Youth protesters push back against Al Sharpton's role in police brutality marches

 | Colin Daileda 12/15/2014 10:10 AM MST
Al Sharpton

Credit: EWILS PHOTO - Flickr

If Rev. Al Sharpton ever hoped to lead the "black lives matter" movement that's sweeping the United States, he likely lost that opportunity in one moment on Saturday.

The moment came during the "Justice For All" march in Washington, D.C., which was organized by Sharpton's National Action Network. The group had a set list of speakers, but Johnetta Elzie, who said she had been tear-gassed while protesting in Ferguson, Missouri — where the movement originated after the killing of a black teenager by a white police officer — wanted the microphone.

Young people had led the protest marches from the beginning, Elzie later argued, so they should be given a voice. But when Elzie — known as @nettaaaaaaaa on Twitter — finally began talking, march organizers cut the mic.