Breaking News Emails
The Rev. Al Sharpton held a rally Saturday slamming a report that said the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, told investigators that he feared for his life during a "scuffle" with the unarmed teenager. Officer Darren Wilson testified to a grand jury that Brown had reached for his gun while the two were involved in a struggle in Wilson's car on Aug. 9, the New York Times reported on its website Friday night. The report cited "government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation." A government official has told NBC News that forensic evidence in the case "validates that (Wilson) had reason to fear for his safety" but said the investigation is not complete and that no conclusions have yet been reached.
During the National Action Network rally in New York City, Sharpton, who is the founder of the organization and an MSNBC host, said that government officials are speaking about the evidence in "an attempt to set a climate" so that the grand jury deciding whether to charge Wilson in Brown's death has "an excuse not to proceed."
"Dan Wilson said he was in fear for his life," Sharpton said. "The only gun there was Darren Wilson’s." Sharpton questioned why Wilson continued to shoot Brown after the 18-year-old got out of the vehicle and why Wilson's account doesn't line up with that of many witness accounts. The Times article raises the same points.
Brown's death has sparked more than two months of protests and rallies — at times turning violent — in Ferguson and St. Louis. Sharpton said he would travel to Ferguson to hold a four-day "Michael Brown weekend" from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. The grand jury is expected to deliver a decision in the Wilson case in mid-November, a St. Louis County prosecutor's office spokesman said.
- Ferguson Protesters March on Campus Ahead of Day of Disobedience
- Moment or Movement? Governor Praises Brown Investigation, Activists Want Change
- Michael Brown Activists Call for Arrest of Officer Darren Wilson
— Elisha Fieldstadt and Pete Williams