Sharpton calls for special prosecutors in police misconduct cases

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HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton praised Marilyn Mosby—Baltimore City State’s Attorney who comes  from a long line of police officers, and who took swift action against six cops, charging them in the death of Freddie Gray.

“Because she’s a cop’s daughter, she knows you  don’t put somebody in a police wagon and not put a seat belt on him.  She knows real policing.  That’s why she found probable cause,” said Sharpton at his weekly National Action Network rally at the organization’s Harlem headquarters.

The half dozen Baltimore officers are accused of repeatedly ignoring Gray’s requests for medical attention after he was arrested without cause last month.

“The same way that man was screaming for medical attention, and they refused to get it, or delayed getting it, was the same way my husband was saying ‘I can’t breathe.’  And they did not let the EMS worker do what they needed to do for my husband to survive,” said Esaw Garner, widow of chokehold victim Eric Garner.   The Garner family joined Sharpton on Saturday, with a renewed call for justice, after seeing how things turned out differently in Baltimore for another family who lost a loved one in the hands of police.

“It’s been 10 months, and we haven’t seen any justice yet,” said Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner.  The people in Baltimore, they did the right thing.”

In, making her decision, Mosby bypassed the grand jury system.  A grand jury on Staten Island failed to indict any officer in Eric Garner’s death.

Sharpton has been critical of Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan who presented the case to the 23-citizen panel.

“The prosecutor there, with a video, saw no probable cause.  Prosecutors where videos were less explicit have charged police.  We cannot continue this,” he said.

Donovan, a Republican, is running for Congress, and in a special election on Tuesday, is expected to win.  The Garner case has barely come up in the race.  Even his Democratic rival, Councilman Vincent Gentile, has cautiously avoided discussing it.

Sharpton said there’s a need for special prosecutors to be used in cases of police misconduct.

“Police related cases should be handled by special state prosecutors or the Justice Department.  We must take the politics out of local prosecutors,” Sharpton said