August 13th, 2010
03:11 PM ET
8 years ago

U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearing erupts into shouting

Washington (CNN) - Members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shouted at each other Friday over the Justice Department's decision to drop most of the charges in a 2008 incident in which black militants confronted voters at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, polling place, leading to charges of voter intimidation.

Conservative commission members accused the Justice Department of "stonewalling" the commission's investigation into the dismissal, and called a Justice Department's response to requests for information "breathtaking and insulting." A liberal commission member, in turn, dismissed those complaints as the "last gasps of a conservative majority of this commission."

At the end of the fractious hour-long debate, no minds appeared to be changed. But one liberal member sided with the conservative majority in agreeing to recommend that Congress give the commission more power when investigating Justice Department matters in the future.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. DJ in TX

    I want to do some research. I've heard some reports that this case was actually dropped BEFORE Obama came into office. I haven't confirmed the reports as of yet.

    I'm not excusing the actions or defending the Justice Department, just trying to set the record straight. People are blaming the Obama administration (and it could be), but it needs to be confirmed. Has anyone else heard this story??

    August 13, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Alan Haggard

    The funny thing (and FACT) about this whole 'scanadl'..

    This investigation was initially conduected before Obama even took office, ironically under the Bush administration. Yet, conservative pundits and politicians alike would have you believe it was a vast 'left-wing liberal conspiracy' perpetrated by the Obama administration.

    Personally, I find what these individuals did unacceptable. They should have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The fact that the DoJ failed to do so does not equate to a 'liberal conspiracy', but rather, the incompetence of those who handled this case.

    August 13, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Artie

    Right now it appears that the black minotity (13 % of US population) has taken control of this country and through their race card politics no one dare challenge them!

    August 13, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Obama and Holder are crazy

    It's crazy that the Justice Department dropped the charges against the two Black Panthers who were OBVIOUSLY trying to intimidate voters (visually and verbally).

    Any liberal that would say that complaining about the dismissal is wearing blinders that break along party lines.

    The two 'black militants' should be in jail. What is the Obama administration thinking (Holder)?

    August 13, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Dan

    The era of the post-racial president has become
    the era of the most-racial president!

    August 13, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Hey!! It happened in 2008. Cuss out W if you want to make a point.

    August 13, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Alan Haggard

    scandal, rather.

    August 13, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Duck Fallas

    Hear that sound, like Rice Krispies? It's right wing heads exploding all over the country. The folks at Fux News just got 600 hours of programming.

    August 13, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. tcaros

    There was no intimidation. This was totally fabricated by the far right looneys.

    August 13, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Gil

    Conservatives are used to getting their right wing way since they have the Supreme Court firmly under their control. It is nice to see that they can't make something out of nothing in this case! I can't stand conservative repulsicans!

    August 13, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Perry

    3 Black Panthers were cited for harassing voters at a poll. The charges were dropped and they were sent home.

    3 Tea Partiers were cited for the same thing in Nevada. The charges were dropped and they were sent home.

    Is this issue another "Be Scared White People" because the blacks (Atty General Holder and the Black Panthers) are banding together to get you?

    Shame it sometimes works.

    August 13, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. JES

    You sure can't please evrybody why can't we just ge along with eah other.

    Good exapmle of how to show people the correct way of getting things done.

    August 13, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. DJ in TX

    From what I just found on Google, it was indeed the Bush Administration Justice Department who initially declined to prosecute the Black Panthers, not the Obama administration –

    This found on Google and there are many articles stating this fact –

    in fact, the Bush administration decided not to pursue criminal charges, with Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testifying that the Bush Justice Department "determined that the facts did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the criminal statutes"; a civil lawsuit was filed in the last days of the Bush administration, and a judgment won by the Obama Justice Department in May 2009).

    Go check it out for yourselves. Again, these guys should be prosecuted for something, but unfortunately, voter intimidation can't be proven 100%.

    August 13, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Iraida Rivero

    Civil rights commission is a joke, I guess that only blacks and hispanics now have any civil rights.
    It seems that it is all hypocrisy, this has become a totalitarian nation, with the Obama adm. only blacks have rights, he definitely has reversed the law, no equality whatsoever, only him and his protege, so much democracy, rights and we the people, by the people, for the people, it is now by obama, for obama, we the obama's. Great! I love this trasparentcy. Goodby USA Constitution, what is that? obama would say.

    August 13, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. gt

    umm.. must of been jessie jackson on the board....its always this way.. blacks never do anything wrong ,, from o j to rangel and waters... pathedic,,,

    August 13, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    a 2008 incident in which black militants confronted voters at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, polling place, leading to charges of voter intimidation.
    I certainly hope that no one was lynched, or rubber hosed, or severely beaten beyond recognition during this confrontation. I also sincerely hope that no one's house was burned down, or that no one was threatened with "repercussions" if they voted one way or another. Additionally, I'd like to know what deragatory terms were yelled out by those doing the 'confronting', and if they were told they could not vote because they spoke poor english or did not know how to write clearly enough.

    It cetainly warms my heart to know that the people that were confronted could at least rest assured in the knowledge that THE LAW and LAWKEEPERS would see that they had their day in court and a shot at JUSTICE. I'm certain that those confronted gained a modicum of dignity, and peace of mind in knowing that NO ONE would follow them home and bring harm if not to them directly, then to whomever they could find in the streets that looked like them.

    God Bless America, huh?!

    August 13, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    All the talking should stop and the National guard should start being called out to monitor voting events .

    August 13, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Diane P

    I think the were two guys in costume at polling place in a black neighborhood in Philly, who were they intimidating? I consider myself very informed, I don't believe the NPB party has any power in the black community, this whole fear the black people thing is getting old & tired.

    August 13, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    It would be nice to see a transcript of the words exchanged during that so called hour long debate. And, an audio or video would be desirable as well. I say this because I see the labels 'liberal' and 'conservative' in the article. Also, I see the keywords 'voter intimidation'. Quite frankly, I see that many members of Congress, are behaving as though they have been 'intimidated' since the 2008 election. Thank you.

    August 13, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. David in Houston

    Why are there republicans on the Civil Rights Commision?

    Wouldn't that be like having David Duke serve in the N.A.A.C.P.?

    August 13, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Pat F

    So Eric Holder's Justice Department is OK with voter intimidation as long as it is against white people. Is that what the law says? Or is that just Chicago politics? Or is it even uglier than that?

    Obama voters, what have you created?

    August 13, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    Two yahoos in silly constumes do not warrent a Department of Justice investigtion!

    "breathtaking and insulting." Oh please spare me the faux outrage. Speaking of two idiots in silly constumes.....don't you people have a tea party to go to somewhere?

    August 13, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Enough

    Dropping charges on these thugs sends the wrong message. It is clearly caught on tape what they were doing and there is no reason for not perusing this. Now if the races had been reversed they would be all over it.

    August 13, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Never Republican

    On the left, one incident of voter intimidation (Phila, PN).
    On the right, thousands upon thousands of cases throughout the south (and every redneck burg across America). Anyone remember Bush's 'election' in Florida – Initimidation and many missing ballot boxes.
    Oh yeah, the right is quite upset.

    August 13, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Another example of liberal politics at its best. Stonewall, cover up and lie. Hope and change was just a slogan, didn't mean nothin. Just another made up slogan designed to hide evil and fool the people. Obozo style.

    August 13, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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