New York police shooting: James Woods calls Al Sharpton a 'race pimp' and hits out at Bill de Blasio on return to Twitter

Controversial actor has been in social media exile since mid-September

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The Oscar-nominated actor James Woods has returned from a self-imposed Twitter exile to rail against the Reverend Al Sharpton and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of the killing of two New York police officers.

Never a fan of Barack Obama, the controversial star has ignored the President’s call to “reject words that harm”, instead branding Sharpton a “race pimp” and “racketeer”.

And Woods has seized upon a police union chief’s suggestion that De Blasio has “blood on his hands”, calling on all officers to “turn your back every time De Blasio speaks… especially at Cops’ funerals”.

The actor’s return to social media comes after a gunman shot and killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn on Saturday, before fleeing into a nearby subway station and shooting himself in the head.

Police have identified the suspect as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, and say he posted a message on Instagram which read: “I'm putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let's take 2 of theirs.”

The post was followed hashtags referencing Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by police in July, and Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri in August.

Sharpton, a prominent civil rights campaigner, has himself condemned the New York attacks, saying: “We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown.”

De Blasio described the incident as “an attack on all of us”, and said: “Our city is in mourning. Our hearts are heavy.”

Before his last tweet in September, Woods had used his official Twitter profile to campaign heavily for an alleged attack on a white man at a branch of the Kroger retail chain in Memphis, Tennessee to be investigated as a hate crime.

His last tweet prior to today read: “You either recognize the Obama catastrophe or you don't. Hopefully my time on Twitter helped some of you finally see the light. Goodbye, All.”