Williams case brings Sharpton to Charleston; local minister says message ignores larger issues

By Anna Sale

asale@wvpubcast.org

It’s been more than three months since Charleston resident Megan Williams was found stabbed and bruised in a Logan County trailer. Williams is black, and six white defendants face charges that include kidnapping and rape. 

Early last month, Malik Shabazz and his group Black Lawyers for Justice organized a march in Charleston to call for hate crimes to be filed in this case. But at the time, local black ministers and organizations did not join the march in part because of controversy that surrounds Shabazz.  He’s been criticized by civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center for making anti-Semitic statements. 

Last night, another rally was held at a Charleston church. This time the star was the Rev. Al Sharpton.  But after a rash of violent shootings involving black young men in Charleston, some local black leaders find their message off-target.

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