Walter Scott, the apparently unarmed South Carolina man shot in the back by a police officer, will be laid to rest Saturday.
One person who won’t be at the funeral is the Rev. Al Sharpton.
The civil rights veteran, who heads the National Action Network and has been a prominent figure in the protests of other high-profile shootings of black men by police, says he was invited to preach in a North Charleston church Sunday. He said in a statement released Friday that there never was a discussion for him to attend the funeral Saturday because his organization is holding its annual convention in New York that day.
Sharpton blasted a report in the Daily News Friday that says Scott’s family told Sharpton to stay away. The New York newspaper cited an anonymous source close to the family saying they didn’t want a Ferguson-type “circus,” referencing the Missouri city where Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson and protests turned violent.
Scott’s family lawyer, Chris Stewart, told the newspaper that they appreciate Sharpton’s support but that the funeral was going to be for close relatives.
However, Scott’s brother, Anthony, says the funeral will be open to the public.
Sharpton told the Associated Press that he will preach at the Charity Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday then meet privately with Scott’s relatives.
The dust-up occurs after the North Charleston police released patrol car dash camera video Thursday showing Scott getting out of his car and running away after a traffic stop moments before he was shot dead Saturday.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Marisol Bello