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Civil Rights Leaders at Odds as Ferguson Protests Grow

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Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, center, stands with the parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden, right, and Michael Brown Sr., left, during a news conference outside the Old Courthouse Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in St. Louis. Brown Jr., 18, who was unarmed, was shot to death Saturday by a Ferguson police officer while walking with a friend down the center of the street. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, center, stands with the parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden, right, and Michael Brown Sr., left, during a news conference outside the Old Courthouse Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Yamiche Alchidor, USA TODAY

 

(USA Today)—Protests against police treatment of black people have laid bare growing tensions between longstanding civil rights groups that have battled discrimination for decades and new groups of leaders who want an edgier approach.

Activists who spurred demonstrations across the country after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Mo., now demand a prominent voice in a national conversation about race, challenging the primacy of established civil rights organizations such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the NAACP. While the newer activists may share goals with more experienced groups, they have clashed with them in attempts at joint efforts.
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