Founding Member of Project 21 Black Conservative Group Calls Out New Black Panthers

Calls Bounty for Zimmerman “Outrageous” and “Lawless”

Washington, D.C. – Legal commentator Horace Cooper, a founding member of the African-American leadership group Project 21, is criticizing the New Black Panthers’ call for a ransom on George Zimmerman in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

“The efforts of the New Black Panthers go beyond legitimate discourse and are the legal equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theatre,” says Cooper. “In addition to their ongoing investigation into the Martin shooting, authorities in Florida and Washington should insure that hate groups like the Panthers stay within legal bounds.”

The New Black Panther Party is offering a $10,000 reward for the “capture and citizens arrest” of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator who shot Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26.

Cooper, a legal commentator, believes that the existing legal system is able to fairly investigate whether a crime occurred in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

“Hate groups like the New Black Panthers thrive on racial division and ethnic strife. Their reckless and lawless call for a bounty on George Zimmerman is inconsistent with fundamental constitutional principles such as the presumption of innocence and jeopardizes public safety,” explains Cooper.

“This attempt to encourage mob justice is not only outrageous, in and of itself it could be a crime – inciting violence,” said Cooper. “Law enforcement officials should move with alacrity to ensure that no harm comes to George Zimmerman and that the New Black Panthers cease and desist their rhetorical pyromania,” Cooper concluded.

Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a founding member of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

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Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.