The police and the FBI were going to be certain that Fred Hampton was dead. He said he felt it was his civic duty. Fourteen handpicked policemen, armed with twenty-seven firearms including a Thompson submachine and shotguns, converged on Hampton’s apartment at 4:45 a.m. “If you’ve ever been under gunfire, five minutes is five hours. The role of the FBI in the deadly raid was not then known. Chicago's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police opposed this effort. The police fired a barrage into the quiet apartment killing the two Panther leaders and wounding all of the other occupants. These initially included preparations for a bombing of a U.S. military non-commissioned officers' dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in what Brian Flanagan said had been intended to be "the most horrific hit the United States government had ever suffered on its territory".. In 1969, the FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) in San Francisco wrote Hoover that the agent's investigation had found that, in his city at least, the Panthers were primarily feeding breakfast to children. Njeri also described one of the darkest moments of her life, the night of the Massacre On Monroe, as the raid is called by allies of Hampton and the Panthers. At the memorial, dozens of supporters clad in black, leather, and the colors of the pan-African flag participated in a five-minute moment of silence and raised their fists in tribute to Hampton’s contributions to the Black Power Movement. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. under attack every single day. He was arrested twice with Jimenez at the Wicker Park Welfare Office, and both were charged with "mob action" at a peaceful picket of the office. Either way, Clark's gun discharged once into the ceiling. Unlike the Chicago leader, however, Pratt was sleeping on the floor, the result of spinal injuries sustained in Vietnam.”, It is very difficult legally to justify the vast amount of shooting throughout the apartment by police when only one shot can be ascribed with confidence to any occupant.”, The police who removed the bodies received their instructions from the State’s Attorney’s Office….By moving the bodies in the apartment from the locations in which they died, and then removing them from the premises entirely, the police on the scene severely hampered the coroner’s ability to perform his duty of determining the immediate and underlying cause of death. The case went to trial before Federal Judge J. Sam Perry. " In late 1968, the Racial Matters squad of the FBI's Chicago field office recruited William O'Neal to work with it; he had recently been arrested twice for interstate car theft and impersonating a federal officer. McCarty is now a professor at Spelman College, and she teaches the next generation about the movement and what happened the day of the raid. , Hampton's funeral was attended by 5,000 people, and he was eulogized by black leaders, including Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy – successor to Martin Luther King Jr. as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As documented by PBS, Hampton also was the first to propose the idea of the Rainbow Coalition, which Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama would co-opt as Rainbow/Push. Since August 6, a trailer for the film Judas and The Black Messiah has been picking up views on YouTube. The police however were in the know and broke into the apartment Pratt was staying in concurrently with the main raid. Fourteen handpicked policemen, armed with twenty-seven firearms including a Thompson submachine and shotguns, converged on Hampton’s apartment at 4:45 a.m. The events of Hampton's rise to prominence, J. Edgar Hoover's targeting of him, and Hampton's subsequent death are also recounted with footage in the 2015 documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Hampton was quickly attracted to the Black Panthers' approach, which was based on a Ten-Point Program that integrated black self-determination with class and economic critique from Maoism. Originally titled Jesus Was My Homeboy, the biopic of Fred Hampton's life stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield as activists Fred Hampton and William O'Neal. At least 9,878 Illinoisans have been killed — and officials warned the state could see 11,000 people dead by year's end. Do stories like this matter to you? The Plaintiffs appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed, ordering the case to be retried. When he and fellow Black Panthers later followed police in his community supervision program, watching out for police brutality, they used his knowledge of law as a defense. Years later, a member of the staff who produced the series Eyes on the Prize told the Chicago Tribune his impression of William O'Neal: "In the film he said he felt very bad about his role in infiltrating the Panthers. , At 4:00 a.m., the heavily armed police team arrived at the site, divided into two teams, eight for the front of the building and six for the rear. The inference is compelling that the State’s Attorney’s Office simply did not want a contemporaneous on-the-scene investigation by the Coroner’s Office.”, Human rights tribunal investigating hospital attacks in Cameroon civil war, Taiwan Civil Government has march in Taichung on 228 anniversary, FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two story, If prosecutor Don Kleine wants new evidence in Black Panther case let him uncover what is still hiding in Mondo’s redacted FBI file – Richardson Reports, War week was fifty years ago when the FBI fought the Black Panthers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Omaha – Richardson Reports. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Fred Hampton, head of the Chicago Black Panther Party, and Mark Clark, of the Peoria chapter, were shot to death in a December 1969 bloody, pre-dawn police raid on Hampton’s apartment. This page was last edited on 2 November 2020, at 07:23. “They tore down the actual building that was right there. As the National Archives charts, the charismatic Hampton had by the age of 20 already completed a successful stint with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to join the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party and rise to the position of chairman of the Illinois Chapter. She said she thought about the Panther's 10-point plan to keep her calm. ( Log Out / View all posts by richardsonreports, Did an incident similar to this also occur in the Detroit, Michigan area? The arms raid was part of an illegal FBI COINTELPRO operation aimed at disrupting the growing political power of the Black Panther Party and other leftist political groups. Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. she recalled. This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). In 1967, Hampton was identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a radical threat. On the morning of December 12, after the Chicago Tribune article had appeared with the Hanrahan-supplied photos, Challem contacted a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, showed him his own photographs, and encouraged the other reporter to visit the apartment. In an unsigned editorial headlined "No Quarter for Wild Beasts", the Chicago Tribune urged that Chicago police officers approaching suspected Panthers "should be ordered to be ready to shoot. Akua Njeri speaks at the memorial for Chairman Fred Hampton. When Bob Brown left the Party with Kwame Ture, in the FBI-fomented SNCC/Panther split, Hampton assumed chairmanship of the Illinois state BPP. Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. Hampton, drugged by barbiturates, was sleeping on a mattress in the bedroom with his fiancée, Deborah Johnson, who was nine months pregnant with their child. A 1969 speech given by Hampton shows that a lot of his radical vision was lost over the years: "We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. One of the programs the party launched was the People’s Medical Care Center in North Lawndale that provided free health care to the community. The survivors were reported to have refused to testify during the inquest because they faced criminal charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault during the raid. The article included photographs, supplied by Hanrahan's office, that depicted bullet holes in a thin white curtain and door jamb as evidence that the Panthers fired multiple bullets at the police.
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