Feds Suing “New Black Panther Party” for Philly Voter Intimidation

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and three of its members over what authorities allege was Election Day voter intimidation in Philadelphia.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Philadelphia alleges that two men intimidated voters Nov. 4 by standing outside a polling place at 1221 Fairmount Avenue wearing party uniforms. A video of the men, one holding a police-style baton weapon, was widely distributed on the Internet. The video can be seen below.

The lawsuit seeks a court order barring party members from being deployed to, or displaying weapons at, polling place entrances.

After the election, party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz told Fox News that the men were there to provide security because people wearing Nazi insignia had been intimidating voters earlier in the day.

The party declined immediate comment Wednesday evening in an e-mail response to a request.

On Election Day, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter made a statement about the alleged incident saying no one was denied the vote.

"No voter has been denied the vote...this is the United States of America and unless [the men standing outside] break the law or do anything, they have the right to stand out there. We don't need anybody trying to trump up anything or generate any kind of excitement," Nutter told reporters on Nov. 4.

The video of the alleged incident:

Video of Alleged Voter Intimidation Incident
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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