Rev. Al Sharpton on Wednesday called for immediate reform of police procedures nationwide following last weekend’s video recording of the shooting of an unarmed black man.
Sharpton called Saturday’s death of Walter Scott, 50, in North Charleston, S.C. a “senseless tragedy.” He added that the incident was the latest in a series of law enforcement mistreatments unfairly targeting African Americans.
“We simply can’t rely on citizens with video cameras to make sure justice is served,” Sharpton said at the 17th annual National Action Network (NAN) Convention in New York City.
“We know that the majority of police officers are fair and just public servants, but the events of the past year show we still have a long way to go to ensure every citizen in America is treated equally in the eyes of law enforcement,” he added.
“The time to act is now,” he argued.
Authorities charged white police officer Michael T. Slager, 33, with murder after footage of the shooting emerged. The clip shows a police officer firing eight rounds at a man who then collapses on the ground.