Federal prosecutors have indicted two men affiliated with the New Black Panther Party who allegedly planned to bomb the Gateway Arch and murder St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch as well as then-Ferguson, Mo. police chief Tom Jackson back in November.
Prosecutors made the federal indictment public on Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The indictment charges that Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis, both 22 years old, allegedly hatched a plan to get a bomb past security at the iconic Gateway Arch and plant it inside the 630-feet high observation deck at the top of the monument.
Baldwin indicated his desire to use explosives against state officials as well, court documents say.
“The arrests last November of these two defendants, who are members of the St. Louis Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, prevented their alleged plot to carry out violent acts during the protests in Ferguson,” a corresponding statement by the FBI said.
Baldwin and Davis allegedly were planning their spree of violence to respond to a St. Louis County grand jury’s eventual decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 killing Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male.
The two twentysomethings viewed a recording of a bomb going off on Nov. 12.
“We need ’em, we need ’em,” Baldwin said after this viewing, according to court documents.
Meanwhile, Davis allegedly made a Nov. 18 deposit on at least one of three pipe bombs.
The pair couldn’t initially afford to buy all three pipe bombs at once. However, they were optimistic that they could afford all three explosive devices just as soon as the Electronic Benefit Transfer card of a girlfriend of one of the men had been replenished. (RELATED: Two Black Panther Members Unable To Buy Bombs Because EBT Card Didn’t Have Enough Money)
Baldwin purchased two hi-point .45-caliber pistols intended for someone else, previous court documents say.
Specifically, between Nov. 1 and Nov. 13, Baldwin purchased the two guns at a Cabela’s in Hazelwood.
Baldwin and Davis were arrested three days before McCulloch announced on Nov. 24 that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Baldwin reportedly goes by the name Brandon Muhammad. Davis goes by the name Ali.
Federal prosecutors believe Davis — the one who goes by the name Ali — was the leader of the two cash-strapped bombers.
Davis was a featured speaker at an October New Black Panther rally at Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson. The rally concerned the shooting of Brown.
At the rally, Davis was characterized as the Missouri New Black Panther party’s “minister of law.”
“This is not the first Mike Brown, and it won’t be the last, if we do not unite,” Davis said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “Divided, we lose brothers and sisters. If you do not unite, put aside your difference and unite, you can expect no changes in the future. We must change our minds, our systems and ourselves.”
Representatives of the New Black Panther party have issued a statement in response to the indictment calling the charges “trumped up” and “totally unfounded,” the newspaper notes.
Brown and Davis each face up to 20 years in prison and substantial fines if they are convicted.