One of the New Black Panther Party members charged with voter intimidation in 2008 for standing menacingly outside a Philadelphia polling location in combat garb with at least one member wielding a billy club was apparently undeterred to return this cycle.
Fox News Channel reports that Jerry Jackson — a New Black Panther Party member against whom the Justice Department eventually dropped voter intimidation charges for his activities last presidential election — was out Tuesday morning in front of a Philadelphia polling location again wearing combat garb, boots, and a black beret. No billy club this time.
Jackson would not comment to a reporter, but Fox reports that at least one voter was not troubled by it.
“We need it,” Fox reported Robin Spriggs said. “It doesn’t matter the color, the creed or anything like that. They protect everyone.”
In September NBPP leader Malik Zulu Shabazz told WABC Radio’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” show that the group was considering monitoring elections this cycle, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
“I will say that as this election comes up in November, we will consider our options,” Shabazz said. “And we will consider the fact whether we will legally and lawfully go to the polls again to make sure there is no intimidation against our people, which was our intent in 2008.”
According to Fox, members of the group have also been spotted at polling locations in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the NBPP a hate group.
Voter intimidation charges against the group were largely dropped and narrowed to just Shabazz by the Justice Department. While Attorney General Eric Holder has denied that the white race of the potential voter intimidation victims was a factor in the handling of the case, the United States Commission on Civil Rights has been investigating the case, according to Fox.