The Reverend Al Sharpton wants an apology from right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, or he’s filing a defamation lawsuit.
“In the op-ed published in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal Limbaugh writes Sharpton ‘played a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot (he called neighborhood Jews ‘diamond merchants’) and 1995 Freddie’s Fashion Mart riot,'” CNN reported.
“Not only did Rush Limbaugh try to criminalize the NFL,” Sharpton told a columnist with the Palm Beach Post.”But now he is saying I’m a criminal. He can call me a race-baiter and all that stuff like he does. But don’t call me a criminal.”
Sharpton issued the following statement on the matter to CNN: “Mr. Limbaugh’s blatant and defamatory statements regarding the Crown Heights Riots falsely give the impression that Rev. Sharpton was present during the violence that occurred when in reality he had been called in by the family after the violence.
Sharpton told news agencies that he was not in Crown Heights until after the violence, calling Limbaugh’s statement false.
“In terms of Freddie’s Fashion Mart, Rev. Al Sharpton, along with local elected officials supported the protests. However, a lone gunman who disagreed with the nonviolent nature of the protests entered the store and killed seven people and himself… For Mr. Limbaugh to imply that Rev. Sharpton has anything to do with someone that killed people and himself is blatantly wrong.”
“Unless Mr. Limbaugh apologizes and clarifies his statements, attorneys for Rev. Sharpton will move forward with a lawsuit,” the statement said, according to the New York Daily News.