After being named the NYPD’s next police commissioner, Dermot Shea’s presence was “demanded” for a sit-down with activist Al Sharpton. So how did he respond?
He immediately caved.
Incoming New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea was appointed as the department’s top cop earlier this month. Needless to say, it stirred some controversy amid the modern-day caricatures of social justice, most notably over the newly appointed official’s race.
Reverend Sharpton’s anti-police National Action Network headquarters was where the duo linked up. In a sit-down lasting roughly an hour, Sharpton had regaled the soon to be commissioner with his thoughts on the city’s police force and general gripes associated with policing.
In attendance were also several attorneys and some clergy members as well. Shea had described the interaction as a “Great opportunity, great discussion here today,” when speaking with reporters.
Shea went on to dive deeper into the context of the conversation with Sharpton, stating:
“I think a very productive discussion, areas of concern, and really, a first step in having a collaborative relationship moving forward, making sure that the police department is the police department for all.”
According to a press release by Sharpton’s National Action Network, the future commissioner said that the meeting with Sharpton was the “first step” in establishing a “collaborative relationship.”
This sentiment was also echoed by Shea himself while talking to reporters.
“It’s very fitting that I’m here, I think, because I am the police commissioner to-be, of not the police department but of all New York, of 8.5 million New Yorkers,” Shea said.
The National Action Network said that Sharpton “demanded an immediate meeting with Shea” following the announcement of his appointment as the police commissioner.
Considering Sharpton’s ability to stir up a community with little more than just a few words and an outraged tone, Shea was certainly not in a position to say “no” and potentially ruffle feathers before even taking office.
Sharpton stated that he intends to keep giving his input to the upcoming commissioner on a regular basis.
When recounting the discussion that the pair had, Sharpton stated:
“We agreed on some issues. We disagreed on others. And we said we are going to disagree, but we are going to dialogue. We are not going to tell you what you want to hear, we are going to tell you what you need to hear.”
Despite his sit-down with the incoming police commissioner, Sharpton said he still plans to speak with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to find out why he didn’t appoint First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker as the agency’s next top cop.
Sharpton wasn’t the only one critical of the appointment, as many believed that Tucker was passed over simply because he is black.
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When Sharpton heard the news of Tucker being passed up for promotion the third time in his career, he was critical to say the least, but also acknowledged that Shea has been put in an difficult position as a result,
“First and foremost, we expressed to the soon-to-be commissioner that we were very concerned and surprised that Ben Tucker had been overlooked to be commissioner. Because of him [Shea] being chosen at a time when we felt Mr. Tucker had been overlooked for the second or third time, he comes with a sort of awkwardness that he inherits.”
New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman said she believes Commissioner Shea understands that the black community does not trust law enforcement.
“This is a symbolic statement by the new commissioner of concern about policing about the black community and that’s an important statement,” Lieberman said. “We know he is both inheriting low crime rates but low community trust, and I appreciate that he recognizes that as a problem.”
It’s interesting to see just how much weight this activist has, in that when he demands a meeting, he gets one. Still, hopefully the new commissioner does well by the new role that he’s poised to take up on December 1 of this year.
Just a few days ago, we published details about how the Reverend allegedly received a million dollars from his charity.
Sharpton, who also has a “news” program on MSNBC called Politics Nation, has also managed to pad his income as president and CEO of NAN. According to tax filings obtained by the New York Post, Sharpton took in over $1 million dollars from the charity last year.
His salary was $324,000, with an additional “bonus” of $159,596, plus “other compensation” totaling over $563,000. The salary was a 32% increase over his salary in 2007.
According to NAN, the extra cash was to “make up” for thirteen years between 2004-2017 when he did not receive his full compensation.
At his weekly rally at the House of Justice in Harlem, Sharpton defended his compensation. The weekly rally is also a cash cow for NAN, where participants drop cash in a bucket at the entrance.
“Fifteen years, you are talking about since 2004 when I came back after running for president,” he said. “For anybody else it would be laughable.”
What is laughable is the fact that Sharpton has made in excess of six figures every year since 2008, the last time he went without a salary. What is also laughable is that Sharpton owes years of back taxes, both to New York and to the IRS, both personally and for three companies that he owns. The state tax debt stands at over $698,000. He finally paid the state of New York back taxes of $95,031.21 this past June.
Last year, Sharpton sold the rights to his “life story” to his own charity for $531,000. Nice income if you can get it.
According to NAN, the deal was approved by an unnamed “executive committee” that approved the deal. However, some people have questioned the sale.
Linda Sugin, who is a law professor at Fordham University and associate dean said in part:
“…it’s really difficult because of his role in the organization and just because of his overall influence.”
NAN stated that the purchase, by means of selling rights to Sharpton’s story, would provide revenue back to the organization. However, neither Sharpton or the charity, could identify any producers who were lining up to produce such a program.
According to Sharpton, the sale of the rights came from two NAN board members, but he declined to identify who they were. According to the Reverend Al, they were looking to create streams of income for the charity for when Sharpton steps down, supposedly next year.
Sharpton also claims that there are movies in the works (no doubt will be Hollywood “blockbusters), with a contract for a third. Sharpton claims that one of the movies is already in production. However Sharpton refused to provide details of any of the projects.
With all of that said, NAN could run into trouble with the IRS. IRS rules prevent giving excess benefits to a non-profits officials, which can then jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status with the IRS.
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