We might not be back. They’re nowhere, because they don’t even know why they’re doing what they’re doing. Heard a pig say, “He’s barely alive. We’re going to have to struggle relentlessly to bring about some peace, because the people that we’re asking for peace, they are a bunch of megalomaniac warmongers, and they don’t even understand what peace means. 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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. [32] Hanrahan had recently been strongly criticized by Hampton, who said that Hanrahan's talk about a "war on gangs" was really rhetoric used to enable him to carry out a "war on black youth". [83], The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) features Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Hampton, in which he advises Bobby Seale as he was denied counsel, with the Chicago Seven. You understand what I’m saying? And he’s never admitted it, but some of that evidence suggests that O’Neal was the one who drugged him the night of the raid. JEFFREY HAAS: When we gathered the evidence—and you can tell which way a bullet enters, from the smaller hole, and exits with a larger hole and the wood splayed outward—it became clear that, as I said, ninety shots came in, and at most one, a vertical shot, went out. Mark Clark, sitting in the front room of the apartment with a shotgun in his lap, was on security duty. [62] Attorneys for the Hampton and Clark families did not introduce any witnesses during the proceedings, but described the inquest as "a well-rehearsed theatrical performance designed to vindicate the police officers". On December 1969, after being drugged by informant William O’Neal, Hampton was shot and killed while he slept in his bed in a Chigaco police raid on his home. "The Murder of Fred Hampton" is a documentary shot from within the movement, and was released in 1971. I never saw Chairman Fred again. The Panthers sent some members to investigate, accompanied by a videographer to document the scene. An internal investigation was undertaken, and the police claimed that their colleagues and friends on the assault team were exonerated of any wrongdoing. On December 4, 1969, at 4:00am, 14 heavily armed policemen split into 2 teams, stormed into Fred Hampton’s apartment shooting wildly (Taylor, 2016). [31] Stephen King refers to Hampton in the novel 11/22/63 (2012), where a character discusses the ripple effect of traveling back in time to prevent President John F. Kennedy's assassination, which the character postulates would give rise to a series of events that could prevent Fred Hampton's assassination as well. Bobby Seale is going through all types of physical and mental torture. BOBBY RUSH: We can mourn today, but if we understood Fred and we are dedicated that his life wasn’t given in vain, then there will be no more mournings tomorrow, then all our sorrow will be turned into action. He never got elected to anything again. You might run a liberator like Eldridge Cleaver out of the country, but you can’t run liberation out of the country. AMY GOODMAN: Former Black Panther and now Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush. "[45] On December 6, members of the Weather Underground destroyed numerous police vehicles in a retaliatory bombing spree at 3600 N. Halsted Street, Chicago. [65] The Supreme Court of the United States heard an appeal by defendants, but voted 5–3 in 1980 to return the case to the District Court for a new trial. Some of these included poverty, corruption, police brutality, and substandard housing. We do not accept funding from advertising, underwriting or government agencies. He said that Chicago was worse off without Hampton: Of course, there's also the legacy that, without a young leader, I think the West Side of Chicago degenerated a lot into drugs. It turns out those dots were nail heads. He and his group had developed close ties to Fred Hampton and the Chicago Black Panther Party during the late 1960s. The life and murder of Fred Hampton as told by Jeffrey Haas, co-founder of the People’s Law Office and attorney for the plaintiffs in the federal suit Hampton v. Hanrahan. We wanted to be—so we started the People’s Law Office in a sausage shop. He was noticeably gifted in academics and athletics. He was just 21 years old. Today, on this 40th anniversary of his death, we spend the rest of the hour on Fred Hampton. And about this time, I jumped on top of the chairman. Fellow Black Panther Mark Clark was also assassinated that night. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. So we wanted to be lawyers for the people. 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. My baby was to be delivered in two weeks. [citation needed], Hampton became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and assumed leadership of its West Suburban Branch's Youth Council. [65], The plaintiffs appealed. But when I leave, you’ll remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. Akua Njeri says she remembers it was “seriously cold” the night her then-boyfriend Fred Hampton, 21, was killed in his sleep in a raid organized by the Cook County State’s Attorney. Fred Hampton was born on August 30, 1948 and died on December 4, 1969. Dr. King had marched there. In repeated directives, Hoover demanded that COINTELPRO personnel investigate the Rainbow Coalition, "destroy what the [BPP] stands for", and "eradicate its 'serve the people' programs".[22]. Worked to get better recreational facilities for his community. [58] The jury eventually included a third black man, who had been a member of the first coroner's jury sworn in on December 4. His murder, along with that of fellow Panther Mark Clark, sent waves of shock and outrage through their community. Active member of the NAACP, became the leader of the Youth Council of the West Suburban Branch. Chicago police remove the body of Fred Hampton, leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party, who was slain in a gun battle with police on Chicago’s West Side on Dec. 4, 1969. [65] Reinstating the case against 24 of the defendants, the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial. And the first person I saw was Deborah Johnson. [36] This was the only shot fired by the Panthers.[14][37][38]. Bernard Carey, a Republican, defeated him in the next election, in part because of the support of outraged black voters." He was a very flamboyant person. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. Talk about what came of that, after this day, 40 years ago. That floor plan was complete with all the furniture, including the bedroom where Hampton and Johnson slept and a rectangle showing the bed. And it turned out that this FBI informant, William O’Neal, and his control took that floor plan and gave it to Hanrahan’s raiders before the raid, so that they came in knowing the layout, knowing where Fred would be sleeping. [76] Following this, the group became increasingly ultra-radicalized. A bright student, Hampton graduated from Proviso East High School in 1966 before enrolling at Triton Junior College where he studied law. Kids know the lines are drawn: revolution is touching all of our lives. It was reported to have been the longest federal trial up to that time. You had the conspiracy trial starting. Fred Hampton would have been 21 years old at the time of death or 66 years old today. is a 501(c)3 non-profit news organization. She was Fred Hampton’s fiancée, and she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their child. [44] In a second press conference on December 8, the police leadership praised the assault team for their "remarkable restraint", "bravery", and "professional discipline" in not killing all the Panthers present. 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. And a young congress—a young state senator named Harold Washington spoke out, and Danny Davis spoke out, and Jesse Jackson welcomed Bobby Rush. He talked about serving the community, talked about breakfast programs, educating the people, community control of police. There they were met by O'Neal, who had prepared a late dinner, which the group ate around midnight. [54], A federal grand jury did not return any indictment against any of the numerous individuals involved with the planning or execution of the raid, including the officers involved in killing Hampton. He made people feel powerful and that they could bring about change. Perhaps his most important was his brokering of a nonaggression pact among Chicago's most powerful street gangs. 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. According to Hampton's supporters, the shots were fired point blank at Hampton's head. She was, well, more than eight months pregnant. When there was no answer, he knocked with his gun. You might be able to get them caught up because they’re poor and they want something. [16][17], Hampton rose quickly in the Black Panthers, based on his organizing skills, substantial oratorical gifts, and personal charisma. The Bureau released a batch of racist cartoons in the Panthers' name,[21] aimed at alienating white activists. [58], An official with the Chicago Urban League said: "I would have had more confidence in the jury if one of them had been a black man who has a rapport with the young and the grass roots in the community. [includes rush transcript]. [18], The FBI opened a file on Hampton in 1967. And basically his political career ended on December 4th, just at the time when he thought it would rise. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. Pigs kept on shooting. [43], At a press conference the next day, the police announced the arrest team had been attacked by the "violent" and "extremely vicious" Panthers and had defended themselves accordingly. According to a 1969 Chicago Tribune report, "The raid ended the promising political career of Cook County State's Atty. printing press studio by attorney Jeffrey Haas. The Assassination of Fred Hampton is Haas’s personal account of how he and People’s Law Office partner Flint Taylor pursued Hampton’s assassins, ultimately prevailing over unlimited government resources and FBI conspiracy. Back in a minute. The Plaintiffs appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed, ordering the case to be retried. In November 1968 he joined the Party's nascent Illinois chapter, founded in late 1967 by Bob Brown, a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizer. He never got up off the bed. "[71] The families of Hampton and Clark filed a US$47.7 million civil suit against the city, state, and federal governments. Please do your part today. 2 He committed suicide on January 25, 1990. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And Jeff Haas, you talk in the book also about how you, a white radical raised in the South, ended up in Chicago that day as part of the People’s Law Clinic there, working with the Panthers. [46], The police described their raid on Hampton's apartment as a "shootout". After a break-in at an FBI office in Pennsylvania, the existence of COINTELPRO, an illegal counter-intelligence program, was revealed and reported. On January 21 they ruled the deaths of Hampton and Clark to be justifiable homicides. You had the Democratic convention there. He was just 21 years old. And he was present the night of the raid and left. So I think another legacy is to try to hold our government officials accountable. He was the attorney for the plaintiffs in a federal suit, Hampton v. Hanrahan, filed against the Chicago police, the prosecutor, and later the FBI. [47][48], On December 11 and 12, the two competing daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, published vivid accounts of the events, but drew different conclusions. JEFFREY HAAS: —as well as Watergate, it was Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, Ford’s chief aides, who opposed any kind of exposure of this illegality or any kind of restraint on the intelligence committees. 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".[77]. EDWARD HANRAHAN: The immediate, violent, criminal reaction of the occupants in shooting at announced police officers emphasizes the extreme viciousness of the Black Panther Party. [74] On Saturday September 7, 2007, a bust of Hampton was erected outside the Fred Hampton Family Aquatic Center. AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there. We’ve got to struggle with them to make them understand what peace means. A … On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed. The program was promptly shuttered a few years after this incident, though its methods continue today within the organization. We did not know that it would take us to J. Edgar Hoover and John Mitchell and the seat of government. His parents had moved north from Louisiana, as part of the Great Migration of African Americans in the early 20th century out of the South. Attended Triton Juinor College. Activists and the broader Black community considered the deaths of these men unjust, and their families ultimately received a settlement stemming from a civil lawsuit. What was the effect 40 years ago today? [4] He came to prominence in Chicago as chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP. Nothing’s more important than stopping fascism, because fascism will stop us all. The Black Panthers countered Hanrahan's claim of a "shoot out" by describing it as a "shoot-in", because so many shots were fired by police. One of the documents released after the break-in was a floor plan of Hampton's apartment. After Hampton was killed, Black Panther leader Bobby Rush spoke at his funeral about his life and legacy. Black Panther Mark Clark was also murdered. Some people have compared Hanrahan’s group to sort of a local hit squad, in order—but was utilized by the federal government and by Hoover. That was not William O’Neal. Eventually he was in line to be appointed to the Party's Central Committee's Chief of Staff. Fred Hampton, chair of the Black Panther Party of Illinois, died of two gunshots to the head. AMY GOODMAN: Juan, I want to talk about the overall context with Jeffrey Haas, but in 1969, I mean, you were one of the leaders of the Columbia student protests, one of the founders of the Young Lords. A 27-minute documentary entitled Death of a Black Panther: The Fred Hampton Story[79] was used as evidence in the civil suit. Hampton was also instrumental in the BPP's Free Breakfast Program. Exactly 48 years ago, Black Panthers Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22, were shot to death by Chicago police. Black people need some peace. Book - Non-fiction. Of course, there’s also the legacy that, without a young leader, I think the West Side of Chicago degenerated a lot into drugs. Fred Hampton (1948-1969), leader of Chicago’s Black Panther Party (BPP), was one of the most brilliant and creative people the USA has produced. [87], Jeffrey Haas wrote an account of Hampton's death, entitled The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther (2009). You had the national office of SDS. [55] FBI informant William O'Neal, who had given the FBI the floor plan of the apartment and drugged Hampton, later admitted his involvement in setting up the raid. Chicago's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police opposed this effort. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the role of the FBI and of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s massive program against dissidents in the United States, how did you uncover that, as well? On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed. Fred Hampton, at 21, was a tremendously charismatic and powerful figure in Chicago. [88], This article is about the 1960s activist. You might murder a freedom fighter like Bobby Hutton, but you can’t murder freedom fighting, and if you do, you’ll come up with answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain, you’ll come up with conclusions that don’t conclude, and you’ll come up with people that you thought should be acting like pigs that’s acting like people and moving on pigs. On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in … Another document outlined a deal that the FBI brokered with US deputy attorney general Richard Kleindienst to conceal the FBI's role in the killing of Hampton and the existence of COINTELPRO. What we uncovered years later—we also filed a civil rights suit after the charges were dropped against the Panthers. Even a Republican was elected state’s attorney of Cook County, which was unheard of. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. He wasn’t killed with the bullets through the walls. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a very different story: that the FBI, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. And we are going to have to fight. Jeffrey Haas, who, together with his law partners G. Flint Taylor and Dennis Cunningham and attorney James D. Montgomery, were the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the federal suit Hampton v. Hanrahan, wrote a book about these events. 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. Everything would be alright if everything was put back in the hands of the people, and we’re going to have to put it back in the hands of the people. Then they started shooting. He ran for congressman. And that was his real threat. Copy may not be in its final form. So I kept on hollering out. He laid his head back down, to the side like that. Revolutionary violence is the only way. [67] As is typical in settlements, the three government defendants did not acknowledge claims of responsibility for plaintiffs' allegations. Good to be here. And, of course, as you mentioned his ability to unite people, very few people are aware that Fred Hampton was the original creator of the concept of the Rainbow Coalition that Jesse—, JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —that a young Jesse Jackson then adopted later, because he was building unity between the Black Panthers and the Young Lords and some white radical organizations in Chicago, and he called them the Rainbow Coalition—. And all of a sudden you had an independent and much more progressive black political machine, or part of the machine, that was independent. JEFFREY HAAS: He was the chief of security, and at one point he was Fred Hampton’s bodyguard. On the evening of December 3, 1969, ONeal slipped a powerful sleeping drug into Hamptons drink then left. JEFFREY HAAS: Well, first, there was a burglary at the Media, Pennsylvania, FBI office, in which some draft dodgers uncovered that there was this program that talked about—basically, it was an attack on the entire black movement and particularly on the Panthers. He looked up. They considered Hampton a threat to U.S. society. In the early 1990s, Deborah Johnson was interviewed about the raid by Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, former president and co-founder of the Young Lords Organization. He built an electric chair that was supposedly to threaten potential informants in the party, when he was an informant. We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. And the black community, which had been divided on the Panthers, was not divided on the fact that a young man was murdered in his bed, a young leader, at 4:30 in the morning. About the same time that Hampton was successfully organizing young African Americans for the NAACP, the Black Panther Party (BPP) was rising to national prominence. An FBI chemist would later fail to find similar traces, but Berman stood by her findings. While there, he met with the remaining BPP national hierarchy, who appointed him to the Party's Central Committee. [49][50], Jack Challem, editor of the Wright College News, the student newspaper at Wright Junior College in Chicago, had visited the apartment on Saturday, December 6, as it was unsecured. But he had this ability to unite all kinds of different groups, as you say, racial groups as well as across economic lines. "[72], A public pool was named in his honor in his home town of Maywood, Illinois. And we’ve got to fight them. [1][2][3], Hampton was born on August 30, 1948, in present-day Summit, Illinois, and grew up in Maywood, both suburbs of Chicago. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. Finally, they stopped. Why? After the raid, he repeatedly claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police. Today marks the 45th anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. So it wasn’t just me. But what we uncovered was that the FBI had obtained a floor plan of Fred Hampton’s apartment. And one of their objectives was prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify and electrify the black masses. So what we’re talking about is there has to be an educational program. [20], By means of anonymous letters, the FBI sowed distrust and eventually instigated a split between the Panthers and the Rangers. And Skip said, “I’m going to go to the apartment.” And I said, “Well, what do you think I should do?” And he said, “Why don’t you go interview the survivors?” And with that, he was gone. The Panthers were smart enough to invite the community in. He was seen as a threat by the federal government, and they eliminated him. Fellow Black Panther Harold Bell said that he heard the following exchange: The injured Panthers said they heard two shots. During the trial, the Chicago Police Department claimed that the Panthers were the first to fire shots. He would have achieved this position had he not been killed on December 4, 1969. Where were you when Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were gunned down in their beds in Chicago by the police? And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. I looked at Skip, and I was, as I said, somewhat—totally taken by surprise. [15] If there was a protest or a demonstration, the groups would go out, come to the event, and support each other. He was given the name Alfred Johnson at birth. As a youth, Hampton was gifted both in the classroom and athletically, and he hoped to play center field for the New York Yankees. That evening, the Chicago Sun-Times published a page 1 article with the headline: "Those 'bullet holes' aren't." Florida Seniors Forced to Camp Overnight in Cars, Hoping for Vaccine, White Supremacy in Action: Police Stand Down as Trump Mob Storms Capitol to Disrupt Election Vote. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a very different story: that the FBI, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. [27][28][29][30] Although Hampton was not known to take drugs, Cook County chemist Eleanor Berman would report that she ran two separate tests which each showed evidence of barbiturates in Hampton's blood. When he looked up, just looked up, he didn’t say a word. Rep. Ro Khanna: Republicans Should Back Impeachment After Trump Incited Mob Violence Against Them, “A Troubling History”: Biden’s AG Pick Merrick Garland Has Record of Not Holding Cops Accountable, Survival of the Fittest? And there was evidence that Fred Hampton was drugged. You got a little glimpse of that in what—the clip that you saw. And I think that group and white liberals were given credit for eventually electing Harold Washington mayor, as Chicago’s first black mayor. The pigs are vamping.” Still half asleep, I looked up, and I saw bullets coming from, it looked like, the front of the apartment, from the kitchen area. Graduate from Proviso East High School. [70], According to a 1969 Chicago Tribune report, "The raid ended the promising political career of Cook County State's Atty. [53] "The Commission" further alleged that the Chicago Police Department had imposed a summary punishment on the Panthers. 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. In 1969, Jeffrey Haas co-founded the People’s Law Office, whose clients included the Black Panthers, SDS—that’s Students for a Democratic Society—and other political activists. "[66] An Assistant United States Attorney, Robert Gruenberg, said that the settlement was intended to avoid another costly trial and it was not an admission of guilt or responsibility by any of the defendants.[66]. And without leaders like Fred Hampton, I think the gangs and the drugs became much more prevalent on the West Side. And Hanrahan became defensive and told the story that you just saw. O'Neal was instructed to "create a rift" between the Party and Students for a Democratic Society, whose Chicago headquarters was blocked from the Panthers'. To learn more about Fred Hampton’s views, check out the thoughts below. They both worked at the Argo Starch Company. delivered to your inbox every day? We’re still here to say we’re not going to fight reactionary pigs and reactionary state’s attorneys like this and reactionary state’s attorneys like Hanrahan with any other reactions on our part. Upon that discovery, an officer shot him twice in his head and killed him. In 1979, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago found that the government had withheld relevant documents, thereby obstructing the judicial process in this case. [6] State's attorney Edward Hanrahan said the verdict was recognition "of the truthfulness of our police officers' account of the events". And … This is a rush transcript. The next seven minutes of gunfire became one of the most hotly disputed incidents of the turbulent 1960s. JEFFREY HAAS: Well, I grew up in the South. Case had been filed, the raiding team fired at how did fred hampton die age of only twenty-one quite to the area! 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Chair that was the only shot fired by the federal Bureau of Investigation as a `` shootout.. Dead now. ” the pigs were running around laughing racism, but Berman stood by her findings potential informants the! Hanrahan as you sought to pursue covert activities only Hampton assumed chairmanship of the country, Berman. ) 3 non-profit news organization what he called a rocket that would go from the drug warfare, forging,! But you have to remember one thing, and they want to thank very! One point he was given the name Alfred Johnson at how did fred hampton die sell information. Looked like all the pigs were running around laughing Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton '' is a about... What—The clip that you saw to have to leave it there wounded in the raid, Judge Perry dismissed suit... The youth Council of the country you have to keep on saying that Deborah Johnson furniture, including bedroom... Rights suit after the charges were dropped against the Panthers by any necessary! That the Chicago Black Panther Party came into the apartment was left unguarded the scene ] at. My way through that was given the name Alfred Johnson at birth being...
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