NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rev. Al Sharpton is firing back at a report questioning his motives for his involvement in the Eric Garner case.
The New York Post, citing a video released by conservative activist James O’Keefe of the investigative internet site Project Veritas, claims that Eric Garner’s daughter was secretly recorded saying Sharpton is only interested in money.
In the video, which the Post says was secretly recorded by a reporter during a protest at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island last month, a woman is heard asking Erica Garner if she thinks Sharpton is “kind of like a crook in a sense.”
She replies, “He’s about this,” and rubs her fingers together.
“He’s about money with you?” the woman asks.
“Yeah,” Garner’s daughter responds.
The headline of the article reads, “Garner’s daughter on Sharpton: ‘He’s all about the money.'” But Sharpton says the story contradicts its own headline.
Later on in the article, the Post says Garner’s daughter “denied that she had accused Sharpton of being a money-grubber” in an interview with the paper Monday night.
“No, I didn’t say that I think Al Sharpton is all about the money,” she told the Post.
The video also showed other activists criticizing Sharpton.
One man seen in the video, as well as others, now say their comments have been taken out of context and they have no quarrel with Sharpton or his organization, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“It is very interesting that they, when they reached the people in the video, the people contradicted what was in the video,” Sharpton told CBS News. “My response is it’s a headline of a story that they contradict in their own article.”
“Not only do I think the video was taken out of context, there is nobody in that video that said I did anything with money. What money? There is no money in the Garner case – at all,” he added. “The New York Post has more explaining to do than I do in this case.”
Sharpton did not address the issue on his cable TV show Tuesday night.
Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and widow, Esaw Snipes-Garner, later issued a statement calling the Post’s front page story “deeply misleading.”
“As the mother and head of the estate of Eric Garner, and the widow of Eric Garner, let us be clear: We reached out and asked for help and assistance from Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network in the wake of Eric’s death. National Action Network and Rev. Al Sharpton have honored all of our requests, including covering the expenses of Eric’s funeral,” the statement said. “We believe that their involvement is solely based on their commitment for justice for Eric and our family. It is National Action Network’s policy that they do not accept monies or even reimbursement from victim’s families.”
“Erica made it clear in this New York Post article that the way the interview was conducted was extremely deceptive and her comments were taken out of context,” they added. “We appreciate the work that National Action and Rev. Sharpton has done and continues to do for our family.”
The story drew a flood of reaction on social media.
“I watched the whole video, and I don’t think you can take those comments ‘out of context,’” wrote Ty Tansel. “I hope that finally, at long last, Sharpton’s sins will finally catch up to him.”
But David Clark wrote, “There are a lot of racist white men and women who hate Al Sharpton, and doing all they can to bring him down.”
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the Post for another report that said officers think training implemented in the wake of the Eric Garner case is unrealistic and silly.
The Post reported that a high-ranking source claimed the “new regimen has been a bitter failure.”
“The Post persists in taking some unnamed individuals and trying to cast dispersions on a program created, again, by the greatest police leader in the country,” the mayor said. “It’s ridiculous.”
Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe is a Rutgers graduate who grew up in Bergen County, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
In previous undercover exposes, targets of O’Keefe often said they were “taken out of context.” O’Keefe sometimes released full, un-edited version of the undercover interviews but it is not clear if he will do so in this case.