BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The New Black Panthers arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to demand reforms be made within the city’s police department, while protesting that they were “not a hate group.”
Video footage captured at the Black Panthers’ protest outside Baton Rouge City Hall show a number of members, dressed in their usual all-black uniforms with bandanas covering their faces.
— Andrea Gallo (@aegallo) October 12, 2016
“We did not come here to do harm to anybody,” the leader of the group said. “But we believe in self-defense and what does that mean? … That means if you attack me or you attack my people or you attack my sister or you attack my brother, that when the attack is over we’ll still be here,” the New Black Panther said.
The group then began chanting “black power,” a term synonymous with the New Black Panthers.
The New Black Panthers group protested outside the city council chambers while discussions took place over reforms to the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) in the wake of the officer-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling, which garnered national attention.
Those reforms include a task force which would be made up of community organizers and local pastors to look into recommendations for BRPD relating to race relations.
The New Black Panthers are no stranger to the Baton Rouge area. Their involvement in protests following Sterling’s death led to increased anti-police rhetoric.
Following the Panther’s arrival into the city back in July during protests over Sterling’s death, a gunman aligned with the group and Black Lives Matter murdered three Baton Rouge police officers, while putting three others in critical condition.
The murder of those Baton Rouge officers led to Black Lives Matter supporters celebrating their deaths on social media, as Breitbart News reported at the time.
In a previous interview with Breitbart News, a leader with the New Black Panther Party, Babu Omowale, said the organization needed to establish “our own government in a nation within a nation.”
The Baton Rouge chapter of the New Black Panther Party did not respond to comment requests by Breitbart Texas.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.