Politician Sued Over BBQ Scuffle With Ex-Panther

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks assaulted former Black Panther party leader Elaine Brown at a popular restaurant downtown, Brown claims in Alameda County Superior Court.
     Elaine Brown claims she was celebrating her completion of a funding application for a proposed West Oakland affordable housing project at Everett & Jones Barbeque when Brooks — who represents Oakland’s District 6 — “unleashed a tsunami of criminal, assaultive, violent conduct” on her.
     Brown is currently the CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises, a nonprofit whose mission is “to launch and sustain for-profit businesses for ownership by formerly incarcerated and other economically marginalized people.”
     According to the lawsuit, Brooks’ conduct at the restaurant began with a “venomously aggressive monologue and tirade,” in which she allegedly declared that Brown’s development project was “of no benefit to black people.”
     Brooks told Brown that she did not understand “that black people needed not apartments to rent, but homes to buy,” and told her that the money for Brown’s project “should be allocated for black home ownership,” the complaint says.
     Brooks’ talk escalated into a violent physical confrontation, Brown says.
     According to Brown, the councilwoman told her, “I have not moved on you before because you’re old,” and then struck Brown in the chest with two fists, knocking the 72-year-old to the ground.
     Brown sued Brooks and the city of Oakland for elder abuse and assault and battery.
     Charles Bonner, who represents Brown, told Courthouse News that Brooks’ alleged behavior is “not the way in America that we have political discussions.”
     “We reason with each other. We remain nonviolent,” Bonner said. “This is not the way the Oakland public wants to see their representatives behave themselves.”
     Brooks did not respond to an email requesting comment on Friday afternoon.
     Bonner’s office is in Sausalito, California.

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