New Black Panther Party (NBPP) National Field Marshal King Samir Shabazz was arrested on June 20 in New York City for carrying a loaded, unlicensed firearm and the illegal wearing of body armor.
Shabazz, who has a tattoo on his face that reads “Kill Whitey,” is currently being held on $75,000 bail and will appear in Manhattan Criminal Court on June 26. The NYPD stopped Shabazz on his way out of a NBPP meeting about the group’s planned “Million Youth March” 15th anniversary rally, which is scheduled take place in Harlem on September 7.
Two days after Shabazz was arrested, the NBPP held a “Stop the Attack on the Million Youth March: Free King Samir Shabazz Support Rally” at Sylvia’s Restaurant. According to the NBPP website, the rally included New York City Councilman Charles Barron and Professor Leonard Jeffries of the City College of New York as keynote speakers.
Known for his rants that call for violence, Shabazz has publicly stated that NBPP members should press their uniforms so the crease could “cut that cracker’s throat in half and watch his head roll down the street.” In an August 2012 NBPP online radio broadcast, he went on a vicious tirade describing white nurseries and churches as legitimate targets for bombing.
The NBPP describes Shabazz’s arrest as an “attempt to stop the major organizing efforts of the Million Youth March 15 year anniversary and slow down the progress of the production of Black nationalism.” They call on all “oppressed dark people of the planet” to “fight the efforts of the white devils and Black Sambos by any means.”
Shabazz, whose real name is Maruse Heath, was previously arrested and released in 2008 for disorderly conduct after he and others interrupted a rally in Atlantic City. In 2009, Shabazz was implicated in a U.S. Department of Justice suit after a voter intimidation incident while he was head of the NBPP’s Philadelphia chapter.
Shabazz is not the first NBPP leader to be arrested for weapons charges in recent years. In March 2012, Hashim Nzinga, NBPP Chief of Staff, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after trying to pawn a semi-automatic handgun.