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FORMER BLACK PANTHERS ARRESTED AND INDICTED 1/23 IN 1971 HOMICIDE
by scally wag
Wednesday Jan 24th, 2007 10:01 AM
Preliminary reports indicate several arrests including former Panthers that resisted a 2005 grand jury and others in a 1971 SF case involving the death of a police officer. In 1975 cases were dropped as the evidence against Panthers was derived by the torture of several arrested in 1973.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jen Nessel, CCR, 212.614.6449
David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000

FORMER BLACK PANTHERS
ARRESTED AND INDICTED TODAY IN 1971 HOMICIDE

CHARGES BASED ON EVIDENCE OBTAINED THROUGH TORTURE

January 23, 2007, New York Authorities in San
Francisco today announced the arrests and indictments
of former Black Panthers in the 1971 killing of police
officer Sgt. John V. Young despite the use of torture
to obtain confessions. Attorneys with the Center for
Constitutional Rights (CCR) compared the documented
torture by law enforcement of Black Panthers arrested
in New Orleans in 1973 to the documented torture the
U.S. government has practiced recently at Abu Ghraib
and Guantánamo.

CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said, "The case
against these men was built on torture and serves to
remind us that the U.S. government, which recently has
engaged in such horrific forms of torture and abuse at
places like Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, has a
history of torture and abuse in this country as well,
particularly against African Americans."

CCR Attorney Kamau Franklin said, "These indictments
are an attempt to rewrite history-- the history of the
Black Panthers, the history of COINTELPRO, and the
history of the Civil Rights Movement."

In 1973, New Orleans police employed torture over the
course of several days to obtain information from
members of the Black Panthers who were stripped naked,
beaten, blindfolded, covered in blankets soaked with
boiling water, and had electric probes placed on their
genitals, among other methods. A court ruled in 1974
that both San Francisco and New Orleans police had
engaged in torture to extract a confession, and a San
Francisco judge dismissed charges against three men in
1975 based on that ruling. Two years ago, a grand jury
convened in San Francisco to reopen the case, but
several of the men involved felt they were being
wrongly compelled to testify and refused to attend the
proceedings.
CCR represents victims of torture by the U.S. at
Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram Air Base in
Afghanistan, as well as Canadian rendition victim
Maher Arar. In addition, CCR has filed suit against
the NSA for the warrantless domestic spying program
authorized by President Bush; the COINTELPRO program
illegally spied on Black activists in the Sixties and
Seventies and engaged in numerous unconstitutional
acts against Civil Rights organizations.

About CCR
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a
non-profit legal and educational organization
dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by
attorneys who represented civil rights demonstrators
in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of
law as a positive force for social change.