Posted Dec. 20, 2007- The Rev. Al Sharpton, who’s stepping up the heat regarding the kidnapping and racist torture of a young Black West Virginia woman, says that if local officials want him to stay in New York where he belongs, they need to do the right thing before he gets there.
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"The best way to keep us out of town is to handle hate crimes the right way here in town," Sharpton, who is calling for the ordeal to be prosecuted as a hate crime, told a crowd of nearly 100 people at the First Baptist Church Tuesday.
The occasion of the gathering was to honor 20-year-old Megan Williams, who was abducted by six Whites, who allegedly beat her, raped her, and made her eat human and animal feces and drink urine.
Throughout the weeklong ordeal, her captors allegedly jabbed her with knives and blasted her with racial slurs.
Williams has said her kidnappers would have killed her if not for an anonymous tip that sent sheriff’s deputies to the rural trailer home in Big Creek, W.V., where she was held.
Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham has said that he is reluctant to pursue state hate crimes, which carry a penalty of 10 years in prison, because he’s discovered that Williams had a “social relationship” with one of the suspects, 24-year-old Bobby Brewster.
Williams has said that she had met one of her assailants who invited her to a party. The defendants face rape and kidnapping charges, the latter of which carries a possible life sentence.
Sharpton says he will not stop talking about this “national disgrace” on his syndicated radio show and elsewhere until justice is served.
"Any public official or preacher who can't put the pain of his people above the politics of leaders is not fit to be a politician or a preacher," Sharpton told The Associated Press.
"If the federal government can intervene to protect dogs from Michael Vick in Virginia then they can do something to protect Megan Williams in West Virginia."
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