The federal government is being urged to formally investigate an attack on a Donald Trump supporter who was beaten in Chicago by thugs who were shouting, “It’s one of them white-boy Trump guys” and “beat his a**, he voted for Trump.”
The attack was reported on Friday by the Chicago Tribune but without a response from the Obama administration to the apparent violation of federal law.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation wrote two letters urging the Justice Department to investigate.
One, according to Breitbart’s Big Government, was to Chris Herren, chief of the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the other was to Paige Fitzgerald, the acting chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes explained what happened.
“David Wilcox was just minding his business the other day when he got rear-ended on a Chicago street. When he got out of his car to exchange insurance information – a mob of teenagers pounced. He was dragged from his car and pummeled as a crowd of onlookers watched,” Starnes wrote.
“Somebody yelled, ‘That’s one of those white boy Trump supporters,’ Mr. Wilcox told CBS Chicago. ‘I said, what does that have to do with this? We’re talking about insurance here,'” Starnes reported.
The video (warning: foul language and violence):
Reported Starnes, “While one group of thugs bloodied Mr. Wilcox, another group rummaged through his car – and one of the suspects got behind the steering wheel and drove away – dragging the poor man.”
He continued, “Police say there’s no indication it was politically motivated – even though video evidence clearly shows the mob was motivated by politics.”
“So, why is it that Mr. Wilcox is not a household name like Michael Brown or Eric Garner? Where was the ‘Breaking News’ coverage from the national media? And why hasn’t the White House condemned this vicious attack? Why is President Obama’s indignation so selective? His silence after a white man was beaten by a black mob – in his hometown – does make one wonder.”
Breitbart reported the foundation’s letters to the federal government were a little more specific: Since such violence is illegal, why isn’t it being investigated and prosecuted?
“On November 9, 2016, Mr. Wilcox was captured on video being beaten and kicked by a mob of people. Wilcox told reporters that bystanders were shouting statements such as ‘he voted Trump.’ Wilcox did indeed vote for President-elect Donald Trump. The statements of those encouraging the beating would support an investigation under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, now codified at 52 U.S.C. Section 10307(b).”
The letter to the DOJ quotes the law: “No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any persons to vote or attempt to vote …”
“As you may know, numerous incidents have occurred over the last seven years in circumstances with striking similarities to the incident in Chicago. Yet the Civil Rights Division took no action whatsoever in these instances. It is reasonable to conclude, and it is the view of many Americans, that the department has different standards for enforcing the law depending on the nature of the victim and the nature of the perpetrators. … If the division does not vigorously pursue an investigation into whether the Voting Rights Act was violated – as vigorously as it pursued other recent high profile racially charges cases such as in Ferguson, Missouri – it raises profound questions about the section’s suitability to fairly enforce the laws.”
The second letter, to Fitzgerald, also urges an investigation, explaining it’s a federal felony for someone “by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with … voting.”
“It would seem rather elementary for the FBI to ascertain the individual who shot the video of the crimes, and conduct interviews based on that evidence,” the letter said. “The Justice Department has an obligation to protect all Americans from racially motivated violence surrounding elections, not just some Americans.”
J. Christian Adams, president of the foundation, told Breitbart: “The right to participate in an election without fear of being beaten by a mob is one of the most fundamental civil rights. Americans should not have to fear political violence because they voted for Donald Trump, and this Justice Department needs to start enforcing the law no matter who the victim is.”
Adams worked for the DOJ but parted ways when the Obama administration, on taking over, abruptly canceled a more-or-less completed prosecution of New Black Panthers charged with intimidating votes outside polls during the 2008 election.
At the time, he said, “There is a pervasive hostility within the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department toward these sorts of cases.”
Asked whether there is a specific Justice Department policy against pursuing cases in which the defendant is black and the victim is white, Adams replied: “Particularly in voting, that will be the case for the next few years. No doubt about it. If you had all the attorneys who worked on this case here, I am quite sure that they would say the exact same thing.”
As WND reported, the Justice Department originally brought the case against four armed men who witnesses say derided voters with catcalls of “white devil” and “cracker” and told them they should prepare to be “ruled by the black man.”
One poll watcher called police after he reportedly saw one of the men brandishing a nightstick to threaten voters.
“As I walked up, they closed ranks, next to each other,” the witness told Fox News at the time. “So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found the poll watchers. They said they’d been here for about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what.”
He said the man with a nightstick told him, “‘We’re tired of white supremacy,’ and he starts tapping the nightstick in his hand. At which point I said, ‘OK, we’re not going to get in a fistfight right here,’ and I called the police.”
One incident is on video:
As WND reported, two men, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, wearing paramilitary uniforms and armed with a nightstick, blocked a doorway to a polling location to intimidate voters. Shabazz is leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the New Black Panther Party.
The Justice Department’s complaint was under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 against four defendants: the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and its leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and the two men who appeared at the Philadelphia polling place Nov. 4, 2008. The complaint accused them of attempting to engage in, and engaging in, both voter intimidation and intimidation of individuals aiding voters.
A federal judge ordered default judgments against the Panthers after party members refused to appear in court. The Washington Times reported the Justice Department was seeking sanctions when Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general who had been granted a political appointment by President Obama in January 2009 to temporarily fill the position, ordered a delay in the proceedings. According to the report, the ruling was issued after King met with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the department’s No. 3 political appointee, who approved the decision.
Even though DOJ lawyers had won the case, it was suddenly dropped.
“The case was dismissed on May 15, ,” Adams told Fox News. “All the charges were dropped against three of the defendants and the final order against one of the defendants was a timid restraint.”
Only one of four defendants faced punishment: a temporary injunction against appearing at Philadelphia polls with a weapon. The department stopped at the injunction and didn’t call for criminal penalties, monetary damages or other civil penalties.
“We were ordered to dismiss the case,” Adams said. “I mean, we were told drop the charges against the New Black Panther Party.”