According to slain New York police officer Randolph Holder’s grieving fiancée, civil rights leader Al Sharpton was prepared to speak at the black cop’s funeral. While Sharpton has been a welcomed presence at a number of recent high-profile funerals, however, Mary Muhammad said the man she intended to marry would not have approved.
“He didn’t like [Sharpton],” she explained, adding that she was not sure why the frequent police critic intended to address mourners at all.
Sharpton countered Monday, explaining that an “invitation was extended” by a family member. Though he said at the time that he would address the opportunity Wednesday, Sharpton reportedly sent Holder’s father, Randolph Sr., a letter Tuesday explaining that he would not be attending the funeral.
“I refuse,” he wrote, “despite my strong feelings on police issues, to be a part of anything that would marginalize and take away from the focus of this city and nation mourning your son tomorrow.”
His announcement sparked some virulent social media criticism.
— JWF (@JammieWF) October 27, 2015
— Kevin Cregan (@kcregan001) October 27, 2015
Sharpton did address a crowd gathered Saturday for a vigil in Harlem.
“I am concerned when I see a good policeman harmed,” he said, “shot in cold blood. And the community he protected and served ought to stand up and let his family know that his life had value to us.”
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