Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton on Sunday praised the mayor of a South Carolina town where a white patrolman was charged with murder after the fatal shooting of a black man and said other officers there should face charges.
New York-based Sharpton said he hoped the prosecution of the officer, who shot Walter Scott in the back on April 4, would mark a turning point in the United States. The incident was caught on video by a bystander.
“Rather than duck, the mayor stood up,” Sharpton said of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, who attended Sunday’s service at a local church where Sharpton spoke.
“Maybe now, between a Southern white mayor and a forgiving black mother, maybe this nation will deal with this.”
Scott’s shooting was one of the latest in a series of killings that have stoked a national outcry over police use of force against African-Americans. Last year, the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, and choking death of a black man in New York City triggered a wave of demonstrations across the United States.