[imc-la] LA meeting to defend Black Panther pp-pows Sun Jan 28, 2 pm

Michael Novick antiracistaction_la at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 23 22:39:54 PST 2007

The Jericho Amnesty Coalition Los Angeles had scheduled its next
meeting for Sunday, January 28 at 2:00 PM in Little Tokyo, 333 S.
Alameda, suite 323 (third floor in the shopping mall) to discuss an
upcoming activity featuring "Legacy of Torture: The War Against the
Black Liberation Movement," about the torture of Black Panther Party
members in the 1970s, and the more recent incarceration of several as
grand jury resisters. (The movie is scheduled for next month as part
of Black History month activities and will be shown at the Southern CA

However, the meeting takes on new urgency in the light of breaking
news that authorities have indicted and/or arrested eight people and
charged them with the 1971 death of a police officer in San Francisco.
The eight, including LA area residents Ray Boudreaux and Hank Jones,
and currently incarcerated political prisoners Herman Bell and Anthony
Jalil Muntaquin Bottom, are accused of being members of the Black
Liberation Army (BLA), a group that fought back from underground
against the FBI/police COINTELPRO domestic war on the BPP. It is
urgent that all people of conscience and defenders of the Black
Liberation struggle get involved in the political and legal defense of
these comrades, who have dedicated their lives, in some cases from
behind bars, to the struggle for freedom. Please make every effort to
attend this meeting and please forward this message widely. Here's the
LA Times story on the arrests:

8 arrested in 1971 cop-killing tied to Black Panthers
By JOHN M. GLIONNA, Times Staff Writer
2:32 PM PST, January 23, 2007

BLA members arrested
Photo Gallery
BLA members arrested
SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight men were arrested today in connection with the
1971 shotgun murder of a San Francisco police officer in a case that
authorities said involved a five-year conspiracy to kill police
officers throughout the United States.

A joint task state and federal task force identified seven of the
arrested as former members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent arm
of the Black Panthers.

The arrests, which were made in California, New York and Florida, were
the culmination of an investigation into the activities of the BLA,
which in the late 1960s and early '70s "were bent on creating terror
and chaos by assassinating police officers," said Morris Tabak, deputy
chief of investigations for the San Francisco Police Department.

The eight men have been charged with the murder of Sgt. John V. Young,
who was gunned down Aug. 29, 1971 at a police station here. They have
also been charged with conspiracy to murder police officers,
authorities said.

The men arrested today were: Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, and Henry
Watson Jones, 71, both of Altadena; Richard Brown, 65, of San
Francisco; Francisco Torres, 58, of Queens, N.Y.; Herman Bell, 59, and
Anthony Bottom, 55, who are both incarcerated in New York state; and
Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City, Fla.

Another man, Richard O'Neal, 57, of San Francisco, was arrested on
conspiracy to murder police officers. He was not charged "as an active
participant" in the Young killing, authorities said.

A ninth suspect, Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62, was charged with
murder, conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault on a police
officer in connection with the killing of Young. Bridgeforth was still
at large.

Authorities said they will seek extradition of all of the men to stand
trial in California.

The investigation, named the Phoenix Task Force, has for years been
collecting evidence on a series of nationwide attacks on police officers.

Investigators today named four incidents in the years between 1968 and
1973, including the bombing of a police officer's funeral and the
attempted bombing of a police station, both in San Francisco; the
murder of two New York City police officers; and three armed bank
robberies, whose proceeds, they said, were used to fund the BLA's
criminal activities.

This is not the first time arrests have been made in the Young killing.

In 1975, three defendants were charged with the shooting, but a judge
dismissed the case, ruling that evidence gathered against the men was
gained through torture. An attorney representing one of the men has
said that the police used cattle prods and wet blankets in an attempt
to force a confession.

At a news conference in San Francisco, task force members refused to
discuss specifics of their ongoing investigation. Several task force
members addressed reporters next to visual aids that included an
enlarged photograph of Officer Young, an undated mug shot of
Bridgeforth, as well as an aerial view of the Ingleside police station
where Young was killed.

Authorities said the probe into the death of the San Francisco officer
was reopened in 1999 "after advances in forensic science led to new
evidence in one of the unsolved cases," according to a press release.

They would not confirm that DNA samples were part of the evidence.

"There was a strong anti-government sentiment in the late 1960s and
early 1970s when the BLA members were bent on creating terror and
chaos by assassinating police officers," Tabak said. "We believe the
motive for the crimes was the furtherance of these revolutionary views."

Investigators on Tuesday also offered a $100,000 reward for
information into the 1970 killing of San Francisco police officer
Richard P. Radetich. They declined to specifically link Radetich's
death to today's arrests but said his killing happened at the same
time as the other attacks on police.

On the night of Young's killing, five black men strode into the
Ingleside station about 9:40 p.m. As the officer stood behind
bulletproof glass at the visitor's window, one of the men stuck a
12-gauge shotgun in the speaking hole and fired. The buckshot caught
Young in the chest and upper body. An office clerk was hit in the back
but was not seriously injured.

A second officer in the station at the time dove to the floor when he
heard the gunshots. He crawled over to the wounded Young, who gasped
"Help me," according to a recent story about the case in a San
Francisco weekly.

"The evidence we believe will show that the motivation of these men
was to kill police officers," said Maggy Krell, a prosecutor in the
state attorney general's office. "They ambushed an innocent person
because of the uniform he wore."

Speaking at the news conference, San Francisco Police Chief Heather
Fong called Young's killing "coldblooded." She described him as busy
in neighborhood affairs, "someone who was doing community policing
before the term was even coined."

"Now," Fong continued, 36 years after this brutal death, arrests have
been made."

Authorities said the arrests helped close an emotional historical
chapter in which officers were targeted indiscriminately.

"We never stopped working this case," Tabak said. "Like other murders,
you go back and check things double and triple. If you think about
this, any group's targeting law enforcement for assassination strikes
at the core of any civilized society.

The arrests, he said, were "a great sense of relief, a victory for law

john.glionna at latimes.com

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