Civil rights panel faults Justice on Panthers

by
December 7, 2010

By Jerry Seper-The Washington Times

The Justice Department stonewalled efforts by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to investigate the dismissal of a civil complaint against the New Black Panther Party, leaving open the question of whether the department is willing to pursue civil rights cases in which whites are “the perceived victims and minorities the alleged wrongdoers.”

In a 144-page report completed in November and released over the weekend, the commission said its lengthy investigation had uncovered “numerous specific examples of open hostility and opposition” within the department‘s Civil Rights Division to pursuing cases in which whites were the victims.

The report, posted over the weekend on the commission‘s website, said testimony and evidence obtained by the panel during its investigation included allegations that some Justice Department lawyers refused to work on cases involving white victims; that lawyers who worked on such cases were harassed and ostracized; and that some employees, including supervisory attorneys and political appointees, openly opposed race-neutral enforcement of voting rights laws.

Noting that two high-ranking lawyers in the department‘s voting rights section testified that the hostility to race-neutral enforcement had influenced the decision-making process in the New Black Panther Party case, the report said the Justice Department‘s failure to cooperate in the commission‘s investigation left unanswered “these serious accusations.”

“While the department has issued general statements that it enforces the laws without regard to race, these assurances do not confirm, deny or explain the specific allegations of misconduct,” the report said. “Unfortunately, the department has thus far refused to address many of these specific claims or to provide the type of information that would allow the commission to properly review the decision making relating to the NBPP lawsuit.”

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/6/civil-rights-panel-faults-justice-on-panthers/

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