Al Sharpton: I'm Getting Threatening Phone Calls
Civil rights leader says callers blame him for NYPD deaths
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2014 2:11 PM CST
Rev. Al Sharpton, left, and Marc Morial president of the National Urban League, speak to reporters after they met with Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Al Sharpton says he's receiving threatening phone calls over the murders of two NYPD officers, but maintains that he opposes violence and never claimed that all police are bad, Staten Island Live reports. "The language [of the calls] is 'Hey N word, stop killing innocent people, I'm going to get you,' and I have several like this," Sharpton said today at a press conference in Harlem. He adds that "misguided" people are blaming civil rights leaders and New York's mayor rather than dealing "with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight." The widow and mother of Eric Garner accompanied him, condemning the killings and expressing condolences to NYPD families. Esaw, Garner's widow, called for non-violent protests: "My husband was not a violent man so we don't want any violence connected to his name," she says. In other developments:

  • Harry Houck, a CNN commentator and retired New York police detective, pointed a finger at Sharpton over the execution-style murders, USA Today reports. "We have two dead police officers and I guess Al Sharpton got what he wanted," he says. (Actor James Woods has been tweeting far nastier remarks, Inquisitr reports.)
  • The son of Rafael Ramos, one of the officers killed yesterday, has been posting photos and thoughts about his dad on Facebook, reports Gawker. "Today is the worst day of My Life," writes Jaden Ramos. "Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."
  • It's apparently unrelated, but police say that Charles Kondek, a cop in Tarpon Spring, Fla., was killed this morning responding to a noise complaint, WTSP reports. The suspect was caught and charged with first-degree murder. Kondek, 45, had served the community for 17 years.

Click to read about threats posted by the NYPD killer.