NEW YORK (AP) - Hundreds of angry people marched through Harlem on Saturday after the Rev. Al Sharpton promised to "close this city down" to protest the acquittals of three police detectives in the 50-shot barrage that killed a groom on his wedding day and wounded two friends.
"We strategically know how to stop the city so people stand still and realize that you do not have the right to shoot down unarmed, innocent civilians," Sharpton told an overflow crowd of several hundred people at his National Action Network office in the historically black Manhattan neighborhood. "This city is going to deal with the blood of Sean Bell."
Al Sharpton like we've never seen him before...with his mouth wide open
Sharpton was joined by the family of 23-year-old Sean Bell - a black man - and a friend of Bell who was wounded in the 2006 shooting outside a Queens strip club. Two of the three officers charged were also black.
The rally at Sharpton's office was followed by a 20-block march down Malcolm X Boulevard and then across 125th Street, Harlem's main business thoroughfare, where some bystanders yelled out "Kill the police!"
What could go wrong here at 4am?
Let me bulletpoint why this pisses me off:
* Al Sharpton actually thinks he has the power to shut down New York. Riiiight.
* If Al actually could shut down New York, he's clearly not giving a crap about how many people would be hurt by his protest. I suppose his anger about the shooting death of a thug who was going to buy it sooner or later trumps the well-being of hard-working New Yorkers.
* Yeah, I said it. Sean Bell was a thug who was probably going to end up shot dead anyway. Let's not forget he was a three-time loser who had been arrested for selling crack twice previously. His ass should have been in jail. And I don't feel even the least bit sorry that another drug dealer is off the streets.
* Sean Bell was drunk, had threatened to get a gun and shoot people and had tried to run over police officers in his car. Uh...that's assault with a deadly weapon.
Al Sharpton would not be involved in this if Sean Bell was white, Hispanic, Asian or a Martian. Al Sharpton does not give a rat's ass about real injustice. He's just looking for more ways to get exposure and cash out of a minority community who could use a real advocate for them instead of a race-baiting leech.
Perhaps Sean Bell did not deserve the barrage of 50 bullets that night. But I'm going to save my righteous indignation for true injustices. And perhaps Sean Bell should have thought about the implications of his actions before he got shit-faced outside a strip club at 4am.
Because, you know...nothing bad ever happens outside of strip clubs.
Update: Michelle Malkin checks in:
Shame on every enabler who has aided and abetted Al Sharpton’s campaign to mainstream, enrich, and advance himself as a “civil rights leader” for decades despite his lying, poisonous, police-hating, crime-coddling, race-hustling agenda.
Shame on the Democrat Party, which has embraced him and honored him with the stage at the Democrat National Convention, and every Democrat presidential candidate who has flocked to kiss his ring.
Shame on President Bush, who welcomed him at the White House in December.
Shame on every cable TV station and talk show host that has given this cretin oxygen and unlimited airtime.
Shame on Pat Robertson and Al Gore for teaming up with him to peddle global warming crap and boost his bogus image as a benign celebrity do-gooder.