Rev. Al Sharpton was arrested yesterday for obstructing traffic to protest the acquittal of New York City policemen who shot an unarmed black man 50 times on his wedding day.
Hundreds of other protesters showed up to answer Sharpton’s call for civil disobedience by kneeling and praying outside City Hall, which blocked a main street leading to Brooklyn Bridge.
Last month, a state judge cleared two detectives of manslaughter and another of reckless endangerment in the November 2006 death of 23-year-old Sean Bell.
A police spokesman reported that “a couple dozen” protesters were arrested along with Sharpton, while a spokesperson for Sharpton claims the figure is 190. Among the protesters arrested were the victim’s fiancee and two of his friends who survived the shooting.
Sharpton has called upon federal prosecutors to enforce civil rights charges.