Jan. 31 Over 1,500 Say No to Racism with Rev. Al Sharpton, Support Sheriff-Elect Mackey

News 14 has video of part of the rally & Rev. Sharpton's speech at

Sharpton enters 'civil rights' debate
By: Brad Broders,, Feb. 2, 2008

CHARLOTTE -- Rev. Al Sharpton landed in Charlotte on Thursday, and brought his passionate feelings to a rally regarding Mecklenburg County sheriff-select Nick Mackey.

Sharpton leads the civil rights organization National Action Now in New York. Several times a year, he visits cities and tackles controversial issues, sometimes to mixed results.

He spoke at Mount Sinai Baptist Church in west Charlotte.

Sharpton’s rally came two days before the North Carolina Democratic Party’s council of review will look into complaints surrounding the sheriff’s election, and determine whether the vote was valid.

"This is not a pro-Nick Mackey rally, this is not an anti-[Chip Bailey] rally, this is a rally to heighten what we feel is a contradiction in the process,” said Dwayne Collins, a rally organizer.

Saturday, the council of review will respond to two filed grievances against Mackey, and decide whether the election was handled properly. Some of his organized precincts came into question in recent days.

County commissioner Parks Helms said, if the council finds the election invalid, the commission would likely appoint acting-sheriff Chipp Bailey as sheriff.

Helms, the vice chair, also said even if the council doesn’t find wrongdoing, there is still a good chance Mackey would not be appointed as sheriff for now.

“My guess is there would still be too many unanswered questions at that point and we would have to take another look,” said Helms. “We would consult with our legal counsel, we would review again the options the available to us, and decide at that time what is in the best interests of this community?"

Sharpton is expected to remain in the Queen City until Saturday.

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