Historic World Events / December / Police kill two members of the Black Panther Party
Police kill two members of the Black Panther Party

Police kill two members of the Black Panther Party

Black Panthers Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22, are gunned down by 14 cops because they lie sleeping within their Chicago, Illinois, apartment. About 100 bullets have been fired in what police referred to as a fierce gun struggle with members of the Black Panther Party. However, ballistics professionals later determined that only 1 of these bullets originated from the Panthers’ side. In addition, the “bullet holes” in leading door of the apartment, which police pointed to as evidence that the Panthers have been shooting from within the apartment, have been really nail holes created by police so that they can hide the attack. Four other Black Panthers were wounded in the raid, as as two cops effectively.

The raid, which have been led by Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan, was only 1 of several attempts by the federal government to weaken the Black Power movement. Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI have been battling civil rights activists along with other minority leaders for a long time making use of their Cointelpro program, whose objective, in accordance with one FBI document, was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters.” Although the FBI had not been in charge of leading this specific raid, a federal grand jury indicated that the bureau played a important part in the events before the raid Hanrahan had utilized details supplied by FBI informant William O’Neal, who was simply third in command of the Chicago Panthers, to strategy his attack.

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There was also a conscious effort by the FBI to utilize “aggressive and imaginary tactics” to avoid the “rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement.” They apparently regarded Fred Hampton, an outspoken, charismatic activist who was simply chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, to be this type of potential leader. Hampton became mixed up in civil rights struggle at an extremely early age: At 15, a chapter was organized by him of the NAACP at his higher college, and he became chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Partywhen he was 20. Many other leaders of the Panthers, such as for example Huey Newton, Assata Shakur, and Bobby Seale, spent amount of time in jail on charges predicated on tiny or no evidence.

Although most media coverage of the Black Panthers centered on their violent rhetoric and the truth they carried arms, the Panthers have already been involved with many nonviolent community-organizing activities. They supplied meals and health-related care to the needy, preached political empowerment, crusaded against police brutality, and began a educational school. As Fred Hampton himself said shortly before his death, “There have been many attacks made upon the Black Panther Party, so we feel it’s best to be an armed propaganda unit. But the basic thing is to educate.” Unfortunately for Hampton and another Panthers targeted by the FBI, becoming armed didn’t aid to guard against governmental repression. In fact, it could possibly have even created matters worse by aiding the FBI in legitimizing their aggressive techniques.

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Despite the data provided by ballistics specialists showing that police had fired 99 % of the bullets and had falsified the report on the incident, the initial federal grand jury didn’t indict anyone mixed up in raid. Furthermore, even although a subsequent grand jury did indict all of the cops involved, the charges have already been dismissed.

Survivors of the attack and relatives of Hampton and Clark filed case against Hampton along with other officials, that was finally settled in 1983.

Source: History