During an odd and fiery interview on CNN Monday night, Anderson Cooper tussled with Mikhail Muhammad of The New Black Panther Party over the group’s reaction to the death of Florida Teen Trayvon Martin. The New Black Panther Party has offered a reward for the capture of Martin’s shooter George Zimmerman, and cited “street people law” during the interview Monday night as justification for charging murder against George Zimmerman while calling for a citizen’s arrest.
“He committed murder, he committed a hate crime,” Muhammad told Cooper of Zimmerman, explaining, “we decided to take it upon ourselves and coalition with other groups, with other black people who have had enough.”
Anderson continued to remind Muhammad that Martin’s father has explicitly rejected the “eye for an eye” rhetoric that some members of The New Black Panther Party have used, but the spokesman appeared to ignore the father’s request.
“We are military, we are here to support Trayvon’s family,” Muhammad argued, adding that the government wasn’t really there for Trayvon Martin and that “they have killed millions of black men and women.”
“You tell our justice department and Eric Holder and our President Obama to get off up their ass and do the work and the rest is done!” Muhammad went on to say. When pressed by Cooper on the legality, he responded that he could make a citizen’s arrest of Zimmerman, who has not yet been charged for anything, because the New Black Panther Party member doesn’t “obey the white man’s law,” but rather the “street people’s law.”
He then went on to accuse Cooper of having a lack of concern for Martin’s family, which prompted a quick retort from Cooper: “Well sir, actually, you have no idea what’s in my mind, or my heart, or what I’ve been reporting on….. What I‘m wandering is aren’t you just taking advantage of a situation to try and get in front of cameras and get your name out, for your group, which is tiny?”
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