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.Here is the report JANE SKINNER: breaking election news, we havereports of possible voter intimidation in some way — pennsylvania.republicans saying that two black panthers have been blocking thedoorway of one polling locations. one ofthe two black panthers who was allegedly blocking the door is standingright over here, with an accused us of intimidating voters because wewere here with a camera and microphone. RICK LEVENTHAL: i do not even know where to begin,but we have reached a polling place in the city of philadelphia.It is important, however, to highlight some specific testimony on one of those myths.One of the constant refrains heard from liberals in their attempt to diminish the importance of the New Black Panther scandal is that there is no evidence that any voters were intimidated or prevented from voting.
For anyone who bothers to actually look at the record, the U. Commission on Civil Rights received direct evidence on that very issue.One carried a nightstick and confronted a citizen who had gone in to the polling place.That citizen called police (he was interviewed by the Philly correspondent for Fox).Those critics also miss the point that it is a crime to attempt to intimidate voters and anyone assisting voters, which would include poll watchers, and no one watching the videotape could come to any conclusion other than the New Black Panthers were trying to intimidate people at that poll in Philadelphia.On the issue of poll watchers, one of the witnesses at the first hearing of the U. Commission on Civil Rights, Chris Hill, testified on that specific point and what happened when he got to the polling place. I went straight between them through the door to find our poll watcher, who was inside the building at the time…he was pretty shaken up…he was visibly upset. HILL: He was called a race traitor for being a poll watcher, credentialed poll watcher for the Republican Party as a black man, and that he was threatened if he stepped outside of the building, there would be hell to pay.
The citizen reported that police removed the black panther with the night stick, but the other, who lives in the area, remains near the door.” The New Black Panther Party said yesterday it would send its members out to the polls to ensure its interests on Election Day: Minister Najee Muhammad, national field marshal for the New Black Panther Party, and Uhuru Shakur, local chairman of the Atlanta chapter of the party, took turns reading statements from Dr.