(NEW YORK) — The families of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown condemned the fatal shooting of two New York City police officers in what is believed to be retribution for their deaths, which have sparked national protests.
“I’m standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers. That was definitely not our agenda. We are going in peace,” Garner’s mother Gwen Carr said at a news conference Sunday.
Carr stood alongside Rev. Al Sharpton and her son’s widow, each reiterating that while they want protesters to make a point, they must do so peacefully.
“My husband was not a violent man, so we do not want any violence connected to his name,” Esaw Garner said Sunday.
Michael Brown’s family issued a statement through their lawyers just hours after the shooting in Brooklyn, sending their thoughts and prayers to the families of officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos, who police say were shot and killed by Ismaayil Brinsley.
“We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement. It cannot be tolerated. We must work together to bring peace to our communities,” the statement said.
Garner died after an officer put him in a chokehold while stopping him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, while Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, over the summer.
Sharpton has been in touch with both families and revealed that now he has become a target himself.
Sharpton said that he began receiving threatening phone calls Saturday evening, and he played one of the messages at the news conference, saying that he has notified the FBI.
The recording accused Sharpton of being responsible for the deaths of “innocent people.”
“We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided … from [targeting] civil rights leaders to the mayor, rather than dealing with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight,” Sharpton said.
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