UFT sponsoring Sharpton rally - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

UFT sponsoring Sharpton rally

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The fallout from the death of Eric Garner has sparked a battle between teachers and police. Now there's new controversy over the decision by the teachers' union to sponsor a major rally protesting the death of Garner. And it's building momentum.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to rally a crowd expected to number more than 15,000 people on Staten Island on Saturday. They will demand justice for Garner in the form of arrests of the police officers involved in his arrest. One of the sponsors is the United Federation of Teachers, or UFT, the union of more than 200,000 teachers and paraprofessionals.

Political analyst Basil Smikle says it is not unusual for the UFT to get involved in social action.

But this collaboration is raising concerns because the targets of the protest are police officers, who are also union members.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins is outraged by UFT President Michael Mulgrew's decision. He called it disgraceful.

We reached out to the UFT, which sent a statement: "Saturday's march will be an opportunity to show the rest of the country that New York City is united in its belief in justice for all. We knew Yorkers will not be pitted against each other."

But PBA President Pat Lynch, whose union represents police officers, claims UFT's Mulgrew is wasting his members' money.

The rally Saturday is also expected to include family members of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

 

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