Indicted Georgia lawmaker claims cause made him FBI target

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MONROE, Ga. — A Georgia state lawmaker facing federal wire fraud and mail fraud charges said Thursday that federal investigators are targeting him because of his efforts to investigate an unsolved 1946 lynching.

State Rep. Tyrone Brooks said he is being targeted by the FBI because of his work to solve a 1946 lynching at the Moore's Ford Bridge in Monroe, Ga., where the Democrat held a news conference Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  KENT D. JOHNSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KENT D. JOHNSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
State Rep. Tyrone Brooks said he is being targeted by the FBI because of his work to solve a 1946 lynching at the Moore's Ford Bridge in Monroe, Ga., where the Democrat held a news conference Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Rep. Tyrone Brooks, flanked by about a dozen supporters, spoke at Moore’s Ford Bridge in Monroe, where two black couples were killed nearly 70 years ago. Brooks has long championed the effort for justice in the slayings and said he believes FBI agents have been actively involved in a cover-up.

He did not offer any proof to support his claim that he was being targeted, saying simply, “There is no other reason for them to attack me at this juncture in my history.”

A spokesman for the FBI’s Atlan­ta office said the agency would not issue any comment on Brooks’ accusations.

“We know that the reason that we have been under attack by the government over the last few weeks and the horrible things that have been said about me personally is a direct result of our involvement in the Moore’s Ford Bridge movement,” the longtime Democratic lawmaker said.

A federal grand jury handed down an indictment this month that alleges Brooks solicited more than $1 million in contributions from the mid-1990s to 2012 to fight illiteracy in underserved communities and other causes. Prosecutors say Brooks used the money for personal and family expenses, ranging from home repairs to credit card bills.

The 67-year-old pleaded not guilty to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns last week.

“The FBI, from 1946 up until today, as an institution, has not seen fit to pursue these criminals and bring them to the bar of justice,” Brooks said. He said a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the lynching and other civil rights cold cases.

Two black couples were killed at Moore’s Ford Bridge in Walton County, about 45 miles east of Atlanta, on July 25, 1946. A white mob dragged Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey from a car. They were then tied to trees and shot to death. Dorothy Malcom was seven months pregnant.

Roger Malcom, a black sharecropper, had stabbed and wounded a white farmer. After the lynching, President Harry Truman dispatched the FBI to Monroe, but the federal investigators were met with a wall of silence. The FBI identified 55 possible suspects, but no one was ever arrested, partly because of a lack of witnesses.

The case was untouched for years. Brooks met with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Macon in March 1968, and King said he would make the case a priority, Brooks said. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., a few weeks later.

The Georgia lawmaker, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 1981, said he was urged by local activists to start looking into the case again in 1999. He urged Gov. Roy Barnes to reopen the case, and the Democrat directed the GBI to look into it, Brooks said.

Barnes, a lawyer, is representing Brooks for free in his criminal case.

Brooks refused Thursday to answer any questions about the criminal charges against him, referring those questions to Barnes, who wasn’t present. Barnes said last week that Brooks never took a salary from the organizations he led, but he was paid for expenses and used that money to pay his bills.

The ninth annual reenactment of the Moore’s Ford lynching, which Brooks helps to organize, is set for July 27.

Brooks and his associates have been interviewing witnesses and gathering information on the killings for years and have reason to believe many of the suspects are still alive, some of them still living in the area while others have moved to other states, he said. There were more than 200 people on the bridge the night of the lynching, and some of them have ties to prominent families in the area and elsewhere, Brooks said.

“I think a lot of people would like this to just go away because it’s a source of shame for Georgia. It’s a stain on our history,” he said. “But we’re going to continue on.”

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Just My Opinion
6304
Points
Just My Opinion 05/31/13 - 03:59 am
9
3
Oh, my gosh! Please tell me

Oh, my gosh! Please tell me that people are sick and tired of this same old song and dance excuse of using racism to misdirect the focus on why people are REALLY being accused of something! I work with a lady who is so obviously lazy and inept, but at the first hint of reprimand from our supervisor, this lady starts squawking about being a target only because she is a black person. No...it's because she is a LAZY person who doesn't pull her fair share. Now we have this guy Brooks, who openly admits that he doesn't have any proof the FBI is targeting him because of something that happened DECADES ago. Okay...nothing else to safely refocus all this stuff off of Brooks?? RACISM!!! The "white" FBI is doing this to him.....wait! Is the FBI white??
Geesh!

justus4
113
Points
justus4 05/31/13 - 05:26 am
1
0
The article states that there
Unpublished

The article states that there is no "proof" that the FBI "targeted" Brooks but look at the preponderance of the evidence. His efforts were searching for justice in past cases, where everyone KNOWS that law enforcement operated to harm people of color, and many of the culprits are probably still around. In fact, it will be proven that the FBI violated this man's civil rights in an attempt to silence him. Why do the radical right believe that Washington gov't is corrupt but their local agencies are perfect? Isn't this a police-state operation where gov't is being used to impede justice for the families of murder victims. Don't they want the truth to come out about the Moore's Ford Bridge where five people died? (That's more lives lost than in Benghazi) How 'bout some consistency - instead of believing what the "government" might say when it suits ya. Shame on a state that runs from its sorry history of racial murders, racial injustices, and the ongoing efforts to cover it up. Mr Brooks will be vindicated!

Dixieman
17606
Points
Dixieman 05/31/13 - 05:40 am
9
2
Of course

Pathetic excuse, but what one has learned to come to expect in any case like this one.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 05/31/13 - 06:59 am
1
0
He's
Unpublished

black. He'll be found innocent by reason of racism even though he's more than likely a thieving, slimeball. Enough said.

JRC2024
10561
Points
JRC2024 05/31/13 - 07:18 am
6
1
70 years ago. I have better

70 years ago. I have better things to do. If still alive, the killer would have to be 90 plus and how would you get someone to admit they did it that long ago unless they were on their death bed.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 05/31/13 - 07:55 am
6
1
Walker

Charles Walker tried the same tactic and look how far it got him.

I get so sick and tired of these accused criminals talking about the motivation of the investigators instead of sticking to the facts. It does not matter why the FBI does an investigation. It matters only what they turn up.

Darby
29531
Points
Darby 05/31/13 - 09:21 am
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3
"A Georgia state lawmaker facing federal wire

fraud and mail fraud charges said Thursday that federal investigators are targeting him because of his efforts to investigate an unsolved 1946 lynching."

.
Yeah, that's the ticket. It's as plain as the nose on your face.

Of course the fact that this scoundrel has been using the same race baiting smokescreens and misdirection every time he has ever been caught with his hand in the cookie jar may be a small factor... worth considering.

Still, in spite of everything, the nasty old Constitution, that liberals like Brooks love to hate will assure him of a fair trial; and in the interim, the presumption of innocence.

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 05/31/13 - 09:42 am
0
0
folks this is a perfect
Unpublished

folks this is a perfect example of how blacks are just plain ignorant...he's claiming "da FBI is out ta git me cause i be lookin inta deese linchins fo sho, oba sebenty years pass, dats why da tryin to pit me in jail"...lets not forget there is proof he misdirected funds from his foundation to personal use...anyway he's out there trying to play the race card on the FBI when the person who is the boss of the FBI is BLACK HIMSELF!!!! (eric holder for all the project leeches, moochers, welfare brood mares and welfare parasites). and to top it off eric holder's (again who's black) boss is none other than the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES..so folks no wonder blacks are not taken seriously anymore...they have cried "racism/racist" for so long the now people just ignore the claims or laugh at them just as they are laughing at this idiot...BTW does anyone know if any of the suspects are still alive today almost 70years later...why does this moron expect "he breaks the case they then go and dig up the corpses of the accused and prop them up to be tried in court"....give me a break!!!

Jake
34136
Points
Jake 05/31/13 - 10:32 am
4
0
Moore's Ford Bridge

I hope the case is eventually solved for the sake of the victims' families.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 05/31/13 - 07:33 pm
2
0
There is no one more
Unpublished

There is no one more sensitive to the atrocities inflicted on people of color in the history of the United States than I am, but to manipulate that as a scapegoat for one's own scumbag, self-serving interests, is as low as it comes.

Jake
34136
Points
Jake 05/31/13 - 07:33 pm
1
1
Liberals

Any post that blankets "liberals" in a lock-step unit is discredited by me immediately and I always give a thumbs down. There is division in left leaning folks just as there are in the right leaning folks. Some of us that are left leaning believe in capital punishment and wish it would be administered sooner than later. l hate tags and pigeon holes.

Darby
29531
Points
Darby 06/01/13 - 07:51 am
1
0
"l hate tags and pigeon holes."

Don't we all...... However, there are times when they are more than appropriate. Brooks deserves them both.

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