MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a march on Washington, D.C., this Saturday to protest police brutality.
“We’ve seen instances of police violence and misconduct across the country. It’s now not just an issue in one city or one state; it is an issue affecting places across the country,” said Janaye Ingram, executive director of National Action Network, which is organizing the march.
“This is the time to come together and lift our collective voices, and say to Congress, we need to see more action from them around police brutality,” she said.
Sharpton and his group of supporters are calling for congressional hearings into the deaths of Eric Gardner and Michael Brown with a view towards getting some legislation on the issue.
The Justice Department is investigating the deaths of both men but, according to PJ Media’s Andy McCarthy, it will be difficult to prove that the Gardner and Brown deaths were racially motivated. “It is virtually impossible to prove a civil-rights violation when there is no denying that police were engaged in a good-faith arrest and were put in the position of using force because a suspect resisted.” McCarthy goes on to explain, “When police are engaged in an arrest because a crime really has been committed, and they use force because the suspect really does resist, the claim that they were actually scheming to deprive the suspect of his civil rights is asinine.”
Sharpton and organizers are looking to change the Justice Department’s threshold for civil rights violations. “The Congress needs to not only do hearings, they need to deal with the jurisdictional threshold of how you make a federal case,” Sharpton said Sunday during an appearance with Garner’s widow on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Racial celebrities who will will lead the march include the Garner and Brown families along with Trayvon Martin’s family. The family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot dead when he was spotted with a pellet gun, will also be featured.
Charter buses will be bringing in participants from Florida, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Detroit.