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by Jim Kouri, CPP
April 3, 2006
Malik Zulu Shabazz, an attorney with the New Black Panthers, told Fox News Channel Tuesday that the prosecutor in the Duke rape case shared information and evidence with the Panthers during a meeting.

In an interview with Fox News Channel's Brian Kilmeade and Juliet Huddy, Shabazz said that members of his group, who are protesting the treatment of the alleged victim of a rape by the Duke University lacrosse team, met with the prosecutor to review his evidence against the students.

Shabazz claims the evidence shows the white lacrosse players are guilty of sexually assaulting the victim, who's a black woman.

When Fox's Kilmeade told the Black Panther leader that the victim's father didn't want them in Durham, Shabazz said that the victim's father should keep his mouth shut.

During a rally near the Duke campus, members of the New Black Panthers lead protesters in chants and made several speeches. They are recognized by many as a racist, nationalist black group, with some being former Nation of Islam members, headed by Louis Farrakhan.

“What do we want? Justice! And when do we want it? Now!”

That was just one of the chants the New Black Panthers shouted. They arrived by police escort outside the Duke University gates, but they also had their own security, some wearing combat boots and others with knives on their hips.

While in the past, Panthers showed up at events armed with guns, there were no firearms observed in Durham.

“We're here today because a human life has been violated in the city of Durham, and we’re here seeking justice,” said Dr. Bruce Bridges, a member of the New Black Panthers party.

“Black power, black power!” chants echoed throughout the crowd as members explained their cause.

“We will defend our black women. [The] New Black Panther party and black men is not going to stand by, idly by, and let our black women be raped,” said Nigi Muhammed.

“You say we are playing the race card. No we're not playing the race card. You with all the cameras, your forefathers been playing race cards for the past 450 years.”

“I am here with these brothers because it appears Durham does not want to see the truth,” said Durham school board member Jackie Wagstaff.

The New Black Panthers are convinced members of the Duke lacrosse team raped the N.C. Central student and are demanding a conviction.

“We don't care whether our sister was stripping or not. We say that that was only a temporary condition of circumstance. But to us she is a righteous and divine woman by nature,” said party member Malik Zulu Shabazz.

Campus police turned the protestors away before they could go on campus.

Shabazz added that he believes Duke has played a role in allowing this scandal to happen:

“For the record, the history of Duke University is riddled in slavery, racist oppression and racism against black people.”

Moments later the protesters tried to walk onto Duke's campus, but campus police stopped them.

“Are you telling me that the president of Duke University is denying the African-American community from coming on this campus?” one protestor asked.

Campus police said the president would not allow the protest to take place on campus because this week is exam week.

When the marchers were turned away from Duke’s gates, they decided to take things into their hands and walk down the streets of Durham straight to the lacrosse house.

The New Black Panthers want the city to turn the lacrosse house into a rape crisis center, and said they want to make sure the trial remains in Durham and not allow a change in venue for the court proceedings.

The New Black Panthers offered the woman accusing the lacrosse players protection, but the family turned down the offer and said they did not ask the Panthers to come to Durham.


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