Our economic philosophy of Black Nationalism means that instead of our spending the rest of our lives begging the white man for a job, our people should be re-educated to the science of economics and the part that it plays in our community. We should be taught just the basic fundamentals, that whenever you take money out of the neighborhood and spend it in another neighborhood, the neighborhood in which you spend it gets richer and richer, and the neighborhood from which you take it gets poorer and poorer. This creates a ghetto, as now exists in every so-called Negro community in this country. If the Negro isn’t spending his money downtown with what we call the man, the man is himself right in the Negro community. All the stores are run by the white man, who takes the money out of the community as soon as the sun sets. We have to teach our people the importance of where to spend their dollars and the importance of establishing and owning businesses. Thereby we can create employment for ourselves, instead of having to wait to boycott your stores and businesses to demand that you give us a job. Whenever the majority of our people begin to think along such lines, you’ll find that we ourselves can best solve our problems. Instead of having to wait for someone to come out of your neighborhood into our neighborhood to tackle these problems for us, we ourselves may solve them.
Growing up in Louisiana, he was very familiar with the sights of lychings and overt acts of racism, so the decision to become involved with the Black Panther Party came quite easily. He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 to attend UCLA and there he met Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, who would give him the nickname "Geronimo." He was able to use his military background to train Black Panthers. He was labeled a hero, after raid by the LAPD newly deployed SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics, a militarized police unit) and the four-hour shootout that took place at the Southern California Headquarters of the Black Panther Party on December 8, 1969 resulted in no deaths of any Black Panthers. The L.A. Black Panthers, under “Geronimo” Pratt's leadership, defended themselves. After over 5,000 rounds of ammunition had been exchanged with the police the Black Panthers surrender, alive.
The Black Panther Party, was targeted by the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in the FBI's COINTELPRO operations. Under the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, infiltrators where sent into Black Panther Party gatherings to recruited informants. One of them, Julius Butler, was the key witness against “Geronimo" Pratt when he was charged in 1968 with the Santa Monica tennis court shooting of school teacher Caroline Olson. As a victim of COINTELPRO tactics "Geronimo" Pratt, was convicted and imprisoned for twenty-seven years on a California murder conviction that was later overturned.
The FBI's director J. Edgar Hoover became involved in stopping the Black Panther Party as the party began to gain prominence during 1967 & 68. As COINTELPRO had been established in 1956 to police "political radicals" within the United States, focus and pressure now came onto the Black Panther Party. On December 15, 1968, J. Edgar Hoover declared, "the Black Panther Party, without question, represents the "…greatest threat to the internal security of the country"; he pledged that 1969 would be the last year of the Party's existence. Agents were assigned to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalists," Hoover said in a once-classified memo to field agents.
“Geronimo" Pratt, said he was innocent and maintained there were audiotapes that would prove the day of the killing he had been at a Black Panther Party meeting in Oakland. According to his lawyers, the police and the FBI hid and in turn, possibly destroyed wiretap evidence from the Black Panther Party meeting, which they had under surveillance. His lawyers, Johnnie L. Cochran and Stuart Hanlon, were relentless in filling filed new motions and pursuing his case and in 1997 they won.
Superior Court Judge Everett Dickey granted “Geronimo" Pratt a new trial, stating that the credibility of prosecution witness Butler, who testified “Geronimo" Pratt had confessed to him, could have been discredited if the jury had known about Butler’s relationship with law enforcement. Johnnie L. Cochran, called the day “Geronimo" Pratt's freedom was secured "the happiest day of my life practicing law." Within two years, LA prosecutors announced that they would abandon efforts to retry “Geronimo" Pratt and yet still they refused to acknowledged the he had been wrongly convicted.
In 2000, “Geronimo" Pratt settled a false imprisonment and civil rights lawsuit against city of Los Angeles and the FBI for $4.5. The FBI’s share was $1.75 million, marking one of the few times in its history that the nation’s top law enforcement agency was forced to admit culpability in a case of false imprisonment.
All Power To All The People!
#blackpanthers #blackpantherparty #blackpanthers #geronimopratt #blackhistory #bobbyseale
"It was this shocking scene that was witnessed by health care workers at the outside hospital that led to what was to become a major investigation."
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