Al Sharpton: Civil Rights Leader (Black Americans of by Wayne D'Orio

By Wayne D'Orio

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I’m going to rest, I’m not going to call any witnesses. ” Sharpton said he was nervous, but 37 38 AL SHARPTON he agreed, in part because he was exhausted from the trial and the other civil rights cases he had been involved in. The strategy shocked everyone. When the verdict came back, he was found not guilty for each of the 67 counts of stealing money. He then went upstate to face the tax-evasion charges. When the court there decided he could not be tried, he was home free. The court reasoned if Sharpton had not stolen the money as charged, then he could not have evaded taxes on it.

I became conscious of the price that I was going to have to pay,” he wrote, looking back on his life since 1986. In the years since, I have faced tax trials, I’ve had 15 or 16 different arrests and jailings [by 2010, he would be have more than 20 arrests], I’ve spent as much as 30 days in jail at one time for demonstrations. Once I had six different trials going at the same time. [During] Days of Outrage, I stopped the BQE [the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a major highway connecting Brooklyn to Queens], I closed the Statue of Liberty.

16 Political Aspirations Given the vehement feelings about Al Sharpton, both pro and con, after seven years of almost constant turns in the spotlight, the last thing people expected was for him to run for€ public office. Yet that is exactly what Sharpton did. S. congressman. He chose instead to run for the United States Senate in one of the most hotly contested races in New York history. The deck was stacked against him from the beginning. Before even considering his opponents, the Brawley case had been less than four years earlier, and he was still under indictment for tax fraud.

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