Atlanta black activist Scapegoat Jones has provided new eyewitness details on the beating of COINTELPRO warrior Dhoruba bin Wahad by members of the New Black Panther Party. Jones claims Dhoruba called Malik Zulu Shabazz a “nigger” when he challenged Shabazz at the stage where Shabazz was speaking.. Jones released a video statement on Aug. 23 with his account of the recent Power Belongs to the People Conference.
Dhoruba served nineteen years in prison before his release after he obtained COINTELPRO documents that show the Federal Bureau of Investigation withheld exculpatory evidence. Dhoruba was convicted for the 1971 attempted murder of two New York policemen in a drive-by shooting. After his release from prison, Dhrouba sued the FBI and won $400,000 for the clandestine action against him.
Operation COINTELPRO was an illegal counterintelligence program from 1956 to 1971, conducted by the FBI against domestic political activists. The Black Panthers were the subject of the most lethal ferocity of the program with leaders targeted for harm or imprisonment by FBI agents.
According to Jones, who witnessed the Atlanta “brawl” at the stage from his seat in the audience on Aug. 8, Dhoruba and half a dozen men stormed into the conference in progress and took up a defensive posture at the side of the stage. Rather than waiting for the question and answer session, Dhoruba verbally challenged Shabazz. Jones said after Shabazz ordered his group to expel Dhoruba things got “crazy” and a fight broke out. Jones claims that one member of Dhoruba’s group pulled out a baton and began hitting New Black Panthers. By then chairs were in the air and Dhrouba’s group retreated leaving Dhrouba unconscious and with his jaw broken in three places.
Jones called the entire epidsode embarrassing. Jones said that Drouba came with disrespect and was treated with disrespect. Jones also said that Dhoruba was behind a plan called “Operation Shutdown” and seemed determined to disrupt the New Black Panthers.
Dhoruba, who required six hours of surgery to repair his jaw, maintains he and his group were attacked and only tried to defend themselves from the New Black Panthers. Dhoruba claims Shabazz and his followers are a hate group, heavily infiltrated by the FBI, and a modern-day COINTELPRO to divide the black power movement.
The hotel ballroom beating of Dhoruba is his second since moving to Atlanta from New York. In May, Dhoruba was beaten on his porch by a deputy checking out a burglary call. That beating was caught on a cell phone camera by a neighbor and resulted in the deputy being fired and facing battery charges.
Scapegoat Jones said he was advised to stay out of the dispute but as an eyewitness he wanted to tell his story in hopes that unity could come from the affair.