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The New Black Panther Party Case: Cast of Characters

From The Heritage Foundation:

From the New Black Panther Party

Jerry Jackson—On Election Day 2008, Jackson was one of two New Black Panthers to visit a Philadelphia polling place wearing paramilitary garb. In response, the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party, Jackson, and two others. An elected member of Philadelphia’s 14th Ward Democratic Committee, Jackson was credentialed to be an official Democratic poll watcher. After the DOJ dropped the case against Jackson, Jackson served as a poll watcher four days later during Philadelphia municipal elections.
Minister King Samir Shabazz—Along with Jackson, King Samir Shabazz visited a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day 2008. King Samir Shabazz heckled voters with racial epithets—including “white devil” and “cracker”—and also brandished a nightstick. The incident at the Philadelphia poll did not mark the first time King Samir Shabazz has made inflammatory comments. In a 2009 National Geographic documentary, King Samir Shabazz appeared saying, “You want freedom? You’re gonna have to kill some crackers! You’re gonna have to kill some of their babies!” Like Jackson, King Samir Shabazz was one of the four original defendants in the DOJ case against the NBPP. While the DOJ dropped the case against the other three defendants, the department sought an extremely limited injunction against King Samir Shabazz. The NBPP claimed King Samir Shabazz acted on his own, with no direction from the national organization.
Malik Zulu Shabazz—Shabazz is the Chairman of the NBPP and has commented on Fox News that Jackson and King Samir Shabazz were justified in bringing a weapon to the polls because “neo-Nazis” were also present at the Philadelphia polling place. Along with Jackson and King Samir Shabazz, Shabazz was one of the four original defendants in the DOJ case. (The fourth was the NBPP itself.) The DOJ eventually dropped its case against Shabazz.

    Witnesses

    Bartle Bull—Bull is an attorney and former publisher of the Village Voice. He has been a civil rights activist since the 1960s, working in Mississippi and throughout the South. He was New York chairman of the Robert Kennedy for President campaign.
    Bull testified at the April 23rd Commission hearing. He was a poll watcher at the Philadelphia polling place on election day. He saw the two Black Panthers and testified that it was the worst case of voter intimidation he had ever seen, going back to the 1960s in Mississippi. He also testified that he saw voters approach the polling place, turn around, and walk away because they were intimidated by the two Panthers.
    Chris Hill—Hill testified before the Commission on April 23rd. He lives near the polling place. He was a registered poll watcher that day and testified that the Panthers were an intimidating presence. He heard them yell racial epithets at poll watchers. He saw voters turn around and walk away from the polling place because they were intimidated. He testified that black poll watchers inside the polling place were frightened. When he attempted to enter the polling place as was his right as a certified poll watcher, the two Panthers “closed ranks” in an attempt to block him, but he walked past them and in the door.

      Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.


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