He was armed with a loaded .25-calber handgun.
He wore a bullet-proof vest.
And he had “Kill Whitey” tattooed on his face.
A New Black Panther Party leader at the center of a 2009 controversy over the Eric Holder-led Justice Department’s slanted enforcement of voting-rights laws was arrested on a weapons possession charge Friday night in New York City.
Maruse Heath, aka “King Salim Shabazz,” was arrested after leaving a meeting where the New Black Panther party was planning the 15th anniversary of the Nation of Islam’s “Million Man March” in Washington, D.C., according to the New York Post.
Heath, who heads the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, was being held on $75,000 bond, the Post reported. He faces three-and-a-half years in prison.
Heath made headlines in 2008 when he was captured on video standing with another party member outside a polling place on Election Day in a white neighborhood in Philadelphia. He was dressed in paramilitary garb, armed with a nightstick and behaving in an intimidating way as voters arrived, news reports said.
When police removed him from the scene, Heath shouted, “That’s why you’re going to be ruled by a black man now!” according to reports.
No voters had complained, but a Justice Department Civil Rights Division prosecutor who saw the video filed a voter-intimidation lawsuit against Heath and the party.
The party did not contest the case, which the prosecutor described as a “slam dunk,” but Holder’s Justice Department dismissed it months later.
The dismissal caused an uproar when the prosecutor resigned, saying the department is reluctant to pursue cases of voter intimidation if they involve minorities victimizing whites.
The Justice Department denied the allegations, saying its decisions are based on the merits of each case.
And there’s nothing intimidating about Heath’s tattoo.
See the video from 2008 here:
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