NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton has called the killings of five police officers in Dallas a “horrific, despicable” act.
But he argues that bad police officers need to be prosecuted in the deaths of innocent people.
Sharpton spoke during his weekly address Saturday to over 200 people at the National Action Network’s “House of Justice,” in Harlem.
“We are not the killers, we’re the healers,” Sharpton said. “…Don’t identify us with violence.”
He said the killings of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, as well as the Dallas shootings, have put the nation at a “tipping point.”
“Then Dallas happened. This horrific despicable act. We are not anti-police. We are not trying to kill police. We’re trying to stop the killing of us by those that are bad police,” Sharpton said.
He complained officers have not been prosecuted in the deaths of innocent people.
He was joined by Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in a police chokehold in 2014.
Carr had some words for the families of Alton Sterling, of Louisiana, and Philando Castile, of Minnesota, who were both shot and killed by police officers earlier this week.
“I just want to say to the families, I could honestly say I know what you’re feeling — I know what you’re going through,” Carr said. “And I want to say, just try to be strong.”
Garner, a 43-year-old father of six from Staten Island, died in July 2014 after police NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island.
In cellphone video of the incident, Pantaleo is seen placing his arm around Garner’s neck in an apparent chokehold and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed.
Garner is heard saying repeatedly, “I can’t breathe!” He died a short time later.
Philando Castile, was shot during a random police stop in Minnesota earlier this week. Diamond Reynolds started recording moments after police officers shot Castile, her boyfriend, during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights on Wednesday.
Two officers were also placed on administrative leave in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after cell phone video captured the moment 37-year-old Sterling was shot outside of a convenience store.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)