SANFORD, Fla. – Members of the New Black Panther Party failed to show up at a protest they planned outside the Sanford Police Department on Saturday.
According to several news outlets, the New Black Panthers had scheduled a noontim protest on Saturday outside the local police headquarters — a follow-up to one they held before MSNBC host and liberal political figure Al Sharpton’s rally on Thursday.
At Thursday afternoon’s rally, Mikhail Muhammad, the southern regional minister for the New Black Panther Party, told protesters that national party leader Malik Zulu Shabazz would join them Saturday at noon in front of the Sanford Police Department. But at the appointed hour, Shabazz, Muhammad and other New Black Panthers weren’t there. Only a few local television news crews were on the scene.
A much smaller contingency of New Black Panthers — including Muhammad — gathered instead at 1 p.m. outside the Sanford neighborhood in which Trayvon Martin was killed. According to the Orlando Sentinel, those Panthers are calling for an army of 5,000 black men to conduct a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot Martin.
There were hardly more than 15 people at the neighborhood Panther gathering.
The group has been posting signs and distributing flyers calling for Zimmerman to be taken into custody “dead or alive.”