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Black Lawyers For Justice Announce Lawsuit Against Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A nationwide network of black attorneys is launching an official investigation into how Charlottesville officials handled the Unite the Right rally on August 12.

Black Lawyers for Justice is planning to file a civil and human rights lawsuit against the city. The group made the announcement during a press conference at Emancipation Park Thursday, September 28.

The group explains that it is serious about this investigation and is not backing down.

The president of Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Zulu Shabazz, who had previously served as the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, led Thursday's conference.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Shabazz as, "a racist black nationalist with a long, well-documented history of violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people. He is also particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests. Ousted from the Nation of Islam after he became an embarrassment even to that hard-line group..."

During the conference Shabazz said, "[I am] completely offended, appalled, mortified, and angry about what happened to our people.”

He accused the Charlottesville Police Department and city officials of not properly protecting African Americans in the community during the controversial rally: "Why were so many injured on that day? Why was that lady killed? ... How were the permit holders allowed to so closely interact with the counterdemonstrators with no police in between?" Shabazz asked.

He also wants an investigation of Mayor Mike Signer, Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, and the police department's conduct.

"And worse, is there collaboration inside the police department between the white confederates and the Nazis and forces inside of the police department in this town?" Shabazz added.

Shabazz showed pictures of several white supremacists during the conference, calling on the community to help him track them down.

"I’m also here to pursue legally, any white-power activists, any white supremacists, and neo-Nazis and any of these racists who did bodily harm to our people that day of August the 12th,” he said.

The group said it has been in the Charlottesville area for several days investigating, and is in the process of fulfilling a list of plaintiffs.

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