Panthers Threaten Violent Action in Dallas
Posted: June 2, 2004
During a May 6, 2004, rally outside of police headquarters in Dallas to protest racial profiling and police brutality, New Black Panther Party organizers threatened to take violent action to achieve their aims.
"We may have to go get the shotguns…I don't think they are taking us seriously," said National Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz.
"We're ready to die in self-defense," another Panther member, Derick Brown, said through a bullhorn.
During the rally, protesters, including about 16 Panther members, demanded a meeting with the city's interim Police Chief, Rodney Hampton, to discuss their grievances. Hampton agreed to a meeting later that day, explaining, "Any time someone tells me that they have concerns, I'm more than willing to talk to them," he said.
The Panthers have made similar threats in the past. Most notoriously, fifty Panthers traveled to Jasper, Texas, in 1998 – a dozen carrying shotguns and rifles – to "protect" the city's streets following the murder of James Byrd Jr., an African-American man who was fatally dragged behind a pickup truck by white supremacists. Two years earlier, after three members of the group were arrested for preventing a Dallas school board from meeting, the Panthers issued a news release calling for "Black men with GUNS" to protect them at the next meeting.