Updated: A story by Patrick Howley on The Daily Caller, makes clear that President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) funded racial protest against George Zimmerman. Specifically, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was deployed to Sanford, Florida in 2012 to provide assistance for anti-George Zimmerman protests, including a rally headlined by activist Al Sharpton, according to newly released documents.
The Community Relations Service (CRS), a unit of DOJ, reported expenses related to its deployment in Sanford to help manage protests between March and April 2012, according to documents obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.
CRS spent $674.14 between March 25-27 related to having been “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” CRS spent another $1,142.84 for the same purpose between March 25-28.
CRS spent $892.55 “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida” between March 30-April 1, and $751.60 “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
Sharpton, who promoted the Tawana Brawley hoax in the 1980s and in 1995 led a protest against the “white interloper” owner of a Harlem clothing store that ended in a deadly shooting rampage at the store, was a featured speaker at the March 31 rally, called “The March for Trayvon Martin,” where he advocated for Zimmerman’s prosecution.
CRS expenditures related to the anti-Zimmerman protests continued through mid-April. Between April 11 and April 12, CRS spent $552.35 “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.”
DOJ spokesperson Dena Iverson emailed a statement to The Daily Caller, saying, ”The Community Relations Service was in Florida as part of their mandated mission,” along with a link to the CRS’s website.
The consistently coherent conservative site, TheBlaze, posted in defense of the DOJ, writing:
Those expenses even include a reference to mediation.
And all that would seem to fulfill the mission of the group described on the CRS website [emphasis added]:
[The CRS] is the only Federal entity dedicated to assisting state and local government units, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders. The CRS works to restore stability and accord.
While that mission is not perfectly defined and leaves some room for interpretation, the expenses — traveling “to work marches,” “provide technical assistance,” etc. — are not unreasonable in that context: It is the purpose of the CRS to travel to such places and “work” the marches.
The ostensible job of the CRS is to act as a peacemaker for “community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin.” They travel to the sources of conflict, using “impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution procedures” to restore peace and harmony.
…without photos or video of compromising behavior that would show officials stirring up trouble, it seems an overreach to say the DOJ was actively involved in fomenting protests by citing their involvement in aspects surrounding them. Especially when that involvement appears to be fulfilling the group’s mission.
Some may take umbrage with the CRS and its mission as a whole — and valid critiques in general are healthy. But as long as that mission is in place, should the group really be targeted for being present and fulling it during the highly toxic time after the Trayvon Martin murder?
However, this totally tragic event was a non-story for a considerable period of time. Then it became a race issue and most national media continue to hammer that angle. More may be discovered on the evolution or devolution from a self-defense story to one with racial overtones. Regardless, President Obama’s growing scandals and international policy failures if not incompetence have not been as well covered by media. Thus as a politician/demagog – he wins.
Update: Breitbart.com is reporting today, Friday, July 12, that the Department of Justice made no attempt to stop blatant threats against George Zimmerman, according to one of the people who helped make those threats. With no contact, the DOJ’s assertion that their expense of staff time and tax dollars for “mediation” and “peacemaking” are much less credible. Breitbart.com writes:
Despite issuing a widely publicized threat against Zimmerman last year, the New Black Panther Party was never contacted by the Department of Justice according to a statement from a NBPP spokesman.
Breitbart News spoke exclusively to Brother James J. Muhammad, the National Director of Education for The Ordinary People Society New Black Panther Party. He said, “We were never contacted by the Justice Department. We were never contacted to calm down.”
Brother Muhammad was one of the people directly calling for the “capture” of George Zimmerman last year.