Monday, April 23, 2018

New Black Panthers offer bounty for capture

SANFORD — Members of the New Black Panther Party are offering a $10,000 reward for the "capture" of George Zimmerman, leader Mikhail Muhammad announced during a protest in Sanford Saturday.

When asked whether he was inciting violence, Muhammad replied defiantly saying: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

The bounty announcement came moments after members of the group called for the mobilization of 5,000 black men to capture Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin last month.

Muhammad said members of his group would search for Zimmerman themselves in Maitland and Jacksonville — where the 28-year-old once worked, employees there told the Orlando Sentinel. But he declined to say when they will begin their hunt.

It was the activist group's third protest in the past two weeks over the fatal shooting of the Miami Gardens teen.

"If the government won't do the job, we'll do it," Muhammad said.

New Black Panther Party members also accused newly appointed special prosecutor Angela Corley of being an enemy of the black community.

"She has a track record of sending innocent young black men and women to prison," Muhammad said.

The fiery rhetoric and often profanity-laden diatribes made some visitors to the impromptu memorial uncomfortable.

Pastor Moses Brown of Tampa said he was disappointed with the Panthers' approach.

"We believe in a message of justice, not hate," said Brown, who was in town to pray at the memorial and attend the Monday event at Sanford's Civic Center. "We believe justice will come through the court system."

The Southern Poverty Law Center says the New Black Panther Party, a black-separatist group founded in 1989, is "virulently racist and anti-Semitic," and its leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law officers.

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