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This section of the law does not subject violators to criminal penalties (fines or jail time, for example).
But according to Perez, "that did not absolve the Department of its legal and ethical obligations to ensure that any relief sought was consistent with the law and supported by the evidence." And upon deeper review, the Justice Department decided to dismiss the cases against the New Black Panther Party, its leader Malik Shabazz, and Jackson (the guy without the nightstick at the polling place that day).
Although none of the defendants responded to the complaint, the Department decided last year to drop its case against all but King Samir Shabazz, the one with the nightstick.
The department asked for, and got, an injunction prohibiting Shabazz from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of a Philadelphia polling location until 2012.
But the pundits have often blurred the distinction between the civil and criminal cases.
O' Reilly and other Fox commentators have confused the issue by suggesting Holder and the Obama administration made the call not to pursue more serious charges against the New Black Panther Party members.
Curry stopped just short of disclosing the POTUS's handicap, which he was pretty sure might be top secret information.
But there is one interesting aspect to Obama's golf game that Curry was able to disclose: Obama's a trash talker. way that you're probably familiar with if you've listened to any single speech of his over the last two terms he's been in office.
In other words, the decision not to pursue criminal charges was made by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division prior to the Obama administration.
Perez also noted, "In July 2009, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania declined prosecution in the matter.
In order to have violated the statute in question, the New Black Panther Party (which is not affiliated with the original Black Panther Party) would have had to "direct a campaign of intimidation," and Perez noted that while the organization had posted a notice that 300 members of the party would be deployed at polling places on election day, the Philadelphia location where King Samir Shabazz was stationed was the only one where an incident occurred.
Perez further noted that the group posted a message on its website -- prior to the civil action being filed -- which stated, "Specifically, in the case of Philadelphia, the New Black Panther Party wishes to express that the actions of people purported to be members do not represent the official views of the New Black Panther Party and are not connected nor in keeping with our official position as a party." The Justice Department, did, however, follow through with its case against King Samir Shabazz, concluding that his display of a nightstick at the polling place "supported the allegation of voter intimidation." The Department asked for, and got, an injunction prohibiting Shabazz from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of a Philadelphia polling location until 2012.
They dropped that afterwards, because, oh, one of the Black Panthers has said, oh, I'm not going to show up for three years at that particular polling area with a night stick. "If it were just about the Panthers, the story would be meaningless," O' Reilly wrote.