The Michael Brown verdict is slow coming. The town of Ferguson, Missouri waits with ‘bated breath to see which way their city will burn. Shopkeepers are nervous. Parents are nervous. Police are nervous. No one really knows if officer Darren Wilson is nervous. But two men who are reported to be New Black Panther members just made everyone a lot more nervous.
The pair have been arrested, accused of plotting to build bombs that could be used in the wake of an unfavorable grand jury decision. Law enforcement sources stated that they were affiliated with the so-called New Black Panthers.
The original Black Panther Party has disavowed the New Black Panther Party, declaring that it is not a successor to their organization. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the New Black Panther Party “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”
The two men, Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Davis, were previously named in a federal indictment that charged them with purchasing two pistols from a firearms dealer under false pretenses.
President Obama is already calling for calm in the St. Louis suburb.
“I think first and foremost, keep protests peaceful,” Obama said during taped interview to be aired on Sunday.
“This is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust,” he said. “But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law, contrary to who we are.”
While Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called in National Guard troops in anticipation of trouble after the grand jury decision is announced, the mayor of St. Louis hopes to avoid trouble.
“We have instructed our police officers to protect the protesters’ constitutional rights,” he said. “We have directed them to use more active tactics only when necessary to keep people safe or to protect property.”