RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - The Rev. Al Sharpton led a rally Saturday to protest the conviction of a black man in the fatal shooting of a white teenager on Long Island, saying the prosecution of the case was unjust.
The civil rights activist was joined by John White, who was found guilty of manslaughter last month but is free on bail pending sentencing. Several hundred people gathered outside the courthouse where the case was tried. He is free on bail until sentencing and has said he will appeal.
"There is a road ahead," he said Saturday. "I don't know what it may bring, yet I know that God will walk with me through the fire."
The teenager, Daniel Cicciaro Jr., had shown up at White's home on Aug. 9, 2006, with a group of angry friends. Sharpton has described Cicciaro and his friends as a "mob" that had threatened White.
"We will raise this to a level of national attention until those young men are brought to justice," Sharpton told several hundred people gathered outside the courthouse where the case was tried.
White has said he was trying to protect his home and family when he grabbed a gun and went to face the teens outside the house in the predominantly white community of Miller Place.
The conflict began with a bogus MySpace posting claiming White's 19-year-old son, Aaron, wanted to rape a female friend of one of the white teens.
John White claimed the gun fired accidentally when Cicciaro lunged for it, killing the 17-year-old. Prosecutors argued that White was rash to confront the teens, rather than locking the door and calling police.
The teens, who were unarmed, were not prosecuted.
White, 54, faces a potential prison term of five to 15 years. He has said he will appeal.