The alleged Muslim extremist who attacked rookie cops with a hatchet last week was a “crusader seeking justice," according to the head of the man’s local New Black Panther Party.
“It probably won’t be the last [attack on police] because you have a lot of frustrated people out here,” Queens chapter leader Frank Sha Francois said.
Although Zale Thompson wasn’t officially a member of the local chapter, he often attended meetings and discussed police brutality cases like those involving Eric Garner and Michael Brown. While Francois has called Thompson a crusader, Francois noted that he doesn’t condone Thompson’s methods.
“I don’t condone violence, but something needs to be done,” Francois said. “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.”
Francois suggested that rallying and boycotting are more efficient ways of dealing with police brutality.
According to family and friends, Thompson was a jihadist sympathizer who hated cops and white people. He was shot dead on a sidewalk in Queens on Thursday after lunging a blue-handled hatchet at four rookie cops.
Officer Joseph Meeker and Kenneth Healey were injured in the attack. Healey is currently in stable condition, though he’s undergoing physical therapy and police have noted that his recovery was dramatic.