New Black Panther case still dead

    I wish I knew how many hundreds of thousands of federal tax dollars have been spent investigating the New Black Panther Philadelphia voter intimidation case.

    We can add a few more, now that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has completed its review of the department’s handling of the matter.

    On election day in 2008, a pair of African-American guys wearing berets stationed themselves in front of a North Philadelphia polling place, calling themselves “security.” One of them had a nightstick.

    Though the beret boys didn’t interfere with ingress or egress from the polling place and not a single voter can be identified who was intimidated by their idiotic behavior, conservatives have been flogging the issue ever since. They condemn the Obama Justice Department’s decision not to press a voter intimidation case against four defendants, though the department did secure an injunction against the guy with the club.

    After reviewing thousands of pages of documents and interviewing 44 people, the Office of Professional Responsibility has concluded there were no political or racial considerations in the Justice Department’s handling of the case.

    The OPR conducted its inquiry in response to a request from Texas Congressman Lamar Smith. You can read their letter to him here.

    You can get my take on the case in a January Newsworks post here.

    I’d like to think this will put an end to the controversy, but I know better.

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