New Black Panther Party members were arrested for planning to kill Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, and for a Gateway Arch bomb plot. Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Baldwin were arrested after they gave false information in order to buy guns at a Cabelas store in Hazelwood, Missouri.
Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Baldwin were reportedly under investigation for several months prior to their arrests on charges related to the Gateway Arch bomb plot. The two New Black Panthers Party members were "aggressively pursuing" the purchase of explosive devices, according to police reports.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was reportedly warned about the death threat by the New Black Panthers Party members, but was "not given a lot of details." Department of Justice representative Marc Raimondi has declined to offer any comment about the charges levied against the two men and the Gateway Arch bomb threat. It remains unknown if additional federal charges will be filed in the case.
The New Black Panthers Party members allegedly attempted to buy a pipe bomb but were swept up in an undercover sting. The men allegedly told the undercover agents that they wanted to buy more weapons, but had to wait until they could get more cash from one of the suspects' EBT card. Electronic Benefit Transfer cards are a part of the taxpayer-funded welfare system.
Law enforcement officials recorded the meetings with the New Black Panther Party members with a hidden camera. The men told the undercover agents that they wanted to place at least one pipe bomb on the Gateway Arch observation deck in a secluded space. The Gateway Arch has a security screening process similar to that at airports, sneaking a bomb or weapon into the area undetected would have been difficult.
A statement from the New Black Panthers Party after the arrests deemed the charges "totally unfounded" as well as "trumped up and baseless." Both members pleaded not guilty to the Gateway Arch bomb threat and murder plots against Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch on Tuesday.
"We do not condone aggression in deed or action. The men accused are innocent until proven guilty, and no matter what, must be handled as such, until the facts are presented," the New Black Panthers Party statement said. Some consider the innocent until proven guilty urging is hypocritical due to Darren Wilson being labeled as a murdered despite the grand jury ruling on the Michael Brown shooting.
What do you think about the New Black Panthers Party members attempting to bomb the Gateway Arch and kill two public officials?
[Image via: Wikimedia Commons]