Lawyer Alleges Racial Bias In Decision To Drop New Black Panther Case


Lawyer alleges racial bias in decision to drop New Black Panther case A former Justice Department attorney made waves last week, accusing top officials of abandoning a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they were hesitant to prosecute African American defendants in a civil rights trial.

J. Christian Adams, who resigned his post to protest the decision to drop the case, told members of the United States Commission on Civil Rights that an Obama appointee—Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli—overruled six attorneys who recommended that the department continue to pursue the case, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The investigation stemmed from an Election Day incident in Philadelphia where three members of the New Black Panther Party allegedly intimidated voters by wearing military-style garb and shouting racial slurs. One of the suspects was even caught on video menacingly pointing a baton at prospective voters.

Four months after filing a civil lawsuit against the men—and one month after the suspects failed to show up in court to face the accusations—the Justice Department dropped the charges against the party and the men not carrying the baton. The third man had the charges dismissed after agreeing not to carry a weapon near a polling facility until 2012.

"We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens," Adams said of the decision to drop the case that he helped build.

A Justice Department official later denied Adams’ accusations, stating that "the facts and the law did not support pursuing claims" against the three men.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.