Last week U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) requesting a hearing on the investigation into voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party.
The New Black Panther Party recently held a protest rally in Newberry calling for the charging of Gregory Collins, 19, with a hate crime. Collins, a white man, is charged with the murder of Anthony Hill, a 30 year-old black man, after Hill was shot then dragged 10 miles from the back of a truck in early June.
The New Black Panthers made several demands on the courthouse steps, but the inclusion of the phrase “by any means necessary” and the allusion to violence if Collins is not charged with a hate crime worried some authorities.
Now, Sen. Graham, who serves on the Senate Judiciary committee, is questioning the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s investigation into the November 4, 2008 incident of two New Black Panther Party members intimidating voters and workers with racial slurs and taunts at a Philadelphia polling station.
Graham says that despite having won a default judgment, the DOJ voluntarily dismissed several of the defendants. For the defendant who was brandishing a nightstick, “DOJ sought only an injunction, which bars him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of a Philadelphia polling place for the [next] three years.”
If these alarming allegations are true, the Civil Rights Division is actively engaged in widespread politicization and possible corruption. This Committee has a duty to investigate such serious allegations that strike at the heart of the Department’s integrity.
Full text of the letter signed by Sen. Graham and other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.