The next stop for the Al Sharpton traveling circus is South Carolina, where Walter Scott, an African-American, was killed by gunshot wounds delivered by a white police officer following a traffic stop.
After the shooting, video footage showed North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager shooting Scott as Scott was fleeing. On the basis of the video, Slager has been charged with murder.
So if the cop has been charged with murder, why the Sharpton visit?
“We are saying for the sake of this family in Charleston, that not only are we with you, we are saying that there must be national legislation around cameras and police accountability,” Sharpton said, according to The Associated Press, which reported:
The civil rights leader was flanked by several elected officials as he spoke, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who nodded along with Sharpton’s call for reform. Though he did not mention Garner by name, de Blasio alluded to his death on Staten Island last summer, which also was captured on video.
But if the past is any indication, being with the family is less about offering aid and comfort and more about lining his own pockets. With Sharpton, it’s all about the money, according to Erica Snipes, daughter of Eric Gardner who died following his arrest on Staten Island.
Following this most recent incident, Sharpton praised local authorities “for doing the right thing” by charging Slager with Scott’s murder, but claimed that wasn’t enough.
“We cannot have a justice system that hopes we have a city with a right mayor or police chief,” he said.
By “a right mayor or police chief,” he apparently means those who act according to his bidding, though not necessarily by a jury applying the law to the facts.
He lost that battle in Sanford, Fla., when a trial jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of black teen Travon Martin.
After Sharpton shoehorned himself into that dispute, Troy Wright, the president of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, said the self-described civil rights leader wasn’t welcome at any of his events
“That’s a sore subject with us right now,” he said, according to the New York Post.
He lost again in Ferguson, Mo., when a grand jury failed to indict a local police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown in August — a decision backed up by an extensive Department of Justice investigation.
All Sharpton did was to make matters worse there.
“When you have a fuse that’s already lit, you don’t need to add no more fire to it,” Bishop Calvin Scott of Ferguson, Mo., said about Sharpton. “Knowing their history, it’s about money.”
Sharpton also announced his intentions on Twitter. No one was impressed:
@TheRevAl Translated: I'm bringing my race hustling ass to your town to shake you all down for $$$$$$
— JPeterman (@PragueArtist) April 8, 2015
@TheRevAl Quit making things worse. The cop will go away for life, which is what he deserves. Now go pay your taxes.
— Sicario (@emmdee22) April 8, 2015
@TheRevAl Charleston doesn't need U. That family doesn't need your type of support! The people of Charleston & surrounding already do that!
— standing on my own (@Shawn88c) April 9, 2015
@TheRevAl DO THE RIGHT THING.PLEASE.PLEASE.
— DAVID ALLAN COOPER (@CDAVIDCIN) April 8, 2015
Beautiful, charming and historic Charleston is also normally peaceful. But it won’t be peaceful after Sharpton’s troupe of hucksters come to town.