U.S. Attorney General Sues Black Panther Party in Philadelphia Federal Court, Citing Voter Intimidation

By Jeff Schreiber
America’s Right

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Attorney Gen. Michael Mukasey filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and four of its members in response to an Election Day incident at a polling location in Philadelphia, PA, citing intimidation of voters, intimidation of poll workers, and attempted intimidation of poll workers.

On November 4, 2008, defendants and New Black Panther Party members Jerry Jackson and Samir Shabazz, dressed in military-style uniforms replete with black berets, combat-style boots, bloused battle dress pants, rank and organization insignia, and black jackets, blocked access to a Philadelphia polling place. Shabazz, according to the nine page complaint, “brandished a deadly weapon” appearing on Fox News video (see below) to be a nightstick or baton, and the pair hurled racist comments and racial slurs at voters and prospective voters both black and white. From the complaint:

Throughout the course of this deployment at the polling location, and while the polls were open for voting, Defendant Samir Shabazz pointed the weapon at individuals, menacingly tapped it [in] his other hand, or menacingly tapped it elsewhere. This activity occurred approximately eight to fifteen feet from the entrance to the polling location. Defendant Samir Shabazz was accompanied by Defendant Jerry Jackson during this activity, and the two men stood side by side, in apparent formation, throughout most of this deployment.

This episode, as it were, was only part of a larger plan for Election Day disruption undertaken by the Black Panther Party. According to the complaint, not only did the group manage, direct and endorse the behavior in Philadelphia, but its leadership also urged similar behavior nationwide as well. Prior to the election, the complaint states, the group “made statements and posted notice that over 300 members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would be deployed at polling locations during voting on November 4, 2008, throughout the United States.”

The New Black Panther Party and other defendants, the Attorney General alleges, have run afoul of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which provides that: “No person . . . shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce . . . any person for voting or attempting to vote.” The defendants, Mukasey argues, have violated the Act “by deployment of armed and uniformed personnel at the entrance to the polling location,” and the defendants’ “loud and open use” of racially derogatory comments “enhanced the intimidating and threatening presence at the polling location.”

Citing the avowed endorsement and support of racially-motivated violence by the New Black Panther Party and by Samir Shabazz, along with several statements attributed to Shabazz in various publications endorsing and supporting “violence against non-black individuals and violence directed toward non-blacks and Jews” as well as the group’s use and development of auxiliary groups such as the “Panther Youth,” Mukasey argues that the New Black Panther Party will continue such actions save for intervening action from the court. As a result, he is seeking not only a declaration that the defendants violated the Voting Rights Act, but also a court order permanently enjoining the defendants from conducting similar operations at polling places during elections in the future.



  1. Anonymous says:

    This needed to happen, but I’m surprised that any action was taken. I’m betting it will be completely dropped in two weeks though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Was Fox the only news outlet who broadcast this incident? I saw this on Election Day (on Fox) and thought nothing would come of it. I’m glad I was wrong.

    Thank you for sharing, Jeff.

  3. Kris says:

    KSFO – 560 AM

    Phil (Berg) will be on tonight 8:35 p.m. eastern time with Brian Sussman

  4. Anonymous says:

    Finally. I hope someone will sue the ACLU and the DNC next!

  5. not a dem anymore says:

    I am glad something is being done. I also watched this on election day.

    Do you know if it is true or not- that more votes were counted then people in Ill.? Not all counties… but enough. Frankin is doing the same thing to win. (cheat)

    That is how BHO won the popular vote. Not that it maters now, I am talking in the primary.

  6. PatGund@gmail.com says:

    I don’t care what side one is on or who they’re supporting. Voter harassment is a crime, and the people who engage in such un-American behaviour should be tried, convicted, and punished for their actions.

    And that’s coming from a Moderate, Gun-owning, Obama supporter.

  7. Claudia says:

    It is illegal, and should be prosecuted yet, not many of the counties or precincts have the ability to do enough as far as action goes, because of manpower shortages and timing of when, where those events happen while people are voting. That is why you find these blatant things happening, and mostly in understaffed, or way to many voter to be handled by the staff that is there, areas. It is the highest form of thuggery and outright intimidation that exists and no one should be allowed to get away with it, for EVERY CITIZEN (over a certain age and NOT Intoxicated or under the influence of any drugs) has the right to vote, per laws of this Republic.

    Fortunately, I work in a very small community and we are very well staffed, so nothing like this ever happens on my watch while a Precinct worker.

  8. gailbullock says:

    It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go to that polling place to vote! But if I survived his attack after my polite request to let me by (and if refused, my most appropriate remark that would have had him bashing my head in), I would have owned him and his mama, too!

    Jeff, do you think U.S. Attorney Gen. Michael Mukasey has STANDING for his lawsuit?

    Guess you can tell that I don’t like being bullied! Am no more fond of being jerked around by SCOTUS, either!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I live in Illinois and I voted Mccain/Palin! I am wondering how the DNC from Peoria got my phone number and name and why they called me approximately 5:30 pm. They asked me if I had voted and who I voted for. I think this was uncalled for. Never in my years of voting has anyone ever called me. I do think my vote was stolen along with a lot of Illinoisian votes. My voting place was cool though. No problems.

  10. gailbullock says:

    Anonymous at 10:51 p.m., do you have caller ID? I believe I would have called the Board of Elections about that AND the Republican Party in your state.

    While I was in NC at the paper, I was in frequent contact with the DOJ. I think I would have called the AG on that one, too, at least for guidance.

    You pay your taxes; call them and ask for some input! The call was entirely improper. You are entitled to a secret ballot! I think I would have treated it like an Internet inquiry–ask for a name and number and call them back (as in going to your bank’s site via the web address you KNOW is secure, rather than clicking on a link in an email).

  11. navyvet48 says:

    The US AG does have standing for this case. Not only does The Black Panther Group need to be sued but so does ACORN and all the other individuals who coerced people into voting for Obama or in some way shape or fashion manipulated the election.. There were many cases cited on Fox News. We have individuals here in Kansas who need to be sued as well.

    There was very little legal in the Democratic Caucuses (other than the obvious, disenfranchising voters….) and I truly believe the manipulation of the 2008 election as a whole was over the top.

    After all the complaints about the 200 and 2004 elections being stolen….2008 was much worse. Nothing changed in FL…same old felons on the voting roles. The Democrats are stealing the Senate race in Minnesota…

    Anyways at least someone is being sued….and as far as I can tell, it is by the letter of the law.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “I live in Illinois and I voted Mccain/Palin! I am wondering how the DNC from Peoria got my phone number and name”

    There’ a big book, called the phone book….

    “and why they called me approximately 5:30 pm. They asked me if I had voted and who I voted for.”

    Reminding people to vote, and collecting data on how people voted in very common in politics.

  13. gailbullock says:

    Anonymous at 12:02 p.m., I don’t buy that. I, too, received a call reminding me to vote, but the question asked was did I vote in person or by early voting. Why would they want to know? I emailed Jeff at the time and told him about it. He’s smarter than I am.

    To NC’s credit, I checked the Voter Regisistration section of the NC Board of Elections to see if and/or how I voted, since I had contacted them that I had moved to Georgia. I am not a registered voter in NC. The man at the driver licence counter told me, too, that GA would contact NC to let them know I am in GA now.

    I just pray that the SCOTUS comes through for us tomorrow! I don’t want to be a citizen of the USSA.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “I, too, received a call reminding me to vote, but the question asked was did I vote in person or by early voting.”

    Get-out-the-vote campaigns are very common. If you say you voted early, then they stop asking you about your voting plans.

    And SCOTUS will come through tomorrow: It’ll uphold the constituion and deny yet another frivolous claim.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I signed up on the McCain-Palin website and almost immediately started receiving Obama emails. They knew my name, address, etc. Not terribly bright since the emails were for “supporters” but I still found it strange that right after signing up on McCains site, I somehow managed to get signed up on Obama’s as well.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “No Campaigning” signs are all over each voter site. This alone is a violation of that. I do believe in the freedom to express your own views and beliefs, but this organizations views are no different than the hatred of the Ku Klux Klan. Both are very wrong!

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