Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Justice Dept. moves Black Panthers Pursuer to South Carolina:
Eric Holder Punishes Black Panther Prosecutor
By Jerry Seper
The veteran Justice Department voting rights section chief who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party after they disrupted a Pennsylvania polling place in last year's elections has been removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina.
Justice Department officials confirmed Monday that Christopher Coates, who signed off on the complaint's filed in federal court in Philadelphia in January accusing the party and three of its members of civil rights violations, would begin his new assignment next month in South Carolina.
The complaint, which accused party members of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place while wearing black berets, black combat boots, black dress shirts and black jackets with military-style markings, and wielding a nightstick, was later dismissed by the Obama administration political appointees at the Justice Department. Particularly by Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General.
The incident gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube. See it here.
The dismissal resulted in outrage by some Republican members of Congress and in a formal investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which subpoenaed Mr. Coates and J. Christian Adams, the lead attorney in the case, to testify on why the complaint was dismissed. The commission also is seeking documents to explain why the charges were dropped just as a federal judge was about to approve sanctions.
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Monday said that as a general policy, the department does not comment on personnel matters, but she said she could confirm that Mr. Coates continues to be a Justice employee and will begin an 18-month detail with the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina, beginning in January. She refused comment on whether this was an attempt to sweep this matter under the rug, but the question obviously made her very uneasy.
Ms. Schmaler also said the decision to move Mr. Coates to a new position within the department had nothing to do with the New Black Panther Party case but was the result of conversations Mr. Coates initiated with officials within the Civil Rights Division earlier this year.
She would not elaborate any further.
Mr. Coates declined to comment on the matter and referred inquiries Monday to the department's public affairs office.
Kevin McDonald, spokesman for U.S. Attorney W. Walter Wilkins in Columbia, S.C., confirmed Monday that Mr. Coates had been "detailed" to that office and that officials there were "looking forward to his arrival." He said the veteran civil rights attorney had been assigned to the office's criminal division.
So what is the logical question everyone is asking now?
Is this just more Chicago style politics from the Obama White House?
Can we expect to see even more brazen acts by the black Panthers at future elections to intimidate voters?
It appears Eric Holder has done everything he can to block any legal action against the Black Panthers.
Thus they may feel emboldened to take even more drastic actions in order to sway the vote in their favor at future elections.
We shall see.
Thanks to Preston Miller, for sharing the above post content.
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