Sharpton slams shooting

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SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Rev. Al Sharpton called the Aug. 18 police shooting of a Savannah man "very suspect" moments before addressing an overflow crowd this week at a Savannah church.

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Second Saint John Missionary Baptist Church on behalf of the family of David Willis.  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Second Saint John Missionary Baptist Church on behalf of the family of David Willis.

"I'm here because I feel the shooting and killing of this young man is very suspect and warrants some very serious attention," the Rev. Sharpton said Thursday night.

"The fact that this man's child is in the car, he was unarmed and you can even suggest in the presence of his baby he was doing something illegal."

The nationally known civil rights activist preached to more than 300 people crowded inside Second Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in west Savannah for about 30 minutes.

The Rev. Sharpton came to Savannah after speaking to Cynthia Willis, the mother of David Willis, who was shot and killed by a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police officer during the Aug. 18 traffic stop. Mr. Willis' 5-month-old daughter and pregnant girlfriend were in the back seat. Both were unharmed.

"No man has the right whether he has a badge or not to be the judge, jury and executioner," the Rev. Sharpton said.

"Police are to uphold the law, not take the law in their own hands," he said.

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting, but preliminary results show Officer Kevin McKoon's actions were lawful: Mr. Willis was trying to run over the officer with his car, police said.

The Rev. Sharpton's preliminary review - which points to a 23-year-old father with no gun and no drugs - shows a different picture.

The Rev. Sharpton would not say whether the situation would have been different if a black officer had shot Mr. Willis.

"It seems they never make this mistake in white neighborhoods," he said.

"I've heard this story too often. I've heard it too many places," the Rev. Sharpton told the crowd. "Sometimes police get scared and make mistakes. Well, why do they only make mistakes on the black side of town?"

Records show Savannah policemen this year have fatally shot two black men, wounded two black men and wounded a white man.

The Rev. Sharpton - a onetime presidential candidate - said he took particular interest in Savannah after the Troy Anthony Davis case.

Mr. Davis is on death row for killing a Savannah police officer, but his execution has been stayed by the Georgia Supreme Court pending a hearing on his discretionary appeal.

The Rev. Sharpton's comments were followed by a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd, which included people of all ages.

Reach Megan Matteucciat at megan.metteucci@morris.com.

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blackjack50
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blackjack50 09/01/07 - 07:04 am
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Al, aka slime ball, needs to

Al, aka slime ball, needs to crawl back under his rock and shut up!

Tim Walters
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Tim Walters 09/01/07 - 07:25 am
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If you are Religious you have

If you are Religious you have sinned when you let Al Sharpton into your Church, If I have ever seen a racist it is he,

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 09/01/07 - 07:44 am
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Once agin the racist chorus

Once agin the racist chorus sings out loud. It's 2007 and the days where an African American can be shot down like a dog by anyone without a review are over. I say preach loud Brother Sharpton. The struggle continues.

Ole School
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Ole School 09/01/07 - 07:59 am
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sharpton, if anyone breaks

sharpton, if anyone breaks the law black or white they deserve what they get why don`t you stand up for the police whom get shot during the course of their duty, and yes it happens, quit being one-sided and be fair to all races !!!!!

cparker
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cparker 09/01/07 - 07:59 am
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Al Sharpton is not a racist

Al Sharpton is not a racist for calling for an investigation of the shooting of a black motorist. My concern is the mother is saying her son was shot and was doing nothing wrong, but his girlfriend was in the car and has said nothing. If the girlfriend saw him try to run over the police this shooting will be justified. Lets not pretend policemen are as honorable as times past. Here in Augusta last week a 17 year police veteran admitted he lied during a federal investigation that he violated the rights of two people. In NY a black man was stuck in his rectum with a toilet plunger pole and left to die in his cell and the policemen involved were not convicted until brought up on federal charges. A policeman charged with harassing a prominent DJ here in Augusta daughter tried to jump off and overpass bridge when presented with facts that he in deed harassed her while on duty. It was learned that he had a history of mental illness and should not have been a policeman at all. These investigations are necessary, even if they prove the defendent was wrong and the policemen did nothing wrong.

butterflygina
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butterflygina 09/01/07 - 08:10 am
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cparker the list is endless

cparker the list is endless of these types of stories. don't forget the ones about the healthy black men being tasered that end up dying. I read last night about one who got shot 5 times w/the taser and died. I'm so scared for my son. And yes, quite a few have been innocently killed. A 12 year-old was killed a few weeks ago. An undercover officer was doing a drug sting. The child was not doing anything. Just happened to have a pellet gun or a water gun (can't remember what type). The officer saw the kid with the gun and shot and killed him. He was not threathening the officer, may not have even known he was there.

bone
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bone 09/01/07 - 08:27 am
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there is certainly a lot of

there is certainly a lot of fear in the minds of police officers these days - i wonder what has caused them to be so frightened of the public & blacks in particular? the vicious cycle of blacks hating police / police fearing blacks is not likely to end soon and will result in more meaningless deaths in the black community. more racial prosecutions will only inflame some blacks to become more defiant around police & cause police to become more wary around blacks. i wish i could say there is a sure-fire answer to this problem. i do agree that blacks have a good reason to fear police violence; do blacks think police have a legitimate fear, too?

tyrone jenkins
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tyrone jenkins 09/01/07 - 08:59 am
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here we go again....

here we go again....

Raindance
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Raindance 09/01/07 - 09:06 am
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You're right about the cycle

You're right about the cycle in police work and blacks, bone. The frustrating aspect of the whole thing is it's not just in that occupation - it's in every aspect of American existence. Schools, jobs, recreation, dining, etc. I can preach as loud as Al, though. Only I say, reform begins in the home - it will never be resolved by the judicial system, which only seems to invoke more wrath amongst the masses on both sides. This hippie genre gal says everyone just needs a hug and a word of encouragement. A nice "I don't hate you" wouldn't hurt either. But, I realize this form of communication is often mistaken for a hidden agenda by most folks. What's a petty and begrudging country to do?

gofigure
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gofigure 09/01/07 - 09:23 am
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What doesn't Al Sharpton

What doesn't Al Sharpton protest? Who really takes him seriously? He is right up there with the Cyntia McKinneys of this world!

apriloc80
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apriloc80 09/01/07 - 09:45 am
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It's ashamed that in 2007, we

It's ashamed that in 2007, we have yet to over come racism, not to mention killing a person just because you can. It's a very sad situation; it's not like this is the first time something like this has happened. I pray for the day when we can see each other as people and not colors.

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 09/01/07 - 10:16 am
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I just thank god that this

I just thank god that this pregnant woman and baby girl were not harmed. My heart goes out to all involved. I hope this issue is resolved soon.

WISE-OLE-OWL
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WISE-OLE-OWL 09/01/07 - 10:40 am
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What I would really like to

What I would really like to know is how much money Al Sharpton was paid for coming to Savannah. Also, the article says he "preached" for about 30 minutes. Was there an offering taken? Was there an alter call? Did they sing an invitational hymn? Did anyone make a committment to follow Jesus?

Leading people to the Lord is what real prechers do in a Baptist Church. Is he a preacher, or is he hate monger?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/01/07 - 11:04 am
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Sharpton is nothing more than

Sharpton is nothing more than a publicity hound. Let the investigation proceed without his interference. Savannah has a black mayor who is perfectly capable of addressing this issue if it turns out to be racially motivated, which I very strongly doubt. More black males show up as statistics in Savannah because there are more black males than white in Chatham County, even if the percetage of criminals among both were the same, which definitely is not the case. Sad, but it's the truth nonetheless. Savannah is a far more dangerous place to live now than even 10 years ago.

Ms.A.Dixon
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Ms.A.Dixon 09/01/07 - 11:23 am
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Once again this is not about

Once again this is not about black or white,but about to many police out there thinking just because they have a gun it perfectly justified when they use it.Just like some of you have said,we have some sick and crazy police out ther in the streets.Ithink they have the feelings that just because they have a badge and can speed up and down the roads and tote guns they will always come out on top.I know alot of officers that in the past have been drunks,drug users,and probly have longer records that most of us.You see them walking around with their chests stuck out looking at you like you have or are about to break the law and try to intimidate you.On the other hand we do have some clean and outstanding officers out there so to you I say carry on and do your job,to the slimeballs I say get in line because it is just a matter of time before you have to answer to a higher authority --GOD--.

kiddspur
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kiddspur 09/01/07 - 12:20 pm
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See that good ole Al is

See that good ole Al is stirring the post again -- he must need more money for something ------

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/01/07 - 12:34 pm
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Sometimes people get shot by

Sometimes people get shot by the police because they are doing threatening things. Fear of "The Man" makes some people do stupid, dangerous things when there isn't any reason to. It's sad, but people like Al Sharpton do a lot to keep that fear alive and well. They'd be out of a job if it went away. I don't think they have any worries about job security.

ladybug74
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ladybug74 09/01/07 - 12:54 pm
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He is such a piece of trash.

He is such a piece of trash. I am shamed that he can even refer to himself as a Reverend. Instead of spreading God's love, he spreads man's hate. I pity him on Judgement Day. In fact, I pity him all together He makes a mockery of anything religious!

SES_1
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SES_1 09/01/07 - 04:22 pm
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Reverend my azz Ms.A.Dixon

Reverend my azz Ms.A.Dixon and your Reverend must not know the same God as I do

chatty814
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chatty814 09/01/07 - 04:30 pm
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Most so called "christians"

Most so called "christians" make a mockery of anything religious themselves, they don't need any help from Al Sharpton. Most are hypocrites hiding behind the alter or pew. They drink, lie, cheat and talk trash about others, then go to church and ask for forgiveness, and this on a daily basis. Makes me want to stay at home and worship god.

owensjef
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owensjef 09/01/07 - 05:16 pm
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Confederate and God in he

Confederate and God in he same sentence, what a joke.

owensjef
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owensjef 09/01/07 - 05:19 pm
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Study your dam history

Study your dam history Confederate and se how you treated human beings, not dogs but man. Thats a shameful screen name.

Rose
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Rose 09/01/07 - 05:35 pm
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Confederate is not a bad

Confederate is not a bad word. There were good men and bad men on both sides. The war began over taxes. That war was over a long time ago, so let's move on and learn from the past.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/01/07 - 05:42 pm
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My ancestors were citizens of

My ancestors were citizens of the Confederacy and were good, generous Christians who loved God and served others all their lives. And some of them even owned slaves. In pooint of fact, you might recall that Jesus told slaves to serve their masters faithfully and masters not to mistreat their slaves. Consequently, slavery must not be an impediment to being a Christian, even though most of us in the world consider it wrong. You're a fool, OWENSJEF, if you think everything about the CSA was evil or even about blacks and slavery. You should study history yourself, and look beyond your own nose and self-interest. Not everything past, present and future is totally about blacks and what they have, do and will suffer, except to those who are trapped in their own prejudice and anger. As I have said to you many times before, MOVE ON.

Rose
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Rose 09/01/07 - 05:51 pm
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WAOF, I agree with you.

WAOF, I agree with you.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/01/07 - 06:03 pm
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Hey, Rose. Thanks. Most

Hey, Rose. Thanks. Most people seem to forget it was Brits and Yankees who almost single-handedly brought slaves to the South, and it was black tribesmen who sold conquered Africans to the Brits and Yankees to begin with. And right or wrong, slavery was legal until the emancipation proclaimation. What happened to the South, and to my own family, after the War Between the States, has never been done to any other defeated "enemy" of the United States. It was rape and ruin, and I'm just sick of the "entitled whiners" who have had every opportunity to get ahead handed to them for the past 50 years. It's hard for EVERYBODY, not just for blacks. And pretty soon this stupid little fight won't matter because the US will have been taken over by hispanics.

bone
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bone 09/01/07 - 06:33 pm
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don't think i can back you on

don't think i can back you on this one, waof. slavery is wrong and the bible is wrong for having any support of it. i am a proud confederate, but i wouldn't have fought for the protection of slavery as an institution; my beef would have been with a faraway ruler (lincoln) deciding to lay down the law against the wishes of a sovereign nation (CSA).

The Truth
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The Truth 09/01/07 - 06:50 pm
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Whether Al is a publicity

Whether Al is a publicity hound or not, that should not take away from the effort to find out all of the facts in the case. I notice that the only thing a lot of commenters have to say on this post is how much they dislike Al Sharpton. So apparently the other details(unarmed man killed in front of family by cop) didnt mean anything at all. Unfortunately, that is why people like Al Sharpton are important. He draws attention to something that may be, as history has shown repeatedly, overlooked or covered up.
This cop may very well be innocent. I hope that he is but if it was my family member that was killed, and I was unsure if the incident would be investigated properly, I would want the spotlight shined on the situation, too.
Racism still exists and is thriving in 2007 and will only get worse. I am sure that the non-violent, non-racist, and morally good people outnumber the others, but we dont stand up for each other because we allow ourselves to be divided on racial, social, and political lines.

The Truth
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The Truth 09/01/07 - 06:58 pm
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BTW, If the black "true"

BTW, If the black "true" christians and the white "true" christians stopped aligning themselves with the non-christians of their races and instead aligned themselves and worked with each other FIRST and THEN the "morally good" non-christians, the CSRA... the US in general would be a much better place.

JustTheFactsMaam
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JustTheFactsMaam 09/01/07 - 08:07 pm
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Al must be blind, police

Al must be blind, police shoot white people too. Difference is, nobody complains that its racism when a white person is shot, so theres not that much media attention, meanwhile, everytime a black person is shot or locked up everyone in their community hollers its racism. If you break the law and get locked up, its not racism, its stupidity, no matter your skin color!

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