'Hanging man' explains his downtown demonstration

'Hanging man' explains his downtown demonstration

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A man known for political activist demonstrations hung from a sign in Downtown Montgomery during the 4th of July festivities, causing controversy and uproar among civilians. Wednesday he spoke to reporter Bethany Davis to explain why he did it.

"I wanted to get everybody's attention, just to start having a conversation," said David Sadler.

Sadler is the same guy who stood outside Riverwalk Stadium last summer, blindfolded, and offering hugs. He has become a life-long activist.

"Every male in my family has a felony conviction. I was the one, the athlete, great academics. I went to school and my grandmother called me and said they have a warrant for your arrest," Sadler remembers. "I went to court, took a plea bargain. I had no run in with the law previous."

But the deal he took was still a felony.

"Years later when I was getting ready to graduate from school, finish football, and was getting ready to go to graduate school, I couldn't get financial aid because I was felon," Sadler says.

That spurred Sadler's first extreme demonstration.

Sadler says, "I walked from Orland, Florida to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It took 32 days, 1178 miles."

Eventually, the Gov. of Pennsylvania issued a pardon, and Sadler's slate was wiped clean.

The "hanging" demonstration was Sadler's riskiest move yet.

"The last thing I wanted to do was make it a white or black issue," Sadler said. "It just so happens that I'm a black male, and I'm the one that did the experiment. People immediately fell back on the history of Alabama and said this is a white and black thing, he's trying to incite rage and anger and it's the total opposite of what I wanted to do."

Sadler knows the "hanging" didn't sit well with everyone. He has a lot to lose, and he went through with it anyway.

"I have two kids, a wife," he said. "I'm willing to sacrifice everything I have so people can come together."

For Sadler, the movement is worth the moment. "Now watch God work."

Sadler was not arrested for the "hanging" demonstration. In fact, a video on his Facebook page shows a police officer thanking him for protesting the right way.

Montgomery Public Safety Department officials explained in an email that there were no grounds to arrest Sadler for the demonstration.

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