Rev. Al Sharpton doubled down Saturday on his call for a federal probe into the death of a black teen who died after being chased by a group of white and Hispanic teens screaming racial slurs and threatening to shoot him.
Sharpton appeared with the distraught mother of Dayshen McKenzie, the 16-year-old who suffered a fatal asthma attack while being chased by the mob last month on Staten Island.
“This investigation needs to be conducted in a way that the community can have confidence,” Sharpton said during his Saturday morning rally at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem. “Because we just saw what happened when a grand jury had a videotape of Eric Garner on Staten Island.”
Sharpton said he wants the feds involved because he doesn’t trust the Staten Island District Attorney’s office, which failed to get an indictment in the Eric Garner chokehold death.
Tisha Richardson, overcome with emotion, said her son wasn’t involved in the initial fight behind a Checkers fast-food restaurant that led to the tragedy.
“He went to stop the fight,” Richardson said. “He lost his fight in the process of this.”
Cops believe that the incident was a gang-related prearranged fight between two groups.
Police said on Friday that they have interviewed a half-dozen witnesses since the May 27 incident and that none of them mentioned racial slurs.
“We are not considering this to be a hate crime at this point,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
While Boyce shot down comparisons with the 1986 Howard Beach death of Michael Griffith, 23, who was fatally struck by a car after being chased by a gang of white teens, he said that the the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit will assist in the investigation.
“First of all they didn’t think Howard Beach was ‘Howard Beach,’” Sharpton said. “Until you have an investigation you don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Sharpton insisted that an outside investigation was necessary even as the NYPD downplayed race as a factor in McKenzie’s death.
Source: New York Daily News | DENIS SLATTERY