Prompted by a question from a viewer, Rev. Sharpton responded on Tuesday’s PoliticsNation to those publicly wondering if violence or rioting may ensue if the jury returns a not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, saying he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
“Let me be very clear,” Rev. Sharpton said, “from the beginning of this when I was called [by the Martin family] and came in just to say this should go to trial and should not be decided in a police station, this family has said ‘We believe in peace, and we believe in trying the criminal justice system,’” he said.
“I went and helped to lead and organize the first big rally in Sanford, where tens of thousands of people came,” he continued. “And from that rally all the way through the rallies and the marches subsequent, leading to this trial, not one brick has been thrown, not one window broke.”
“Justice requires that we stay non-violent and not become what we fight,” he added later.
Editor’s note: George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation.
Watch the video below to hear Rev. Sharpton’s full remarks: