During MSNBC’s 11 am hour, above a chyron that read, “More Marches, Protests Planned in Coming Days, Weeks,” MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton said that he and his National Action Network are “mobilizing” protests in 100 cities. Sharpton made clear that the protests were meant to pressure the Justice Department into taking legal action against George Zimmerman:
Well, I certainly think it is going to be on those that now feel that this verdict makes a lot of people vulnerable. The reason that people in the civil rights community, including [Sharpton’s] National Action Network, is talking about these hundred cities that we’re mobilizing this weekend, is not just questioning a verdict but, saying a precedent is now set where the Justice Department must come in[.]
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NBC’s Sharpton was one of the first people to turn the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin into a national news story back in March of last year. In the run up to the trial this year, Sharpton has used his primetime MSNBC program, “Politics Nation,” to demand Zimmerman be convicted.
Sharpton achieved national fame in 1987 as the face of the fraudulent Tawana Brawley case and during the Crown Heights Riots, where his role as an agitator is believed by many to have resulted in the mob violence behind the stabbing death of a Jewish scholar visiting from Australia.