State Representative Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) stood his ground on very historic ground Thursday, deflecting the 30 counts of fraud recently leveled against him
The federal indictment claims Rep. Brooks siphoned nearly $1 million from charitable organizations under his leadership over the course of 17 years. Brooks say it isn't so.
"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," Rep. Brooks said.
The longtime civil rights leader spoke out Thursday afternoon from the spot in Monroe County where two black couples were lynched in 1946. Rep. Brooks says the federal indictment is the result of this work in trying to solve the decade's old crime.
At Thursday's news conference, Brooks responded to why the administration of President Obama and U.S. Attorney Eric Holder would target him.
"I'm not going to accuse the President or Attorney General Holder of anything. I can say this, the FBI, from 1946 up until today as an institution, has not seen fit to pursue these criminals and bring them to the ball of justice," he said.
Former federal prosecutor Amy Weil says she disagrees, calling the targeting of someone over his work on a decades old crime inconceivable.
"The FBI has been looking into this lynching from 1946 and they've made movement on the case," Weil said. "So, it's very hard to understand a defense which would be the federal government's going after Mr. Brooks to try to encourage the investigation."
The U.S. Attorney and the FBI in Atlanta declined to comment on Rep. Brooks' statements