CLEVELAND, OH – Yafeuh Balogun, the co-founder of a radical black gun club that espouses Black Panther ideology, says he is not surprised by the deadly shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday.
Blaming events like the shooting on a “lack of justice,” Balogun warned those purportedly angry at what he claimed was “police terrorism” have grown frustrated with legal forms of protest and activism, which he complained did not accomplish their aims.
Balogun stated “We’ve felt that it is a natural law, if you will, before people would begin to take up an armed approach against injustice.”
Balogun was speaking in an interview set to air Sunday night on this reporter’s talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and News Talk 990 AM in Philadelphia.
Balogun is co-founder of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, a black militant gun group named after Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton.
According to reports, Micah X. Johnson, who carried out a deadly shooting against police officers two Friday’s ago, “liked” the Huey P. Newton Gun Club on Facebook.
One of the group’s other co-founders, Babu Omawale, has said that he recognized Johnson from black community events in Dallas. Omawale is also the so-called national minister of defense for the People’s New Black Panther Party. Despite the ties, Balogun says his group itself is not associated with the New Black Panther Party.
The past two weeks, armed members of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club have been seen at demonstrations in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
I asked Balogun whether he was surprised by Sunday’s shootings, in which three Baton Rouge police officers were killed and three others wounded. Law enforcement officials told reporters they believe multiple gunmen perpetrated the massacre.
“What I expect and what, you know, what we have been saying for those of us who have been organized around issue of police brutality over the past several years before it became really a national phenomenon is that it was only a matter of time before the masses of people – when I speak in terms of the masses of people I’m talking about black brown and poor people – begin to take issue with police brutality.
We believe that police brutality is nothing more than a euphemism for police terrorism. So we felt that with the seeds of injustice that has been (sic) plagued this country here in the United States of America for at least 40 years or more, even before, we felt that it was only a matter of time.
Which is we’ve felt that it is a natural law if you will before people would begin to take up an armed approach against injustice.”
When I suggested that it appears there may be an organized black militant terrorist group at work, Balogun shot down that possibility:
“What I think, quite frankly sir, and I respect your response, but also I respectfully disagree. I think people across the country and really across the world that saw those of us here in the United States of America protest. They’ve seen those of us here in the United States of America do petitions and drives and voting drives and things of this nature to try to replace elected officials. Those whom we felt would be more towards our position about bringing necessary reforms to the issue that led to police brutality.
And as those same individuals have come to become more militant in their approach and I don’t for one, a person being very active in a lot of quote unquote militant demonstrations, I don’t think that there is an organization. I think it’s very organic.
These people have absolutely nothing to do with any particular group. These are people, and I stress the word these are the masses of people, that are quite frankly upset. Upset with the governors of the states that you know they are in. Or the elected officials of the United States Congress who have failed to put in place the laws, or bills, or things of that nature that could, you know, more or less help reform with the issue around the country and these are the kinds of the results of the lack of justice.”
The Huey P. Newton Gun Club says on its website it is seeking to “develop over time to a regimented Black Army.”
“Our mission is to educate the masses of black people on the necessity of self,” states the website. “That includes self-preservation, self-defense, and self-sufficiency through militant culture.”
“We want freedom. We want the power to practice self-determination, and to determine the destiny of our community and THE BLACK NATION.”