Thousands expected to participate
Civil-Rights Leaders Linking Two Deaths -- Eric Garner's in Staten Island and Michael Brown's in Ferguson -- Staten Island rally to protest "homicide" of man in police custody will now include issue of black youth killed by police in Ferguson, Mo. -- Michael Brown's family might attend event in Staten Island
Congressman Grimm Opposes Demonstration -- Says it's an attempt to portray Staten Island as racist
According to Marcia Gay, writing for the Wall Street Journal, "A Staten Island rally for a man who died in an apparent police chokehold will include protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri, march organizers said, as civil-rights leaders have begun linking the two deaths. *** A spokeswoman for the Rev. Al Sharpton said the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed Aug. 9 by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, is considering attending the rally [this coming] Saturday, which originally was planned to focus on the issues surrounding Eric Garner's death on Staten Island. Mr. Brown's family's presence will depend on the timing of his funeral, which is contingent on the completion of several autopsies, the spokeswoman said...." (See "N.Y. Rally to Include Protests Over Shooting in Ferguson, Mo." by Marcia Gay, 8/17/14, Wall Street Journal [http://online.wsj.com/articles/staten-island-rally-to-include-protests-over-shooting-in-ferguson-mo-1408326192]).
Ms. Gay's article also included a critique of police policies and practices by Civil rights leaders such as the Revs. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. They have said both deaths are tied by a combustible alchemy of race, a focus on low-level crime and the excessive use of force by the police. "Both of them were victims of this aggressive policing of low-level crime," Mr. Sharpton said [this past] Saturday of Messrs. Garner and Brown. "There's a pattern here. And the pattern is a predisposition toward disproportionate force, toward violence, on black men," Mr. Jackson said in a telephone interview from Ferguson. "Other march organizers say anger over the death of Mr. Brown will be as visceral a presence at the rally as that of Mr. Garner's. Hundreds of people filled New York's streets last week to protest Mr. Brown's death in mostly peaceful demonstrations that resulted in a few arrests. Several thousand are expected Saturday."
Mayor DeBlazio has called upon the protesters to demonstrate peacefully (See "Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for peaceful protest as Rev. Sharpton's Staten Island march over Eric Garner's death nears" by Eddie DAnna, 8/18/14, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2014/08/mayor_bill_de_blasio_calls_for.html]).
Local Conservative-Republican officials initially opposed the proposed demonstration when Rev. Sharpton had wanted to march over the Verrazano Bridge; but now, several of those Staten Island elected officials oppose the march completely. For example, U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a Conservative-Republican, said the event will give credibility to an "all too convenient stereotype that Staten Island is racist."