Civil rights leaders gathered Wednesday at the state Capitol to offer their support for Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-Atlanta, who is being investigated by the FBI.
Edward DuBose, president of the Georgia Conference of the NAACP, called the federal investigation a “witch hunt.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News reported last week that a federal grand jury had subpoenaed several people to testify about the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. Brooks, first elected to the House in 1980, is the GABEO’s president.
Brooks has told reporters he has not been contacted by the FBI or been told he’s a subject of an investigation, but a federal law enforcement official told the AJC that Brooks is the target. Furthermore, an attorney representing several people subpoenaed in the case told the newspaper that his clients said they were questioned about both the GABEO and Universal Humanities, a private charity focused on poverty that Brooks also leads. Neither person was authorized to speak on the record.
On the Capitol steps Wednesday, as Brooks served in the House chamber, DuBose said everyone who loves justice should be outraged.
“If you stand on the sidelines and do nothing, shame on you,” DuBose said. “If you allow this witch hunt to continue … you’re already in the wrong ballpark.”
Marcus Coleman, president of the National Action Network, likened the FBI to a dog with a bone.
“Dogs take the meat off the bone,” he said. “Then they go to the most secluded areas and they dig deep and bury their bone.”
Coleman alleged that the FBI is investigating Brooks to hide its failure to capture those responsible for the 1946 lynching of four African-Americans in Walton County. Two black couples were murdered on Moore’s Ford Bridge that year. No one was ever convicted of the crime, and Brooks said he has reason to believe federal agents were involved.
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