Civil Rights Firebrand’s Fraud Case in Georgia Now Has Others Treading Softly

Kim Severson, New York Times, May 23, 2013

In the state where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born and a legacy of lynching still informs politics, it is never easy to suggest that a leader of the civil rights movement might be a thief.

That is why Sally Yates, a United States attorney, stepped carefully last week when she brought a 54-page indictment against Tyrone Brooks, a state representative from Atlanta who got his start as a street soldier for Dr. King.

“This is a disappointing day,” her statement began. “Representative Brooks has done much good in his life, both as a state legislator and civil rights leader.”

She did not send United States marshals to arrest Mr. Brooks, 67. Instead, he was allowed to show up in court on his own this week when he pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of mail, wire and tax fraud.

In a scheme that the federal government says stretches back to the mid-1990s, Mr. Brooks is accused of using a fake charity and a secret bank account to siphon about a million dollars in donations from corporations like Coca-Cola, organizations like the Teamsters and individual donors.

With it, the government asserts, he paid for his cable television service, home repairs, dry cleaning, shoes and a host of other personal expenses, including cash gifts to his family.

The money was supposed to help support two organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of African-Americans.

The indictment says Mr. Brooks created a personal bank account to divert about $300,000 in donations to the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, of which he has been president since 1993. The money was supposed to finance voter registration drives, programs to fight child hunger and rehabilitate felons and other community efforts.

The government also claims Mr. Brooks used for his personal expenses nearly $800,000 that was donated to Universal Humanities, a charity he formed in 1990. Its purpose, at least on paper, was to help teach literacy and mentor the underprivileged.

The group exists in name only, according to the indictment. There are no offices, staff or evidence of actual programming. The board lists a number of individuals, some of whom had no idea they were on it.

The chairwoman is listed as Emma Gresham, 88, who had been a teacher and, for 17 years, the mayor of Keysville, Ga., a town near Augusta with fewer than 200 people, the majority of them African-American.

Reached at her home, Ms. Gresham could not recall the organization but said she had done literacy work for Mr. Brooks.

He has long been a hero in Keysville, where a street is named after him. In the 1980s, he helped get Ms. Gresham elected mayor in a town that was all but dying. It had no running water and a high level of illiteracy.

There had not been a mayor in 50 years. After a legal fight led by Mr. Brooks, Ms. Gresham became the first black to hold the office and greatly improved daily life for residents. “Tyrone taught us how to march,” she said.


In 1961, Mr. Brooks was 15. Caught up in the urgency of the civil rights movement, he walked into the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and volunteered. Six years later, Dr. King hired him.

Mr. Brooks claims to have been arrested over civil disobedience and other acts of protest 66 times.

At the urging of civil rights leaders, he became a state lawmaker in 1980. There he met Roy Barnes, a fellow Democrat who would later become governor. {snip}


Mr. Barnes has also helped Mr. Brooks with one of his most enduring passions: solving what is widely considered to be the last public lynching in Georgia.

It happened in the summer of 1946 near Moore’s Ford Bridge, about an hour’s drive northeast of Atlanta in what was then the heart of cotton country.

More than a dozen men hauled two black couples from their car, dragged them down a bank and shot them. One of the slain men had just returned from service in World War II, and the murders contributed to President Harry S. Truman’s order to desegregate the military.

The lynching was investigated by the F.B.I. but remains unsolved. In 2001, Mr. Barnes, then governor, ordered the case reopened. Each year since 2005, Mr. Brooks has led a dramatic re-enactment of the lynching. He plans to do so again in July.

On the steps of the federal courthouse in Atlanta on Wednesday, local leaders of the N.A.A.C.P. gathered to suggest that the indictment might be linked to Mr. Brooks’s work on the case as well as his long history of political action in Georgia.

Edward O. DuBose, president of the state chapter, would not comment on whether he thought Mr. Brooks had indeed misappropriated money that might have otherwise helped the disadvantaged. The court, Mr. DuBose said, would decide Mr. Brooks’s guilt or innocence.

But Mr. DuBose and others said federal money might be better spent further investigating the lynching as well as financing the 2008 Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

“We’re concerned that our tax money and resources are being used to target one man,” Mr. DuBose said.


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  • Eagle_Eyed

    So Brooks took money from the largely white stockholders of Coca-Cola under false pretenses, enriched himself, and then redistributed the rest to blacks who produce next-to-nothing in the economy. How is this any different from what the federal government does?

    • The__Bobster

      The federal government does it at gunpoint.

    • sbuffalonative

      How is our financial, banking system any different from a ponze scheme?

      When the government does it, it’s not a crime.

      • edwina

        well, it is a crime, they just don’t seem to have to answer for it.

    • r j p

      Good old Tyrone …..
      There are over 10,000 501(c)’s in Chicago ……. nearly one for every 300 residents. I used to see a church van parked in front of a post office everyday ….. those vehicles don’t have to pay for parking, so start a fake store-front church and free parking is yours.
      All the parking spaces in front of CPS are filled with handicapped plates ….. funny, all those fat black women seem to be able to very capably jay-walk ….

      • Non Humans

        I would call it “Waddling”. When they have to use their (excessive) weight to fling one leg in front of the other, I would hardly call it walking.
        And since when does being an obese nonhuman warrant a handicapped placard? If they’re so fat that they need a handicapped placard because of said fatness, they need a special placard mandating that they park further than average from their intended destination…with stairs thrown in somewhere!!

        • r j p

          I was going to the supermarket one day and I saw:
          A black woman being unloaded by a disability vehicle.
          Yapping on her “sail foam”.
          She was going in to spend my money, after I bought her everything she has, including her “sail foam”, and paid for her “handicapped” transportation to the supermarket.

  • The__Bobster

    it is never easy to suggest that a leader of the civil rights movement might be a thief.

    I suggest that all of them are.

    • sbuffalonative

      The question we should ask is WHY isn’t it ‘easy’ to question any black person involved in any alleged criminal conspiracy?

      Asking that question exposes the folly of political correctness.

      • Sick of it

        Equal protection under the laws becomes moot when people aren’t prosecuted due to the color of their skin (or political position for that matter).

    • White Mom in WDC

      Exactly. The Civil Rights movement was never about blacks being able to interact with civility among the white people. It was a shakedown by MLK and his elite Northern friends to kill the southern way of life and economy. It was about taking money from whites who worked and putting it the do nothing hands of negroes. It was about destroying white culture and white families. I have no compassion for any of those who were involved in the Civil Rights movement as they attempted to wreck my kids’ future

      • Sick of it

        They also wrecked black communities across the nation with integration. Their traditional leaders often left the black communities which then fell into ruin. But these same hucksters continue to hold the loyalty of so many black people, while they rip them off (obviously we always get ripped off in the effort).

    • Sick of it

      They are in my local area for sure. Plus, they’ve been supporting crooks in office that we’ve been trying to remove via petition (to the point of intimidating voters in black churches, a federal offense).

  • [Guest]

    >>>The money was supposed to help support two organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of African-Americans.

    In that case, it’s all the better if Tyrone used the money to buy shoes, pay his cable-TV bill, and line the pockets of his (probably extensive) family.

  • haroldcrews

    Call me old fashion but I always thought that lynching involved a rope. If murdering someone by the use of a firearm or anything else for that matter is now a ‘lynching’ I would say that ‘lynching’ has increased greatly since the end of Jim Crow.

    • Cheri Rodriguez

      “Each year since 2005, Mr. Brooks has led a dramatic re-enactment of the lynching.”

      When does he do re-enactments of The Wichita Massacre and Knoxville Horror?

      • robinbishop34

        Don’t hold your breath. I’ve actually been called racist for bringing those horrific incidents up.

        • Sick of it

          They call people racist for mentioning the fact that there are different races..and then proceed to push legislation in favor of one race over another. Liberal logic 101.

  • ncpride

    How can anyone have anything other than spitting contempt for this ridiculous article? 4 or 5 paragraphs about some lynching 60 plus years ago that has nothing what so ever to do with this thief and thug and his many crimes. Surely people are not so stupid as to fall for this White guilt diversion tactic any longer. Who am I kidding….Yes, some will fall for it I’m sure. *sigh*

    • sbuffalonative

      It’s a triple defense. Accuse white people of metaphorically lynching blacks, an attempt to ‘keep the hate alive’, and a means to deflect scrutiny and criticism.

  • APaige

    So-called Civil Rights leaders either steal or use extortion to obtains funds. They never seem to have a job-not even a government ‘job’.

    • dd121

      So true. Did Jessie Jackson ever get audited by the IRS when Bush was in charge? No, but his criminal financial schemes and tax evasion was well known at the time. Just another why I don’t have much use for neocons.

    • Sick of it

      Actually, they’re usually “reverends” and often state representatives (not just in this case by far).

  • Homo_Occidentalis

    The money was supposed to help support two organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of African-Americans.

    This right here tells us a great deal about who the real enemy is. The blacks are too corrupt and incompetent to further even their own cause as a people. The genocidal schemes against whites everywhere are by and large the products of other white minds.

    • Sick of it

      ^– Yep, white people (or Jews) are usually behind the killing of white people or the IDEAS that lead to it. Anyone who doubts that can look at the names and faces of people in these crazy anti-white organizations and movements, going back to the 19th century.

  • thurlow

    He siphoned money from the Teamsters? I daresay the least of his concerns is a federal prosecutor as the guys with the broken noses don’t like the Molinari.

  • edwina

    this kind of thing seems to be the norm more than the exception.

    civil rights was a scam from the beginning. Only the young and naive truly believe as life experience will wise one up very quickly.

  • brengunn

    But Mr. DuBose and others said federal money might be better spent
    further investigating the lynching as well as financing the 2008 Emmett
    Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.

    They do themselves no favours, do they? I don’t know whether black people swallow this type of BS but we can see through it right away. He’s been caught with his hands in the till and they want investigation funds to go to a murder which happened 60 years ago? Shame on them.

    • There is no Statute of Limitations on murder. Since the victim is still dead, the perp is still on the hook for it.

  • Morris LeChat

    buffwe ______mohhrt, (be a centrist)

  • Mr. E

    This is why the rate of corruption among black “civil rights leaders” is like 99%. They are the masters of crying “racism!” to get what they want so they are aware how much weak-kneed whites cower in fear of that word.

  • bigone4u

    “Tyrone taught us how to march.”

    He should have taught them how to work and how to behave as civilized persons, if that’s possible. Now he leads by example, showing them how to be crooks.

    Blacks never earn what they have. It’s always marching, robbing, raping, stealing, embezzling, or affirmative action, which is the legal version of stealing. When it’s white money being stolen, blacks are like a perverted version of a cheerleading squad, right there to cheer on the thief.

  • dd121

    Just why do some people seem surprised that a negro and negroes in general would steal at the public till? For god’s sake that’s what they do when given the opportunity.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      Yep, there really is no limit to how much blacks will steal if they’re given the chance to. Every African country has leaders and governments that constantly enrich themselves at the expense of their desperately poor constituents.

  • OlderWoman

    Why am I NOT surprised. There must be a script somewhere that’s passed around to blacks who are appointed to ‘run charities, businesses or elected to office. This script must tell them how to steal, rape and murder and if caught how to whine and protest screaming racism.

  • MBlanc46

    I’m sure he felt he was entitled to the money. He’s a congressman after all. The are a lot of millionaires in Congress. He associates with rich folks all the time. Why shouldn’t he have some money of his own? Jesse Jackson, Jr., doubtless felt the same way.

    • r j p

      JJJr is on his way ….

  • Simonetta

    So this chump gets arrested 66 times and still gets to be a state representative while I and my friends get arrested once 30 years ago for 10 cents worth of weed and we still get denied the opportunity to be bus drivers or community safety officers because of our so-called criminal record!?! And my friends and I are denied entry into Canada for a day-trip because of a 30 year old weed bust?!? What’s wrong with this picture?

    It’s time for a general amnesty for ALL drug possession offenses that are over two years old if the ‘offender’ has no other police interactions in those two years. This drug-war nonsense has got to stop. Especially now that weed is legal in Washington, Colorado, and Alaska.

    • r j p

      No general amnesty. Equal treatment for all.

  • aj

    He is only 54? MLK died 45 years ago, so he would be 9 when he died–yet he was a “street soldier” of MLK?

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Didn’t our young president claim Thelma, load, Thelma as his hometown or something?

  • IKantunderstand

    Just another Black fraud, completely stupid, completely worthless.You know, it makes one wonder what would have happened to the United(for now) States of America if all the Black slaves would have gone to Liberia, as Lincoln and the rest wanted. Maybe we could have had flying cars! No more disease! White people leaving this planet for frontiers unknown! You know, with White people gone, those super smart Jews and Chinese could have created an Utopia on Earth! The sad truth is, they will get to create something. But we Whites(that are left) aren’t going to like it. Too bad we squandered all our capital on the colored races. We could have been out of here. Oh, and by the way, I consider Whites wanting to live with their fellow Whites the same way beautiful people want to hang out with other beautiful people. Nobody questions that. Absolutely nobody questions the fact that Brad Pitt prefers Ms. Jolie to Lena Dunham. Why is it than, we Whites are under constant media attack to miscegenate with other races? Why? It’s like trying to get us to date the ugly person in high school, and get married to, and have children with them. Ugly stupid children.

  • Where as a quick search of Sally Yates and her career shows that she is however just fine with sending people to prison for insider trading.

    OT: NOM’s argument against gay marriage and a leftists argument the insider trading isn’t a victimless crime are identical.

  • WR_the_realist

    Would Coca Cola and the Teamsters donate to a charity whose purpose was to help European Americans? Even if it was a real, legitimate charity? I don’t think so. Well that charity did help at least one African American — Tyrone Brooks.

  • NYB

    “Mr. DuBose and others said federal money might be better spent further investigating the (More’s Ford Bridge) lynching as well as financing the 2008 Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.”

    Blacks shamelessly pull the race victim card when one of theirs gets caught. They must think nobody is noticing.

  • joemcgee

    This reminds me of the old AmosnAndy program when the Kingfish would propose another idiotic scheme to Andy and when Andy was thinking it over, the Kingfish would be looking at him with a big fisheye to see if he bought into it.

  • GB101

    The people at Coke who gave are not fools. They knew he was stealing.