The New Black Panther Party has hailed the NYPD hatchet attack. Queens chapter leader of the Black Panthers group, Frank Sha Francois, said that New York City hatchet attacker, Zale Thompson, was a “crusader seeking justice.”
Zale Thompson was described as a “Muslim extremist” by the New York Post, and deemed a follow of “radical Islam” with possible ties to ISIS by multiple media outlets. The New Black Panther Party New York leader also contends that more and similar assaults will likely follow the broad daylight hatchet attack.
“It probably won’t be the last [attack on police] because you have a lot of frustrated people out here,” Black Panthers group Queens chapter leader Frank Sha Francois told the New York Post.
Francois also noted that while Zale Thompson was not an official member of the New Black Panther Party, he had come to meetings and discussed police brutality. According to Francois, the pair discussed the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the Eric Garner case.
“I don’t condone violence, but something needs to be done. We need to have some type of deterrent and real oversight to deter the police from violating the laws and to know they are not above the laws,” the New Black Panther Party leader added. “Our main way to deal with it [alleged police brutality] is to rally and boycotting. I tell people that to go up against law enforcement in this country is suicide.”
Zale Thompson’s friends and family reportedly said the 32-year-old man was a “jihadist sympathizer” who also hated “cops and white people.” The NYC police hatchet attack left officer Kenneth Healey, 25, with a wound to the back of the head, and officer Jospeh Meeker, 24, wounded in the arm. A female bystander about a block away was also hit with a stray bullet fired by uninjured NYPD officers.
The New Black Panther Party (NBPP) was reportedly founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1989. In spite of the group’s name, the NBPP is not the “official successor” of the Black Panther Party, which was very active during the 1960s and 1970s, according to member of the original black political organization. The New Black Panther Party is reportedly now led by Hashim Nzinga after Malik Zulu Shabazz announced he was stepping down as the national chief last December.
The NBPP considers Khalid Abdul Muhamas as the de facto “father of the movement” of the party.