Rev. Al Sharpton condemned the destruction that took place in Minneapolis this week, particularly the black-owned businesses that were vandalized following the death of George Floyd.
During his “Morning Joe” appearance on Friday, Sharpton posed the question “how you deal with the outrage” over Floyd’s death that results in a “fair criminal justice system.”
“You don’t do it by appearing criminal yourself,” Sharpton said. “We are not the ones that inflict the pain. We are the ones that have been pained, and our reaction must show that and highlight that. Otherwise, people will exploit that and change the focus into demonizing those that conduct themselves in a violent way rather than those saying, as the Floyd family is saying, we want justice.”
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The MSNBC host then recalled his visit to Minneapolis on Thursday as he walked around the city with other ministers and elected officials.
“Some of the stores that are being damaged are black-owned stores!” Sharpton exclaimed. “So we cannot become so reckless that we are destroying each other in our rage.”
The protests in the Twin Cities were sparked by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes as he was being arrested over alleged forgery.
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Video footage that went viral from the arrest showed Floyd telling the police officer, “I can’t breathe,” as passersby begged the officers to get off him. Moments later, his body was laying limp on the ground.
The four police officers involved with the arrest have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. The fired cop who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
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