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Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Friday, December 04, 2009

We Remember Chairman Fred

This is a reprint of a Chicago Tribune article released forty years ago. I will never forget. I hope you take time to either know or remember.

UHURU!!!



December 4, 1969

The Black Panther Raid and the death of Fred Hampton

Controversy rages after seven minutes of gunfire silence two members of the revolutionary group.

Fred Hampton, 1969
Illinois Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in October 1969. Two months later he was dead after a violent police raid at a West Side apartment that was a stronghold of the Illinois Black Panther Party. The seven minutes of gunfire that took place became one of the most hotly disputed incidents of the turbulent 1960s. (Photo courtesy Chicago Today)




With sunrise more than an hour away, eight police officers from the Cook County state's attorney's office crept to the front of a tattered two-flat on Chicago's West Side. Another six officers were at the back door. Inside, nine people slept in the first-floor apartment, where 19 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were stored. This apartment, at 2337 W. Monroe St., was a stronghold of the Illinois Black Panther Party, a branch of a national group known for revolutionary politics and for killing cops.

About 4:45 a.m., Sgt. Daniel Groth knocked on the front door. When there was no answer, he knocked with his gun. The next seven minutes of gunfire became one of the most hotly disputed incidents of the turbulent 1960s. After the shooting stopped, Illinois Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, 21, and a party leader from Peoria, Mark Clark, 22, were dead.

Racial tensions, police suspicion and the Panthers' radical politics had already proved a volatile combination. Founded in 1966, the party quickly became a menacing, yet romanticized, force. In the two years before the raid, police and Panthers had engaged in eight gun battles nationally, in which three police officers and five Panthers died. Four of the shootouts, including one in which two police officers were killed, occurred in Chicago.

In the angry controversy after the raid, police maintained they were justified in opening fire, but the Panthers saw the raid as a pretext for killing Hampton.

The Tribune became part of the uproar when it published a photograph showing holes in a door jamb that it identified as coming from bullets fired from inside the apartment. They proved to be nail heads.

Months later, a federal investigation showed that only one shot was fired by the Panthers, although that number remained in dispute. Police fired 82 to 99 shots.

The raid ended the promising political career of Cook County State's Atty. Edward V. Hanrahan, who was indicted but cleared with 13 other law-enforcement agents on charges of obstructing justice. Bernard Carey, a Republican, defeated him in the next election, in part because of the support of outraged black voters.

Black Panthers' Fred Hampton at a Grant Park rally in 1969. (The lines seen on the image are damage to the original print from Tribune files) Hampton was killed in his Chicago apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that same year.


Black Panthers' Fred Hampton at a Grant Park rally in 1969. (The lines seen on the image are damage to the original print from Tribune files) Hampton was killed in his Chicago apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that same year.



Know the truth about what happened.


All power to the people.