Speaking at a news conference outside the Regal Theater, Sharpton said recent cases of police brutality in Chicago—as well as a history that includes alleged torture under former police Cmdr. Jon Burge—had caught his attention and that he wanted to help "stop the trouble."
In an interview Tuesday, Sharpton said he was prepared to employ a variety of tactics to achieve reform.Tribune
"I'll deal with Chicago any way they see fit, from the suites to the streets," he said.
Al plans on using a variety of tactics. And here are the results of some of those tactics.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Tawana Brawley controversy
On November 28, 1987, Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old black girl, was found smeared with feces, lying in a garbage bag, her clothing torn and burned and with various slurs and epithets written on her body in charcoal. Brawley claimed she had been assaulted and raped by six white men, some of them police officers, in the village of Wappingers Falls, New York.
Attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason joined Sharpton in support of Brawley. A grand jury was convened; after seven months of examining police and medical records, the jury determined that Brawley had fabricated her story. Sharpton, Maddox and Mason accused the Dutchess County prosecutor, Steven Pagones, of racism and of being one of the perpetrators of the alleged abduction and rape. The three were successfully sued for slander and ordered to pay $345,000 in damages, the jury finding Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, Maddox for two and Mason for one.
Crown Heights Riot
On August 19, 1991, the Crown Heights Riot occurred after a car accident, involving the motorcade for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, left a young boy named Gavin Cato dead. A riot was sparked after a private Hasidic ambulance came to the scene and, on the orders of a police officer, removed the Hasidic driver from the scene. Gavin and his cousin Angela were picked up soon after by a city ambulance. Caribbean-American and African-American residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors that the private ambulance had refused to treat young Gavin. A visiting rabbinical student from Australia by the name of Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, was killed during the rioting by a mob shouting "Kill the Jew." Sharpton has been seen by some commentators as inflaming tensions with remarks such as "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house" and referring to Jews as "diamond merchants."
Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of "770", shortly after the riot, with about 400 protesters (who chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "No justice, no peace!"), in spite of Mayor David Dinkins' attempts to keep the march from happening.
Freddie's Fashion Mart
In 1995, Sharpton led a protest in Harlem against the plans of a black Pentecostal Church, the United House of Prayer, which owned the retail property on 125th Street to ask Fred Harari, the Jewish tenant who operated Freddie's Fashion Mart to evict his longtime subtenant, a black record store, The Record Shack. Sharpton told the protesters, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business." On 1995-12-08, Roland J. Smith Jr., one of the protesters, entered the store with a gun and flammable liquid, shot several Jewish customers and employees inside the store and burned it down. He killed seven in the store, and himself. Sharpton claimed that the perpetrator was an open critic of himself and his nonviolent tactics. Sharpton later expressed regret for making the racial remark, "white interloper," and denied responsibility for inflaming or provoking the violence.
Duke lacrosse players
In April 2006, Sharpton went on the public stage calling for the prosecution of three white Duke lacrosse players who had been accused of sexually assaulting an African American woman, Crystal Gail Mangum, who was hired as a stripper at an off-campus party. Sharpton appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, taking the side of Ms. Mangum and defending prosecutor Michael Nifong, saying "I know this DA is probably not one that is crazy. He would not have proceeded if he did not feel that he could convict. So it tells me that all of what you said is either not true or he has convincing evidence that would certainly knock that out." In January 2007, DA Nifong withdrew from the case after ethics charges related to his conduct in the case were brought against him. The North Carolina Attorney General, who replaced him, dropped charges against the accused players in April 2007 and declared that they were innocent, in light of inconsistencies in Ms. Mangum's accounts of events and the lack of any evidence supporting her claims. Nifong was disbarred in June 2007 for unethical conduct in the case, including making misleading statements concerning DNA evidence to judges and defense attorneys.
Accusations of racism, homophobia, and bigotry
Some conservative and liberal commentators have accused Sharpton of being racist, antisemitic, and homophobic. Sharpton was quoted as saying to an audience at Kean College in 1994 that, “White folks was in caves while we was building empires ... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.” Sharpton defended his comments by noting that the term “homo” was not homophobic but added that he no longer uses the term. Sharpton's defenders have said that the quote is often used out of context to undermine Sharpton's image.
Enough to make your stomach turn.