Hashim Nzinga, the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party told Reuters that the Panthers will be carrying guns at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland for “protection”. Ohio is an open carry state and as long as the carriers are not felons, the law allows them to be armed.
“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our Second Amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” Nzinga told Reuters. “If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms.”
Ohio officials confirmed it’s legal for protesters to carry weapons during demonstrations outside the convention center under the state’s open carry laws. Reuters reported that members of several other groups, including some supporters of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, also have said they plan to carry weapons, sparking concerns about armed rival groups in close proximity to one another.
Nzinga said Tuesday he expects “a couple hundred” members of the New Black Panther Party to participate in a black unity protest scheduled for Thursday in Cleveland.
In addition, Nzinga has not been quiet about the killing of five police officers in Dallas last week. According to Reuters, he condemned the act as a “massacre.”
On his personal Twitter page, he emphasized that his group played no role in Thursday’s attack. Nzinga said the black shooter, Micah Johnson, was “trained” by “white America.”
Cleveland could turn into a blood bath if all groups carry guns.