How else to describe the cynical, media-centric opportunism employed by the long-time snake oil salesman and national mischief maker, Al Sharpton?
Following the horrible murder of PO Randolph Holder, by a violent, recidivist felon, Sharpton jumped into the situation to try and make it about him. This was a coordinated attempt to undo the damage done in 2014, when a Sharpton-inspired, anti-police protest movement gave rise to a number of violent protester assaults on police, finally culminating in the assassinations of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos in Brooklyn.
The erosion of Sharpton’s public image (such as it is) started earlier that year, with the well-reported series of imbroglios surrounding his once and future press spokesperson, Rachel Noerdlinger. Noerdlinger went from being Sharpton’s press flack, to City Hall, where she went to work (at taxpayer expense) for the un-elected Chirlane McCray, wife of Mayor Bill deBlasio. Following Noerdlinger’s resignation, she ended-up at Mercury Public Affairs, representing, of course, Al Sharpton.
Following the killing of Officer Holder, Sharpton issued a press release that he would rally at NYPD PSA#5, Holder’s command, in support of police. Instead of merely paying his condolences, humbly and with respect, Sharpton saw an opportunity for public spectacle, and news stories, that would promote Al Sharpton. As sure as the sun rises in the east, Sharpton’s ‘prayer vigil’ resulted in news coverage and articles in the press.
This was not Sharpton paying his respects; it was about as far away from respect as you could get. This was Sharpton trying to use the body of a dead cop, the way he’s used the bodies of the dead for decades, to advance Al Sharpton’s brand. Sharpton coming to the command of a murdered cop is akin to David Duke showing up at a Juneteenth celebration or Louis Farrakhan coming for Passover Seder. There will NEVER be reconciliation between the police and Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton has become a multi-millionaire criticizing the police.
Following this media event, Sharpton then met with Officer Holder’s family. Naturally this resulted in more media coverage, including front page stories that he would deliver the eulogy at Holder’s funeral and that Sharpton would use Holder’s murder as an opportunity for transformative change that would make the city whole and heal our divisions. Truly a jump-the-shark moment.
This was followed by statements from Holder’s father that Sharpton was only invited to attend the funeral and from Holder’s fiancé, that the officer actually despised Al Sharpton.
With controversy erupting over whether or not he would speak, Sharpton had another media event, announcing his refusal to speak at the funeral. In this event, Sharpton blasted police union leaders, and his critics in the ranks of the police, saying THEY are turning his participation into a sideshow and aren’t being fair to the Holder family. He also accused the Holder family of lying about his invitation to speak.
This has been a cynically orchestrated campaign, replete with press releases from the National Action Network, social media postings, news conferences – all with the press in tow to report it on the six o’clock news and in the next day’s paper.
At this point, Al Sharpton has successfully created a media initiative, where the vast majority of stories related to Police Officer Randolph Holder, a hero cop killed in the line of duty, ended-up being about Al Sharpton.
Al Sharpton, charlatan, grifter, forked-tongue-speaker-of-lies, rabble-rouser, riot instigator, multi-millionaire advocate for the poor, a man without shame. This evil mischief maker, who has blood on his hands (remember Crown Heights and Freddy’s Fashion Mart), now uses the blood of a hero cop to advance himself — a hero cop, from a family of cops, who came to this country and dedicated himself to public service, to help his community.
Al Sharpton and Randolph Holder represent opposite ends of the universe. Sharpton’s reprehensible use of Holder’s murder, sets a new low in his decades-long self-promotion-for-profit business. He is a man without shame.