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Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg November 6, 2018

Pants on Fire claim: Armed Black Panthers on Atlanta streets on Election Day

The eponymous Right Wing News website posted an apocalyptic headline on election day."Black Panthers Just Took Over City – All Out War On Election Day," it said.

The city it had in mind is Atlanta.

If you haven’t heard of the great unrest on Peachtree Street or any other spot in Atlanta, that’s because there isn’t any.

"There is nothing happening at any of our polling places today that requires a police response," said Carlos Campos, public affairs director for the Atlanta Police Department. "We are not responding to the New Black Panthers or anyone. It’s smooth sailing."

As anyone reading further in the article will see, the headline is a dressed up take on a demonstration that happened over the weekend.

The Atlanta chapter of the New Black Panther Party –– not to be confused with the original Black Panther Party, members of which have disavowed the new group –– held what it called an "armed rally against voter suppression" on Saturday, Nov. 3. A handful of members bearing semi-automatic style weapons walked around Atlanta’s West End neighborhood.

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A photo posted on the New Black Panther Party’s Facebook page, Nov. 3, 2018

In some photos, they hold signs for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor. (If she wins, she would be the country’s first African-American woman governor.) The New Black Panther Party posted over 20 photos on its Facebook page, along with the disclaimer that, "we are not working for and we did not plan this event with either campaign, and we have members with different political views both here in Atlanta as well as nationwide and even right here in this post."

Under Georgia law, it is legal to carry long guns, including semi-automatic rifles, in public.

Brian Kemp, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, tweeted a photo from the rally Nov. 4, saying "How radical is my opponent? Look at who is backing her. The New Black Panther Party is ‘a racist...antisemitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews, and law enforcement.’"

Abrams campaign spokeswoman Abigail Collazo responded to the rally and the photos Monday.

"Brian Kemp is the only candidate in this race who has posed for pictures with supporters wearing racist, hate-filled T-shirts and refused to denounce them, while Abrams continues to condemn any racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise discriminatory words and actions," Collazo said.

All that said, there is no war on the streets of Atlanta on Election Day. Just ordinary, peaceful voting.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire

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PolitiFact rating logo PolitiFact Rating:
Pants on Fire
"Black Panthers Just Took Over City (Atlanta) – All Out War On Election Day"
In a post on the Right Wing News website
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Our Sources

Right Wing News, Black Panthers Just Took Over City – All Out War On Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018

Young Conservatives, Black Panthers Armed with Assault Rifles Marching Through City for Democratic Candidate, Nov. 5, 2018

Western Journal, Armed with Assault Rifles, Black Panthers March for Stacey Abrams, Nov. 4, 2018

Facebook post, "Panther - West End - Atlanta, Georgia - Armed Rally Against Voter Suppression", Nov. 3, 2018


Tweet by Brian Kemp, Nov. 4, 2018

Washington Post, In Georgia, Kemp tweets another accusation, Nov. 5, 2018

Georgia Code, GA Code § 16-11-126 (2017), accessed Nov. 6, 2018

Interview, Carlos Campos, public affairs director, Atlanta Police Department, Nov. 6, 2018


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Pants on Fire claim: Armed Black Panthers on Atlanta streets on Election Day

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