US

Christopher Coates testifies against Justice Department over New Black Panther case

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The Justice Department is failing to apply the law equally to minority and white Americans, ex-Justice official Christopher Coates testified Friday morning — defying orders from the department against appearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Since former Justice official J. Christian Adams testified in July about the biased culture there, the commission saw Coates as the man able to corroborate Adams’s claims. Further, as the the former head of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, Coates was a key witness to the handling of cases, specifically the New Black Panther (NBPP) case. In that case, the Justice Department dropped charges of voter intimidation against members of the NBPP who on election day 2008 stood outside of a polling place dressed in military garb and hurled racial slurs at white voters (one brandishing a nightstick).

Coates discussed the NBPP case in great detail on Friday, saying that the reason for the case’s dismissal was hostility within the division against prosecuting cases that involved a white victim and minority defendant.

“[A] large number of the people who worked in the Voting Section and the CRD (Civil Rights Division), and many of the liberal private groups that work in the civil rights field believe, incorrectly but vehemently, that enforcement of the protections of the VRA (Voting Rights Act) should not be extended to white voters but should be limited to protecting racial, ethnic and language minorities,” Coates testified.

Under the George W. Bush administration, the Justice Department pursued the NBPP case. Last year, under the Obama administration, the department dropped the charges — the single caveat being that one of the NBPP members never carry a weapon near a polling place again.

“As important as the mandate in the VRA is to protect minority voters, white voters also have an interest in being able to go to the polls without having race-haters such as Black Panther King Samir Shabazz whose public record includes such statements as ‘kill cracker babies’ standing at the entrance of the polling place with a billy club in his hand hurling racial slurs,” Coates said.

Still an employee of the Justice Department, albeit one currently exiled to the Charleston Office of the United States Attorney, the commission thanked Coates several times for the risk he was taking by testifying.

In his speech to the commission Coates noted that he was “claiming all the protections of all applicable federal whistle-blower statutes.” Compounding calls for protection was a letter from Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf to Attorney General Eric Holder, read into the record by Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, warning the department not to punish Coates for his testimony in any way.

Only hesitating to answer questions in matters that were “privileged,” Coates did not hold back and his allegations will likely be a source of conversation for months to come. “Large numbers of minority persons now serve as election and poll officials in hundreds of jurisdictions throughout America. In such a multi-racial and multi-cultural country, not one of Bull Conner or Ross Barnett, but the country in which an African American serves as the president and as the attorney general of the United Stats, and it is absolutely essential that the VRA be enforced equally against all racial and ethnic groups,” he said.

  • twotrickponies

    i’m new to your site. found it researching this topic.

    i’m a democrat and liberal and the issue bothers me intensely.

    the law is what holds our nation together at the seams. to refuse to enforce ANY law based on political ideology is wrong.

    in his testimony before congress, christopher coates (an avowed defender of the right of every citizen to vote) makes it very clear that the law is NEUTRAL. the law cannot be applied based on the individual – it is universal. if a law is wrong – change it, challenge it, overturn it… but what so many don’t understand – liberal and conservative alike – the LAW (Justice) is blind to political or ideological bent, once passed.

    it MUST be applied equally to all – otherwise, chaos reigns.

    i stand proudly by christopher coates – i’ve known him since we were both in elementary school – and he is a man of honor above all. AND… in this instance, he is 100% correct!

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  • JohnBrown

    I worked alongside Christopher Coates for 8 years at the Justice Department. He suffered from severe emotional problems and has been desperate to move to South Carolina to be closer to his daughter. But I also watched him deteriorate during those 8 years. He drank alcohol every moment he could get. He keeps it under his desk and in the file cabinets. He would walk into meetings sweating and reaking of alcohol. It was scary listening to him get into racist rants about how much he hated minorities. He took the job at the Justice Department because it was paying him much more money than he was making before and he thought he could get retirement easy. He told me that he wants to run for office and that he needed something to put his name in the spotlight. So he made up this story and decided he would be as dramatic as possible. Thats why he waited until Friday to testify. He is a racist alcoholic and I hope he gets help.

    • twotrickponies

      you are a liar. your issue is that he stood for the enforcement of the law – in a neutral application. you had to make up a personal attack to try to discredit him? it discredits you instead. i, too, know christopher coats – have known him for almost 50 years. it is a pity that your distorted political beliefs allow you to besmirch an honorable man with your petty fantasy.

      shame on you!

      • twotrickponies

        coates – not coats – sticky keyboard. and blind fury at those who lie to disparage others.

    • twotrickponies

      oh, and a sidenote to anyone who wants to know the truth instead of this poster’s filty lies: listen to the cspan coverage of chris’ testimony and about an hour in, listen to his response from the general counsel for civil rights when asked of his professional background.

      here is the link to cspan:

      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295638-1

      if folks don’t have time, let me give you the brief description:

      started with the A.C.L.U. as a voting rights attorney in the south – continued on to win prestigious awards from the NAACP for his work in this field – moved to the D.O.J. to the voting rights division after garnering the Thurgood Marshall award prior to gov. service and while at the d.o.j., was awarded their second highest award for his work on civil rights and voting rights. also, aside from the ike brown and new black panther case, EVERY SINGLE CASE he followed was for minorities!

      that chris believes that the law applies to ALL americans (not just minorities) is something that we all should be proud of — justice is blind to color, race and all – the law does not say “enforce abuse ONLY against one group or another” – the LAW states that Justice must protect ALL americans.

      too bad john’s hatred and bigotry drove him to making slanderous accusations to further his own political leaning.

  • Sonny119

    Everyone from Obama, to Holder, to every DOJ Attorney and assistant Attorney, in the VRD of the DOJ, especially those 2 blatant black racist U.S. Assist Attorney’s for the CRD, Julie Fernandez and Loretta King, that gave direct orders, NOT to prosecute cases where the defendant is black, MUST be investigated, then charged, the FIRED, then Jailed, period.!!!
    I am SICK of these blatant black RACISTS, from Obama on down, destroying this country, and the very core of the Justice System, in upholding and defending the Law, Equally and Just, regardless of skin color.!!!

  • Momma M

    Isn’t it rather telling that there are no posts – a full 24-hours after the posting of this article – From our usual “race-card” trolls?

    • didacticrogue
      • Momma M

        Exactly Didac- This clip is a perfect parody. Race-baiters just ignore the explosion and jump on the bandwagon – finding some slight, inconsequential “example” of White on Black “hate-crime” racisim, and yet totally ignore something this explosive!

        This is blatant. I would be JUST as outraged regardless of which race was being victimized… But the race-baiters will never believe THAT, will they?

    • junkmaninohio

      Kind of reminds me of Germany in the 1930′s and 1940′s. Hitler controlled the voting in that country as well. Only thing missing from these race baiting thugs is the swastika arm band, So much for the black attorney general and his Marxist boss Obama.

      • Momma M

        It wasn’t color for Hitler as much as religion… in my opinion… But your corelation is “spot-on”!

  • rockhard

    Is anyone “surprised” Obama and Holder oppose civil rights for white Americans? that’s what being a radical leftist is all about, not only did the DOJ drop the case against the Black panthers but they have a policy not enforce civil rights laws where whites are the victims.

    Where is the Media ? did you expect the progressive Media full of self hating leftist white’s who get tickles running down their legs when Obama speaks to report this major story ?

  • theslowrider

    Could that be a jailable offense; NOT prosecuting wrongdoing? It’s certainly not right in the eyes of the law. It’s not justice, at all. It is blatant criminal racism, and it should not be tolerated.

  • sanddog

    It’s a shame this story hasn’t been widely covered in the media. I would think at least one intrepid reporter at the NYT would question why the DOJ ordered Coates not to testify.

    Silly me, huh?

    • Paul G

      Yeah..it was rhetorical right? lol

  • fourleafclover

    Holder, can you see yourself in the same cell as these criminals? Are you getting nervous and not sleeping good? Here’s a chance for you to get out of the mess you have created. Turn in the person who made the order to ignore cases involving blacks but proscecute whites. Could that be your boss? The pendulum is swinging and it’s coming back from the brink. When it does all the crimes you have committed will come out and your fellow workers will turn on you and jump ship like a pack of drowning rats. Hurts to think about it eh? You people in the DOJ are all going to be cleaned out soon. Start looking for jobs now. I know it’s hard to find a good job after you have worked in such a dishonest organization. Who would want you now? No one!

  • StoryKeeper

    One of those Fundemental changes Obama spoke of is the newly re-named “Department of Socila Justice”. You see the politically appointed and those of the progressive leaning bureau rats believe them to be granted authority to not only deliver justice but to decide when the ‘balance’ has been made. Equal Justice has nothing to do with the DSOJ, they are more interested in ‘pay-back’ and gettin even with the man,,,,,,,,