If you looked up “attention whore” in the dictionary, an appropriate photo would be one of the “Reverend” Al Sharpton, displayed prominently.
Sharpton’s “career” of rabble rousing and fomenting division between whites, blacks, Jews and Asians is well documented as are his constant attempts to smear police officers, particularly those in New York City.
Sharpton was not always involved in “activism.” From 1973 to 1980, Sharpton was James Brown’s tour manager. He obviously was not seeing enough cash for that profession so over the next few years he morphed into a “community activist” and “civil rights” advocate.
It was in 1986 that Sharpton came to national prominence. When three black men were beaten up in Howard Beach, Queens with one ultimately getting killed after being hit by a car, Sharpton saw the opportunity he wanted. First, he was able to get his buddies, attorneys Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason to represent the families in the case. All three immediately accused the NYPD and Queens prosecutor of engaging in a cover-up and purposely trying to help the defendants. Sharpton organized a protest march through Howard Beach that was peaceful despite the threats Sharpton directed at area residents the previous week. Sharpton of course, was hoping for a physical altercation but it never happened.
The following year is the “incident” that would truly define Al Sharpton as a lying sleazebag. The Tawana Brawley hoax is where he really made his bones. The full account of the entire ordeal can be read here. The short version is this: Brawley was not telling the truth and Al Sharptons behavior was even worse, personally naming Steven Pagones, at the time, a Assistant District Attorney in Dutchess County, as one of the attackers. The grand jury ruled there was no evidence of a sexual assault and said Brawley may have made up the entire incident. Pagones filed civil suits against Brawley, Sharpton, Maddox and Brown.
Pagones won his case against Brawley by default as she never showed up for the trial. Sharpton, Maddox and Brown were all found by a jury to have made defamatory statements about Pagones and were ordered to pay Pagones a total of $345,000 in damages. Sharpton, while never apologizing to Pagones, didn’t even pay his portion of the fines. They were covered by Johnny Cochrane and other well-to-do friends of his.
Maddox ultimately had his law license suspended indefinitely in the state of New York in 1990 and Mason was disbarred in 1995, revealing some of the character of the people Sharpton was willing to align himself.