The New Black Panther Party’s Queens chapter in New York City is calling the axman who attacked four New York City Police Department rookies a “crusader seeking justice,” the New York Post reports.
The chapter leader, Frank Sha Francois, told the Post that while he did not condone the methods the man, identified as Zale Thompson, used to respond to police brutality, it is likely that more attacks will follow.
“It probably won’t be the last [attack on police] because you have a lot of frustrated people out here,” Francois told the news site.
“I don’t condone violence, but something needs to be done,” he added, according to the Post. “We need to have some type of deterrent and real oversight to deter the police from violating the laws and to know they are not above the laws.”
Thompson was not an official member of the group, but he reportedly went to meetings and discussed police brutality with members.
“I tell people that to go up against law enforcement in this country is suicide,” Francois said about the chapter’s message. “Our main way to deal with it is to rally and boycotting.”
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton called the hatchet attack that left one officer critically wounded with a head injury an “act of terror.”
Thompson, who had converted to Islam and, Bratton said, self-radicalized, was shot and killed by the other rookies as he tried to continue his attack.
Read more at the New York Post.