The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has concluded an investigation finding that politics played no role in the handling of the New Black Panther Party case, which sparked a racially charged political fight.
After reviewing thousands of pages of internal e-mails and notes and conducting 44 interviews with department staff members, the OPR reported that “department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment” and that the voter-intimidation case against the Panthers was dismissed on “a good faith assessment of the law” and “not influenced by the race of the defendants.”
The OPR investigation was launched at the request of U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Here’s the guts of its findings, as related in a letter to Smith from OPR Counsel Robin Ashton:
In a sane world, that would be that. Unfortunately, we do not live in a sane world. We live in a world in which too many people have too much invested in feeling themselves the downtrodden victim of the black man to let this foolishness die.
– Jay Bookman