March 24, 2012
Mikhail Muhammad‘s New Black Panther Party is offering a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch captain accused of killing teenager Trayvon Martin.
When Muhammad was asked if he was inciting violence against Zimmerman, he said: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports today that the New Black Panthers have called for the mobilization of 10,000 black men to capture Zimmerman. Muhammad said the New Black Panthers will organize what amounts to a vigilante posse to search for Zimmerman in Maitland, a suburb or Orlando, Florida.
The party, led by Dr. Malik Zulu Shabaz of Washington, D.C., is taking donations from black entertainers and athletes and hope to collect a million dollars by next week, according to the newspaper.
Sanford, Florida, authorities said any attempt “by civilians to take any person into custody may result in criminal charges or unnecessary violence.”
The shooting has set off a nationwide debate over race and justice, reports MSNBC. Rallies in support of prosecuting George Zimmerman were held on Saturday in Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Tampa, Seattle, Baltimore and Atlanta.
Zimmerman’s legal adviser, Craig Sonner, told CNN on Friday that Zimmerman has stated he is not a racist.
In 2008 during the presidential election, a nightstick wielding New Black Panther member was caught on video intimidating voters at a poll in Philadelphia.
In January of 2009, the Bush Justice Department invoked a section of the Voting Rights Act to file a civil lawsuit alleging voter intimidation, but the case was scaled back after Obama took office later that month.
A lawyer hired by the Justice Department told the New York Times the case was watered down because his former colleagues did not want to protect white people’s civil rights.