Roommate speaks about activist's arrest

New Black Party Panther member says arrest political in nature

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Outspoken New Black Party Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad gained national attention last year when he offered a $10,000 bounty for George Zimmerman's capture, putting Zimmerman's face in the crosshairs.

According to police, it was Muhammad's treatment of his own wife inside his Northside home that has landed himself in jail.

"(His wife) never comes out the room unless he is out, and even when he is out, she never comes out that room, never," said a woman who's one of three of Muhammad's roommates.

She said tenants were ordered to always keep the front burglar doors locked, and she said Muhammad's wife didn't have a key.

"That's no way for anyone to be treated, to live their lives," the woman said. "And if she got away from this, she's better off because it could have gotten worse."

According to police reports, Muhammad's wife texted a friend saying she was being held against her will and feared for her life. When officers arrived, his wife mouthed the words, 'Help me,' and she was escorted to a police cruiser. When police went back to the house to retrieve her passport and belongings, they say Muhammad (booking photo, right) confronted officers and was taken into custody for resisting arrest.

"I see Mikhail being exonerated in this case," said James Muhammad, of the New Black Panther Party. "We are going to move forward with Trayvon Martin."

James Muhammad said Mikhail was targeted, calling his arrest political in nature, a planned distraction before Zimmerman's trial next month.

"I have to believe there is a connection," he said. "We also believe this is a tactic to move us away from our mission in Sanford on June 10."

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