May 31, 2009

Voter intimidation gets thumbs up...

...from President Obama's Justice Department, as long as the intimidator intimidates those the President prefers not vote.

On November 4, 2008 two members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) stationed themselves outside a polling place at 1221 Fairmount St, Philadelphia, PA. (See video) On January 7, 2009 (eleven days before the inauguration of President Obama), the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against these two men, NBPP, and Malik Zulu Shabazz (acting chairman of NBPP) for violating Section 11(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act for engaging in and attempting coercion, threats, and intimidation of voters and those aiding voters at the polling place.

The complaint alleges Samir Shabazz "brandished a deadly weapon...pointed the weapon at individuals, menacingly tapped it [on] his other hand, or menacingly tapped it elsewhere." He and Jackson were also accused of hurling racial threats and racial insults at both black and white voters while the polls were open as well as making "menacing and intimidating gestures, statements, and movements directed at individuals who were present to aid voters." Malik Zulu Shabazz and NBPP "managed, directed and endorsed the behavior, actions and statements" of their co-defendants, according to the complaint. In addition Malik Zulu Shabazz was accused of making statements "adopting and endorsing the deployment, behavior, and statements" of Samir Shabazz and Jackson following the election.

After the defendants failed to appear in court or present a defense, the court ordered the DOJ to prepare a motion for default judgment against them. On May 1, 2009, DOJ sought an extension to comply with the order. DOJ stated the extension was necessary to "craft an appropriate and equitable remedy" because it had not "had the benefit of discovery" in the case and did not anticipate "that the Defendants would make no showing whatsoever." The court granted DOJ's motion on May 4. The defendants unwillingness to appear or defend themselves had cost them the case. All that remained was for the DOJ to file the necessary motion and the court to grant it.

Instead, on May 15, DOJ filed a proposed default judgment order against Samir Shabazz and dropped its case against the other three defendants. The court then handed down its judgment against Shabazz that prohibits him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any or to intimidate, threaten or coerce voters or those assisting voters.1 No fines, no admission of guilt, really not even a punitive act of any kind!

(...More)

No comments: