, gave his side of the story in Wilson’s death to a grand jury panel investigating him. Among other things, Wilson claimed he and Brown struggled over his gun in his police car, where Brown allegedly pinned him down.

But Sharpton, who has been closely allied with Brown’s parents and eulogized their son at his funeral, said he found holes in this explanation.

“First of all, if you stopped him — Michael Brown and his friend — walking down the street, what led to the scuffle? … Secondly, how does he and you get in your car? You trying to do what by yourself?” Sharpton asked. “Now, if I go with you with your story all the way to that — that Michael Brown was shot, gets up off you in the car — why are you trying to tell me that a man … ran back at you when he knew you had the gun and you already shot him?”

Brown’s death touched off weeks of racially charged protests that gripped the relatively small city of Ferguson, Missouri, and drew nationwide headlines. The controversy quickly escalated after an aggressive police crackdown on the demonstrations.

Sharpton also announced Saturday that he was returning to Ferguson on Oct. 31 for a four-day demonstration for justice.

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