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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country2city01
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country2city01 09/01/07 - 07:39 pm
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As a cop myself I know the

As a cop myself I know the awesome responsibility you have with that gun on your side every day and the consequences for using it. No matter how much training you get (which is a lot!) one doesn't actually know what they will do in a situation like that but hopefully they will pull the trigger when necessary. As long as they can justify their life was in danger or the life of someone else, then they have done their job. I have seen many videos of officers who were hesitant to do so and it cost them their own life. So, maybe one should put themselves in their shoes for a change and imagine how they felt if, in fact, that vehicle was being used as a weapon against them. Maybe Al should put on a uniform one day and 20 lbs. of equipment and patrol the streets for 12 hrs. a day trying to keep people who have no respect for cops or much less the law from hurting other law abiding people. Then when one of them tried to run him down with a vehicle (which happens to be just as deadly as a gun) and see what he thinks is appropriate action. And did I mention he'd be making in a year what he probably made in 30 minutes in Savannah?

hepher
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hepher 09/01/07 - 08:20 pm
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Someone above said that

Someone above said that blacks fear the police and that their fear is justified. I agree; they need to fear the police. But not because of racism. Ninety percent of all violent crime in Augusta is perpetrated by blacks. If they learn to behave themselves and work for a living, they wont have to fear the law.

Ms.A.Dixon
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Ms.A.Dixon 09/01/07 - 08:59 pm
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To confederate A

To confederate A merican/2,first off what are you reading? i think you have me mixed up with someone else because your comment doesn't have anything to do with what i said.But that just goes to show all of us exactly how you got your user name it's called IGNORANCE.Go back and retract your comment.

Chains
1
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Chains 09/01/07 - 09:17 pm
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0
SO the cop was suppose to let

SO the cop was suppose to let the guy run him over? The guy was a thug and got what he deserved. I am black so I guess I can say that. Why is it that people like Al Sharpton always cry racism. Is he even acknowledging that the guy was trying to murder the officer. Too often I an lead to believe that just because we are black we are not suppose to have any morals or decency. Racism this Racism that. I know that it is out there but the guy got what he deserved. He tried to kill the officer but the tables were turned. Black or white right is right and wrong is wrong. He was just another clown for the race to be ashamed of anyway.

As It Is
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As It Is 09/01/07 - 11:03 pm
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No matter what is said, I

No matter what is said, I doubt very seriously that anyone will change their opinion of police or the fact that they either believe or don't believe that blacks are targeted differently. Sure there are bad cops but even most of them don't target blacks, they target money. Most cops if anything, back off or make fatal mistakes trying not to offend a black suspect simply because they know that no matter what it will somehow come out as a racist act by idiots such as Sharpton, Jackson and the NAACP. They call for Michael Vick to be left alone until proven guilty and in the same breath all but condem this police officer even though prelimary findings show he was justified. They are racist, hate mongers, spread untruths, cause civil unrest and are doing nothing for the advancement of African Americans. If they truely cared about their own race instead of their own personal agendas and publicity, they would support minority orginazitions trying to make a person better instead of always trying to find blame. No officer wants to shoot someone and go through what they know is coming next, especially a black person. They generally have a second to make a life or death decision.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 09/01/07 - 11:03 pm
0
0
No matter what is said, I

No matter what is said, I doubt very seriously that anyone will change their opinion of police or the fact that they either believe or don't believe that blacks are targeted differently. Sure there are bad cops but even most of them don't target blacks, they target money. Most cops if anything, back off or make fatal mistakes trying not to offend a black suspect simply because they know that no matter what it will somehow come out as a racist act by idiots such as Sharpton, Jackson and the NAACP. They call for Michael Vick to be left alone until proven guilty and in the same breath all but condem this police officer even though prelimary findings show he was justified. They are racist, hate mongers, spread untruths, cause civil unrest and are doing nothing for the advancement of African Americans. If they truely cared about their own race instead of their own personal agendas and publicity, they would support minority orginazitions trying to make a person better instead of always trying to find blame. No officer wants to shoot someone and go through what they know is coming next, especially a black person. They generally have a second to make a life or death decision.

justus4
113
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justus4 09/02/07 - 02:22 am
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"SURE THERE ARE BADS COPS!"
Unpublished

"SURE THERE ARE BADS COPS!" My question is where? They must be identified and punished. Al will be coming soon to a town near U.

top10too
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top10too 09/02/07 - 06:30 am
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here we go again. al

here we go again. al sharpton. mouth of mouths,seeing just how much trouble he can stir up. with people like sharpton theres no way the races can get along. so sharpton grab your little show up fee and move along

DaveMustaineRules
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DaveMustaineRules 09/02/07 - 08:09 am
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This has nothing to do with

This has nothing to do with race. The entire incident was filmed by the officer's car camera. A man tried to use a vehicle to kill or seriously injure the police officer. Anyone can respond to deadly force with deadly force. The cop exercised the basic right to self defense that we all have.

thomastolson
1
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thomastolson 09/02/07 - 10:22 am
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Although I may not agree with

Although I may not agree with everything Rev. Al Sharpton does, I do believe many times black people contact him because they do not believe their interest in what they view as unjust will be addressed. We all know without a doubt blacks are treated different when stopped opposed to their counterparts. You can witness it in many cities as officers stop blacks for traffic violations and in many cases place them in the back seats of their cars or greater restraints while their counterparts (not in all cases) sit in their cars or are walking unrestrained outside their cars until officers run whatever checks they will. I personally hate using racially motivated moments to make a point but racial profiling does exist in this country. It has gotten better but still exist. Many officers, as well as citizens believe blacks are more aggressive or dangerous when stopped and/or confronted than their counterparts.

confederate american
0
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confederate american 09/02/07 - 11:49 am
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old al and jessie don't want

old al and jessie don't want black and white people to get along,then there would be no more money for them,and they would have to look for a job,and god forbid since they have never had one.they say they are preachers never heard anything about there church

confederate american
0
Points
confederate american 09/02/07 - 12:15 pm
0
0
msa dixon--what is wrong with

msa dixon--what is wrong with being a confederate american,i am not ashamed of any of my ancestors,that fought in the war between the states,and you wouldn't be either if you new the real history and not that crap they teach your kids in gov't schools.before you go running your mouth why don't you take a little of your time and research it for yourself.just a little history for you,over a 150,000 black men fought for the south,why would lincoln need to wage war on the 13 sothern states if only 4% of them owned slaves,did you also knoe that 83% of the blacks stayed on the plantions after they were freed,tells me that they weren't treated as bad as everyone says

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 01:15 pm
0
0
Confederate American save

Confederate American save your propoganda, blacks supporting the Confederacy isn't going to happen.This about a man being murdered in front of his family. How would you feel if he was your son or brother or father?MLK Jr. once said the Negroes greatest stumbling block to his freedom is not the White Citizens Council or the Klan, but the white moderate, who are devoted more to "order" than justice.

confederate american
0
Points
confederate american 09/02/07 - 03:01 pm
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most black people i talk

most black people i talk with,never knew they played any part in the war,your gov't schools at work hollywood,news media and politicians,will always play us against each thats what makes them money are you that dang blind.many black men were honored after the war and received a pension.we have many black men in the scv,that has found a ancestor that fought for the confederacy.as far as the klan it started up north,you should not judge us by a few clowns that dress up in a sheet

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 09/02/07 - 04:04 pm
0
0
No you ae the fool waof,

No you ae the fool waof, lets take slavery out of this since you just used scripture to justify slavery. I know the role greedy Africans played in slavery. Lets talk about the role former Confederates played to keep blacks from voting from 1866 to 1966 and you tell me who is a fool. Yea those good old confederates I betyou was black you would not think that.

hepher
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hepher 09/02/07 - 05:12 pm
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That man got what he

That man got what he deserved. He attempted to murder a police officer and was justifiably shot and killed. Good. Richmond County Resident; my son has gotten in trouble with the law too. But we don't blame Black people, White people, or his friends. When he goes to jail we leave him there. I hope he never tries to harm someone. But if he does, he deserves what he gets, including killing. Again, you Blacks have more trouble with the law than Whites because you violate the law and commit more violent crimes than whites do. Behave and you'll be left alone. Ya'll actually get preferential treatment most of the time.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 05:50 pm
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Hepher, what planet are you

Hepher, what planet are you living on? You don't know whether this guy tried to run over the cop or not.Were you there, of course not.You are just like most who assume the officer was right.Nobody blamed white people, just the cop that did the shooting. You are not black, so how do you assume we get preferential treatment.Most of those civil rights laws on the books are not enforced by people who think like you. Everybody get a fair shake, except the black. We are guilty till proven innocent.

hepher
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hepher 09/02/07 - 06:42 pm
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Aww bull! Like I said, just

Aww bull! Like I said, just behave yourselves, work hard, and obey, obey, obey. Then Ya'll will be all right. You ask how I can assume that Black people get preferential treatment? First off, I don't "assume", I know! I've worked for the Federal Government, the Georgia State Government, and the private sector. Anyone with an ounce of honesty knows Black people get preferential treatment.....until they rob or kill someone.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 07:04 pm
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Hepher, the guy did not have

Hepher, the guy did not have a weapon or drugs or seemed to be committing any other crime.Why don't you look at what your own kind are doing.As if you are pillars of virtue.Let's see you sight some instances of preferential treatment, don't just state blanket stereotypical statements. Also, save that lame I got past over for a less qualified black, bull. Give specifics.

t of i
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t of i 09/02/07 - 07:16 pm
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RCR, where are you getting

RCR, where are you getting your information from? I tried to research it and all I could find out that it must have been some sort of high crime area, as plain clothes cops were involved AND it was 3:40 in the morning. He had his pregnant girlfriend and baby in the back seat and two other friends in the car. I remember when I was pregnant and had a toddler my husband and family and several of his friends use to frquently cruise areas of town known for crime.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 09/02/07 - 07:24 pm
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Two words for all to remember

Two words for all to remember in regards to Mr. Sharpton. Tawanna Brawley.

hepher
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hepher 09/02/07 - 07:30 pm
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RCR; When most whites (not

RCR; When most whites (not all, but most) see a white criminal, they see a bad person/a criminal. Period. When most Blacks (not all, but most) see a black criminal, they see a "brother". Shame on you.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 07:33 pm
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Well t of i ,I work downtown

Well t of i ,I work downtown here in Augusta.When one of our cars was broken down, my wife and kids had to get up and come down through a high crime area to get me at 3:00am. All we were doing, was trying to get by until our car was out of the repair shop. I did not know we were committing some crime.Why do you guys always take the cops side?Just like most blacks feel, you care more about a dog, than a black.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 09/02/07 - 07:34 pm
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Three more words. Duke

Three more words. Duke lacross team.

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 09/02/07 - 07:49 pm
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Anyone else wonder why Mr.

Anyone else wonder why Mr. Sharpton's credibility is frequently questioned? Has he ever "preached" about a cop that shot a white person? He is all about race, whether it be right or wrong. (see my above 2 posts for examples of very wrong.)

hepher
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hepher 09/02/07 - 08:07 pm
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KPC; Great point. I didn't

KPC; Great point. I didn't think anyone else remembered that fine example of Sharpton's trouble making and racism. He was actually sued by one of those white folks. And the white guy won the lawsuit, but as far as I know he never collected any money. Some folks are known for not paying their bills too. Dishonesty, immorality, and violence. Shame.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 08:15 pm
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The guys on the Duke lacrosse

The guys on the Duke lacrosse are not dead.They got far more justice than the black guys who spent twenty five years in jail.Tawanna Brawley lied to him, just she did the attacker.Rev. Sharpton may be about race, but so do most of you whites too.When I see a criminal who happens to be black, I generally see a person who messed himself up. All you guys know are stereotypes.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 09/02/07 - 08:32 pm
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Hepher, those comments are

Hepher, those comments are clearly racist ignorance.As if all blacks don't pay their bills and all whites do.Dishonesty, immorality, violence could certainly apply to whites as well. While your talking, I wonder how many kids are cowering because one of you perverts want leave them alone.Double Shame!!!!!

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 09/02/07 - 08:43 pm
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They can all apply to some

They can all apply to some white people, but they certianly apply to Mr. Sharpton. He is dishonest, immoral, and racist. By the way...who are you calling pervert, and why?

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 09/02/07 - 08:46 pm
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RCR...have you ever heard Mr.

RCR...have you ever heard Mr. Sharpton defend a white person? If he were a true "Reverend" he would defend all wronged people, but he doesn't. He ONLY defends blacks. THAT is racist.

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