New Black Panther leader jailed in DeKalb County

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

Hasim Nzinga

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A leading member of the controversial New Black Panther Party remains in the DeKalb County Jail Tuesday after deputies arrested him on weapons charges.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Squad arrested Hashim Nzinga, 49, Monday night on charges he possessed a handgun even though he was a convicted felon.

"They arrested him at his probation office in Lawrenceville," Dekalb Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Adrion Bell said. "(Nzinga) pawned a handgun to a local pawn shop, so that put him in possession of the firearm."

Bell said a Gwinnett County jury convicted Nzinga in February of felony deposit account fraud. It is illegal in Georgia for a convicted felon to possess a firearm of any kind.

Bell said Nzinga pawned an FN Herstal handgun at the Stone Mountain Pawn Shop on Rockbridge Road on March 5. During routine checks, DeKalb police spotted the transaction.

"From the little that I've read on (that gun), it is a high-end handgun. It is not a cheap little Saturday night special," he said, using a slang term for a small, inexpensive handgun.

Nzinga is being held on $10,000 bond. Tuesday afternoon, records showed he was still incarcerated.

On his Facebook page, Nzinga states he is the New Black Panther Party's chief of staff. The organization made headlines Monday for offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Channel 2 Action News attempted to contact the New Black Panther Party for comment, but calls were not returned.

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