Party Leader Says Black Panther Presence at Polls Provoked by 'Neo-Nazis'

The New Black Panther Party said that the real reason two members of its group were standing at the entrance of a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day with a nightstick was to provide protection against white supremacists.

In an interview on "The Strategy Room" on FOXNews.com Friday, attorney and spokesman for the group Malik Shabazz claimed the Panthers were called in after white members of the Aryan Nation and Nazi Party began intimidating black voters and elderly residents.

"After my investigation into that case I have found those members were responding to members of the Aryan nation and Nazi party who were voting Republican and who were at those polling stations intimidating black voters," said Shabazz.

On Election Day Shabbazz, the self described four star general of the New Black Panther Party, told Fox News that aside from voting machine malfunctions or Republican observers being asked to leave other polling places by Democratic election judges, there were no reports of disturbances or issues in Philadelphia.

But Friday morning on FOXNews.com's Internet program "Strategy Room," Shabazz said Black Panthers were there and after further investigation, he'd learned the men were called to the polling place because the elderly people who lived there were being intimidated by white supremacists.

"There are skinheads and white supremacist activity at the polls and we were there to counter that,"  Shabazz said. "I don't know if they were voting but there were there, in the parking lot, they had Nazi insignia on their arms."

Sgt. Ray Evers of the Philadelphia Police Department on Friday said there were no incidents of voter intimidation or violence involving white supremacists or Neo-Nazis on Election Day.

Evers called Shabazz's claim that the Black Panthers were at the polling station in response to white supremacists "absolutely not true."

FOX News was at the polling station that day and spoke with one of the two Black Panthers who never mentioned that white supremacists were in the vicinity of the predominantly black west Philadelphia neighborhood, nor did any of the witnesses or poll watchers spoke with.  Also there were no calls to Philadelphia police regarding any such intimidation, although poll workers did call police when FOX News arrived with a camera and microphone.

On Tuesday, police were called to The Guild House at 1221 Fairmount St. by Republican poll watchers who said they were concerned about voter intimidation. Two men identifying themselves as members of the New Black Panther Party were standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the facility. Both were dressed head to toe in black with berets and combat boots, and one held what appeared to be a police-style nightstick in his hand.

The incident began after a man identifying himself as a student at the University of Pennsylvania approached the Panthers while shooting video with a cell phone camera. The Panther with the nightstick began tapping it in his hand and identified himself as "security."

When the young man asked if there were any problems, the Panther replied, "Everything's fine."

A second video shot a short time later shows police arriving and approaching the men, with one officer asking what's going on.

"There's nothing going on! I don't even know why you all were called."

The officer tells the men they can't stop people from voting, to which they replied: "We're not." A poll worker echoed this by saying, "They're not stopping anyone from voting." The officer then escorts the man armed with the club off the property.

FOX News was alerted to the incident by one of the poll watchers and responded to the scene. One of the poll watchers who called police to complain said the Panthers told him they were "tired of white supremacy" among other things.

FOX's team then approached the one remaining Panther who was still standing in front of the entrance to get his side of the story. He said he was credentialed to be there but never showed his credentials.  He did give a one finger salute to our live television camera on two separate occasions.

When FOX News asked the Panther about reports that he or his colleague told a white poll observer they were "tired of white supremacy",  he said "I don't know what you're talking about."  He protested to our filming saying, "We're just standing up here serving our people."

The Black Panther said no one had ever been at the polling station with a nightstick and claimed he didn't know what FOX were talking about.

After being pressed and told that FOX News had footage of the incident, the Panther said,  "I don't care about what was, I care about what is."

On Tuesday Shabbazz said that there were more than 300 Panthers deployed in several cities across the U.S. to ensure the voting process went fairly and smoothly, but that there were no Panthers working in any official capacity in Philadelphia.

On Friday Shabbazz wouldn't say why he didn't know his own people had been dispatched to the polling station when we spoke to him Tuesday but after being pressed about why no one at the polling station mentioned that anyone from the Aryan nation or white supremacists were there, he replied, "I can only tell you what I learned. Those men were there to try and stop something, not start something."

FOX News' Rick Leventhal contributed to this report.