Rev. Al Sharpton surprised many when he announced that he would be delivering the eulogy at the funeral of Officer Randolph Holder, the NYPD officer who was brutally shot last week in the line of duty. However, the civil rights leader is now saying that he will not be making an appearance at the funeral at the request of various union leaders.
In a letter to the victim's family obtained by the New York Daily News, Sharpton writes that various union leaders have expressed their concerns that his presence will turn the memorial into a spectacle. Heeding their wishes, Sharpton opted to back out of the service, though he pointed out that the family had invited him to speak.
"I refuse, despite my strong feelings on police issues, to be part of anything that would marginalize and take away from the focus of this city and nation mourning your son tomorrow," Sharpton wrote.
Sending his prayers to the family, Sharpton said that he was grateful that both the family and the victim's pastor had reached out to him.
"I thought my coming might give a sense of unity in the city; that we can disagree on cases and on policies, but that we are united that the senseless and ruthless killing of officers like your son must be denounced," he wrote. "I thought you and your pastor's idea that both of you expressed to me on Saturday showed the height of moral leadership because you cannot heal if you are selective on those that you allow to be in the discussion."
We send our prayer's to the victim's family.