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Murder Charges Against Former Black Panthers Based on Confessions Extracted by Torture
Police in California, New York and Florida arrested eight former Black Panthers earlier this week on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Charges were thrown out in 1974 after it was revealed police used torture to extract confessions in the case. We speak with two of the defendants’ attorneys.
Police in California, New York and Florida arrested eight former Black Panthers earlier this week on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Richard Brown, Richard O’Neal, Ray Boudreaux and Henry Watson Jones were arrested in California. Francisco Torres was arrested in Queens New York. Harold Taylor was arrested in Florida. Two men already in jail-- Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim -- were also charged. A ninth man -- Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth – is still being sought. The men were charged with the murder of Sgt. John Young and conspiracy to commit murder for a string of attacks on other officers.
Harold Taylor and two other men were first charged with the murder of the police sergeant in 1975. But a judge tossed out the charges. Taylor and his two co-defendants said they made false confessions after police in New Orleans tortured them.
Joining me now are two attorneys involved in this case:
* Michael Warren. Attorney for Francisco Torres who was arrested on Tuesday.
* Stuart Hanlon. California-based attorney representing Herman Bell. He also worked for 25 years on the case of Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt.
* Excerpt of the new documentary Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement. Produced by the Freedom Archives.