Fox's Napolitano regurgitates myths to smear Obama as "in tight" with New Black Panthers

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

Andrew Napolitano smeared the Obama administration as being "in tight" with the New Black Panther Party, citing the myth that the Obama Justice Department would not prosecute a party member for "[i]ntimidating voters with a weapon." In fact, the decision to not pursue criminal charges was made by the Bush DOJ, and the Obama administration won an injunction against the party member who carried a weapon.

Napolitano: Obama admin. would not "prosecute" NBPP members

Napolitano: "Why wouldn't the federal government prosecute" NBPP? During the September 7 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Napolitano played a video clip of New Black Panther Party members at a Philadelphia polling station in 2008 while saying:

So, intimidating voters is obviously is a crime. Intimidating voters with a weapon is even more of a crime. Intimidating voters with a weapon because of the color of their skin is obviously a federal crime. You saw that tape. Why wouldn't the federal government prosecute those? What other radical groups are in tight with this administration?

Decision not to pursue criminal charges was made by Bush DOJ, not Obama

Bush DOJ, not Obama, made decision not to pursue criminal charges. Before President Bush left office, the Department of Justice filed a civil complaint asking for an injunction against the New Black Panther Party and some of its members. In May 14 testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez explained that the Bush administration's Justice Department "determined that the facts did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the criminal statutes" but did "file a civil action on January 7th, 2009." From Perez's testimony:

PEREZ: Moving to the matter at hand, the events occurred on November 4th, 2008. The Department became aware of these events on Election Day and decided to conduct further inquiry.

After reviewing the matter, the Civil Rights Division determined that the facts did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the criminal statutes. The Department did, however, file a civil action on January 7th, 2009, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief under 11(b) against four defendants.

Obama DOJ actually obtained judgment against individual carrying weapon at polling place

May 2009: DOJ obtained default judgment against Shabazz for carrying weapon outside polling station. On May 18, 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered default judgment against King Samir Shabazz. Perez stated in his May 14 testimony that the Justice Department had obtained "sufficient evidence to sustain the charge" of voter intimidation against Shabazz, identified by Perez as "the defendant who had the nightstick," and that "the default judgment was sought and obtained as it related to him." Perez also testified:

PEREZ: Based on the careful review of the evidence, the Department concluded that the evidence collected supported the allegations in the complaint against Minister King Samir Shabazz. The Department, therefore, obtained an injunction against defendant King Samir Shabazz, prohibiting him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of an open polling place on any Election Day in the City of Philadelphia or from otherwise violating Section 11(b).

The Department considers this injunction to be tailored appropriately to the scope of the violation and the constitutional requirements and will fully enforce the injunction's terms.

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