Sharpton to meet with AGs past & present

Two top law enforcement officials are slated to hold separate meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton. President Donald Trump’s choice appointment of Jeff Sessions for the position of attorney general and President Barack Obama’s former top cop Eric Holder will talk with the Civil Rights leader on two separate occasions.

Polls apart, the two influential presidential appointees to decide legal precedence in America will likely confer with the grassroots advocate to in order to restate their opposing cases on the way forward through the new administration.

According to the civil rights leader and founder of the National Action Network (NAN) Sessions requested a private meeting two weeks ago.

The 63-year-old Sharpton had long maintained he would not entertain any dialogue with Trump or any of his cabinet members without including leaders of the Black community. Sharpton said after consulting with colleagues, together they decided that five other civil rights leaders from civil rights organizations will meet with the controversial AG on March 7.

He unveiled an agenda he planned to discuss during his weekend rally at his NAN headquarters in Harlem.

Sharpton told his supporters he had a few legal concerns he planned to address.

Among them, the status of the investigation of the Eric Garner chokehold case which involved members of the New York City Police Department who wrestled a Staten Island resident to the ground and allegedly caused his death despite the fact Garner pleaded over and over “I can’t breathe.”

Along with the NYPD case, he detailed a list of criminal justice reform issues he planned to propose, some of them already submitted by the DOJ to the Congress.

One specific issue already before congress surrounds the federal indictment of a policeman who killed Walter Scott and shot him in the back.

Another involves the DOJ and the Texas voter-ID law that is in pending in the Texas courts.

Last week the “DOJ announced it will withdrawal from the position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against voters of color by passing the nation’s strictest voter identification law in 2011.”

The laws were found to be discriminatory in the previous administration under Pres. Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Sharpton and NAN will insist that voting rights should not be compromised in any way. Reportedly, AG Sessions favors the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

In addition to presiding over the NAN organization since he founded it, Sharpton is also host of “Politics Nation,” a Sunday morning program aired on MSNBC-TV.

He also hosts a one-hour-call –in radio program — “Hour of Power”— aired on WBLS-FM.

Last year during the 25th anniversary convention, front-running Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addressed the NAN gathering.

There, she staunchly expressed dedication to the Black community who she said were often ignored until election periods.

April 2016, her biggest challenge was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an unlikely progressive candidate she considered unworthy to represent her party.

Former U.S. AG Holder, the first Black to serve in the lofty legal position will open this year’s annual convention here. Born in the Bronx, to immigrant parents from Barbados, Holder grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens and attended public school until the age of 10.

The 66-year-old served as the 82nd attorney general of the US from 2009 to 2015. Prior to that, Holder served as senior legal advisor to the then Illinois senator during his presidential campaign and one of only three members of President-elect Obama’s vice-presidential selection committee.

Recently hired by Uber to lead an investigation into claims of sexual harassment at the company, Holder’s decision to accept the case was prompted by Susan Fowler, a one-time Uber engineer who wrote on her personal blog that she and other female workers at the company were subjected to multiple instances of sexual harassment. Fowler said they were rebuffed when they reported it to the human resources department.

The historic legal expert will address thousands of activists who are expected to travel from across the nation to participate in the largest civil rights convention of the year.

Slated for the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 Seventh Ave. from April 26-20, the theme this year is “Everything Is At Stake.”

The four-day confab will focus on topics such as “Organizing in the Trump Era,” “Health Care & Economic Justice,” and specific groupings of a minister’s panel and a “Measuring the Movement” panel. Other key sessions will focus on youth, employment, crime, housing, immigration, media and may even broach topics related to Trump’s accusation of an Obama wiretap, Russia and a number of topics related to improving conditions throughout the Black community.

Other confirmed speakers and guests include Rev. Dr. William Barber II, actor Hill Harper, activist and writer Shaun King and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. David Levering Lewis and Rev. Jamal Bryant, senior pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

In previous years speakers have included the first Black president and simultaneous to the confab, Trump addressed Trump University participants in the same hotel, in a ballroom adjacent to NAN’s gathering area.

Sharpton has been one of Trump’s most consistent and vigilant critics.

“I’ve been fighting him since the Central Park jogger case 30 years ago,” Sharpton said.

Trump inserted himself inside the controversial crime case by placing full-page ads against five accused Black teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping jogger Patricia Miele.

Though their innocence was widely reported Trump has never retracted his staunch and damning convictions. With a confession to the heinous criminal assault by an individual, Trump maintains that the youths were somehow complicit to the crime.

Sharpton who had previously maintained good relations with Trump until then denounced the perceived racist bias and since has criticized Trump on numerous issues.

Earlier this year, prior to Trump’s inauguration, the civil rights activist led a protest demonstration in Washington D.C. where he vowed to fight Trump’s cabinet appointments.

Sharpton also said he would be vigilant in defending any attempts Trump might take to dismantle the progress made by President Obama.

His daughter Ashley was allegedly arrested during a protest rally against the nomination of Neil McGill Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court position vacated by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. Along with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, the two NAN supporters had joined protesters in front of Trump Tower when they were arrested.

The convention is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 877-626-4651, or visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net

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