The New Black Panther Party is back at the polls Tuesday in Philadelphia, where its members provoked a complaint of voter intimidation in 2008.
A reporter for Philadelphia Magazine said he found a “uniformed member of the New Black Panther Party” Tuesday morning at the entrance to a polling place in the 1200 block of Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia. The reporter, Victor Fiorillo, told the man he was going to take his photograph.
“No pictures, please,” he replied. When the reporter asked the Black Panther if he was there to provide security, the man replied, “No comment.”
Other Black Panthers reportedly showed up at a second polling place in Philadelphia Tuesday morning.
On Election Day in 2008, three members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia, with one of them brandishing a nightstick or baton. The Justice Department under President George W. Bush filed a civil complaint again three Black Panthers — Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson — charging them with violating voter rights by using coercion, threats and intimidation. The Obama administration later dismissed most of the case, even though the Black Panthers had not contested the charges.
There have been other irregularities reported in voting in Philadelphia Tuesday, including reports of Democratic elections officials refusing to seat minority Republican poll watchers at many polling stations.