DALLAS - The controversial founder of the New Black Panther Party is getting the squeeze from his former supporters.
Aaron McCarthy is not only being disavowed by his New Black Panthers, but according to Dallas County officials, he's no longer allowed to lead their volunteer emergency response program.
Is he still affiliated with the New Black Panthers?
It's the question that Aaron McCarthy refused to answer walking away from Dallas County Commissioners Court on Tuesday. He had just learned that his reappointment to the county's Homeland Security Advisory Committee had been suspended.
Hours earlier, the public found out about and expressed outrage over McCarthy's past. As the founder of the New Black Panther Party, he helped orchestrate disruptive demonstrations in Dallas in the 1990's, one of them ending in his arrest.
Now, according to county officials, McCarthy has also stepped down as the head of the Dallas County Emergency Response Team.
Friday, a new attack was launched on McCarthy from his own organization.
"We find it unfortunate that McCarthy would bow to the pressure brought down on him by right-wing forces and political opportunists," said Chawn Kweli, National Representative of Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. "After Mr. McCarthy and the Pig-Power structure are through playing plantation politics, the suffering of the sons and daughters of Africa remains the same."
Yet rushing to McCarthy's defense is Commissioner John Wiley Price, who says the negative publicity is unfair.
"He's worked for the State of Texas, he's worked for Dallas County over 11 years, FEMA has certified him, he's been part of a mobile unit all over this part of the country," Price said.
Still, enough concerns persist that they have apparently ended his relationship with Dallas County and started a new rule - background checks will now be run on all future emergency management volunteers.