Remember the voter intimidation by the Black Panthers at a polling place in Philly during the 2008 presidential elections?
On May 29th, 2009, the charges brought against three members of the New Black Panther Party involved in voter intimidation were dropped.
Charges brought against three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense under the Bush administration have been dropped by the Obama Justice Department, FOX News has learned.
The charges stemmed from an incident at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day 2008 when three members of the party were accused of trying to threaten voters and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force — one even brandishing what prosecutors call a deadly weapon.
The three black panthers, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were charged in a civil complaint in the final days of the Bush administration with violating the voter rights act by using coercion, threats and intimidation. Shabazz allegedly held a nightstick or baton that prosecutors said he pointed at people and menacingly tapped it. Prosecutors also say he “supports racially motivated violence against non-blacks and Jews.”
The Obama administration won the case last month, but moved to dismiss the charges on May 15.
Voting Rights Section Chief Christopher Coates did the right thing and now he is receiving the usual Obama smackdown treatment.
The veteran Justice Department voting rights section chief who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party after they disrupted a Pennsylvania polling place in last year’s elections has been removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina.
Justice Department officials confirmed Monday that Christopher Coates, who signed off on the complaint’s filing in federal court in Philadelphia in January accusing the party and three of its members of civil rights violations, would begin his new assignment next month.
The dismissal resulted in outrage by some Republican members of Congress and in a formal investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which subpoenaed Mr. Coates and J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney in the case, to testify on why the complaint was dismissed. The commission also is seeking documents to explain why the charges were dropped just as a federal judge was about to approve sanctions.
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Monday said that as a general policy, the department does not comment on personnel matters, but she said she could confirm that Mr. Coates continues to be a Justice employee and will begin an 18-month detail with the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina, beginning in January.
Ms. Schmaler also said the decision to move Mr. Coates to a new position within the department had nothing to do with the New Black Panther Party case but was the result of conversations Mr. Coates initiated with officials within the Civil Rights Division earlier this year.
She did not elaborate.
Mr. Coates declined to comment and referred inquiries Monday to the department’s public affairs office.
Obama, the DOJ, the Black Panthers, ACORN and the U.S. Census; we are in for one hell of a ride come the 2010 elections.