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United Methodist Women's Division Defends Alleged Black Panther Police-Killers

"Why is the United Methodist Women's Division, which is oddly silent about torture in places like North Korea and Iran, suddenly concerned with aging militants from the 1970s who almost certainly killed police officers?" -- Mark Tooley, Executive Director of UMAction

 

Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, jwalton@ird-renew.org; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy

 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Women's Division of the United Methodist Church is vigorously defending eight former Black Panthers accused of conspiracy and killing a police officer after California's attorney general re-opened the case last year.

 

Three of the "San Francisco 8" confessed to the 1971 murder of San Francisco Police Sgt. John Young and conspiracy related to numerous crimes from 1968-73, including attempted murder and bank robbery. Those charges were dismissed in 1975 because the statements used as evidence were allegedly made after torture by New Orleans police. Two of the 8 are already serving time for killing two New York police officers in 1971.

 

The case was reopened after the discovery of new forensics evidence. The United Methodist Women's Division, with the World Council of Churches, are defending the so-called political prisoners because they are allegedly victims of police torture. The defenders of the "San Francisco 8" are making broader claims of routine torture by law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Thursday, January 10 in San Francisco.

 

The "San Francisco 8" specifically belonged to the Black Liberation Army (BLA), which was a radical offshoot of the Black Panthers, and which is believed to have killed 13 police officers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

UMAction Executive Director Mark Tooley Commented:

 

"The United Methodist Women's Division remains infatuated with radical identity politics at the expense of their supposed central mission: spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

"There are so many worthy causes around the world that the United Methodist Women's Division could give themselves to: fighting for women's rights in repressive Islamic societies, denouncing international sex trafficking that is so exploitative of women and children, and affirming marriage and the family against the assaults of modern secular culture.

 

"Instead, why is the United Methodist Women's Division, which is oddly silent about torture in places like North Korea and Iran, suddenly concerned with aging militants from the 1970's who almost certainly killed police officers?"