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Billy Swanson

The Death of Fred Hampton

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Hey all,

As well as the JFK case, there’s other incidents from American history, despite me being a Brit here, that I just find truly fascinating. The case of Civil Rights leader Fred Hampton is certainly one of those.

Supposedly, to cut a long story short, he was murdered through the rather controversial Cointelpro program during a raid on his apartment while he slept on the 4th of December, 1969. Information on his apartment coming from and being provided to the FBI by William O’Neal I believe, an informant for the FBI who got close to Hampton and was later found through the Church Committee. It’s said he specifically gave them information on the whereabouts of Hampton's bedroom in particular, this being where most of the shots were fired into from the outside after a failed raid and then subsequent shootout, although as far as I'm aware there's little evidence to say that many, if any shots at all, were fired *from* the apartment itself, instead most of the shots (all but maybe the very first) being fired into the building. As well as providing information to the FBI O'Neal is said to have even drugged Hampton prior to the raid so he wouldn't wake up when it took place, and so on.

His death, one I’m sure most reading will know at least something about, is pretty fascinating and is potentially a murder ordered by the highest levels of the FBI who were already keeping a close eye on him among other people of importance with-in the movement. Due to the events surrounding his death and the rather knowledgeable people present on this forum here, I’d really appreciate hearing what everyones opinion on his death is. Was there almost certainly a murder taking place, which is what I personally do believe occurred at this time, or is there perhaps too much dis/misinformation out there? I’m genuinely curious to know.

Edited to correct a typo as pointed out to me by Len Colby below.

Edited by Billy Swanson

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Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I just assumed. :)

Anyway, here's some information from the Spartacus.Schoolnet site.

Fred Hampton was born in Chicago on 30th August 1948 and grew up in Maywood, a suburb of the city. A bright student, Hampton graduated from Proviso East High School in 1966 before enrolling at Triton Junior College where he studied law.

While a student Hampton became active in the civil rights movement. He joined the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and was appointed leader of the Youth Council of the organization's West Suburban branch.

In October 1966 Bobby Seale and Huey Newton formed the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. Initially formed to protect local communities from police brutality and racism, the Black Panthers eventually developed into a Marxist revolutionary group. The group also ran medical clinics and provided free food to school children. Other important members included Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Bobby Hutton and Eldridge Cleaver.

Hampton founded the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party in November 1968. He immediately established a community service program. This included the provision of free breakfasts for schoolchildren and a medical clinic that did not charge patients for treatment. Hampton also taught political education classes and instigated a community control of police project.

One of Hampton's greatest achievements was to persuade Chicago's most powerful street gangs to stop fighting against each other. In May 1969 Hampton held a press conference where he announced a nonaggression pact between the gangs and the formation of what he called a "rainbow coalition" (a multiracial alliance of black, Puerto Rican, and poor youths).

Later that year Hampton was arrested and charged with stealing $71 worth of sweets, which he then allegedly gave away to local children. Hampton was initially convicted of the crime but the decision was eventually overturned.

The activities of the Black Panthers in Chicago came to the attention of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Hoover described the Panthers as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country" and urged the Chicago police to launch an all-out assault on the organization. In 1969 the Panther party headquarters on West Monroe Street was raided three times and over 100 members were arrested.

In the early hours of the 4th December, 1969, the Panther headquarters was raided by the police for the fourth time. The police later claimed that the Panthers opened fire and a shoot-out took place. During the next ten minutes Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were killed. Witnesses claimed that Hampton was wounded in the shoulder and then executed by a shot to the head.

The panthers left alive, including Deborah Johnson, Hampton's girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant at the time, were arrested and charged with attempting to murder the police. Afterwards, ballistic evidence revealed that only one bullet had been fired by the Panthers whereas nearly a hundred came from police guns.

After the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a wide-ranging investigation of America's intelligence services. Frank Church of Idaho, the chairman of the committee, revealed in April, 1976 that William O'Neal, Hampton's bodyguard, was a FBI agent-provocateur who, days before the raid, had delivered an apartment floor-plan to the Bureau with an "X" marking Hampton's bed. Ballistic evidence showed that most bullets during the raid were aimed at Hampton's bedroom.

(Source)

Here's a documentary on him:

The Murder of Fred Hampton, part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn0PiDvVXDY

The Murder of Fred Hampton, part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwrD-dOI70&feature=relmfu

The Murder of Fred Hampton, part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6CEaS0PBhc&feature=relmfu

The Murder of Fred Hampton, part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPrYLhh2mPs&feature=relmfu

He really is a fascinating person in my opinion, and It's a shame he went when he did. And how he did. I've posted this thread as well because I'm going to write up an article on him for my site (which is mainly JFK related but I wanted other topics from the time too) and I'm just looking for as much information on him as I can find, all of which is accurate too.

Edit: Here's an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune too: The Black Panther Raid and the death of Fred Hampton

Edited by Billy Swanson

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How carefully have you studied the case? Hampton actually was killed in 1969 not 1964. It seems at the very least the cops who carried out the raid were guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice and manslaughter if not 2nd degree or perhaps even 1st degree murder and that the prosecutor and others were involved in a cover-up (obstruction of justice). What evidence is there his murder was planned by higher officials?

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How carefully have you studied the case? Hampton actually was killed in 1969 not 1964. It seems at the very least the cops who carried out the raid were guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice and manslaughter if not 2nd degree or perhaps even 1st degree murder and that the prosecutor and others were involved in a cover-up (obstruction of justice). What evidence is there his murder was planned by higher officials?

Hey Len,

Yes, he was. Apologies, I knew when he died, and what I wrote above was a mistake. I edited my above post to fix it and I posted a quick thanks for pointing it out to me.

Also, I've looked into this case in particular quite a bit in the past, I've watched various documentaries on it, posted about it on another forum and so on. I found it truly fascinating, although let's just say I wouldn't exactly call myself an expert just yet. Far from it. :) With posting this thread I'd be interested to hear what everyone's opinion on it is, that's all. I wanted to take an opportunity to try and learn more about it from those who've been looking into it for a great deal longer than me.

What evidence is there his murder was planned by higher officials?

Well, I know this may not exactly be seen as "evidence", but the reason why I think it's certainly possible that his death was "planned" is, and I believe I'm right in saying that (1) He was being closely watched by the Cointelpro program, one which perhaps can be tied to other illegal activities in the past such as burglaries and even potentially causing death (2) William O'Neal was an informant working for them getting close to Hampton, in charge of security for him in fact and (3) He's said to have provided information to the FBI prior to a raid which took place on Hampton's apartment where he, along with Mark Clark, were killed. According to later investigations the vast majority of the bullets fired were being fired into the building as well.

That, for example, is why I'm inclined to believe Hampton's death may have been planned by higher officials and then put into action.

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