Rev. Sharpton wants bill to target abuse

By Paul Wilborn, The Associated Press
Monday July 15, 2002

LOS ANGELES – The Rev. Al Sharpton called Sunday for legislation to curb what he called a national epidemic of police abuse that includes the videotaped beating of a black teenager in Inglewood. 

“There is a national issue of police misconduct and police brutality that must be addressed by the president himself,” Sharpton said. 

Sharpton said he traveled to Los Angeles to meet with the family of Donovan Jackson, the 16-year-old punched in the face by white Inglewood police Officer Jeremy Morse. 

Sharpton also expressed support for Mitchell Crooks, who shot the video on July 6 and was later jailed on unrelated warrants. 

Crooks “has done something of a national service and needs to be supported,” Sharpton said during a news conference at Los Angeles International Airport. 

The New York-based activist called for national legislation mandating creation of local review boards to investigate allegations of police abuse and that requires stiffer penalities for police convicted in such cases. 

Sharpton has said he will consider a run for president in 2004.