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Best Web OpEds    H4'ed 12/4/19

What Happened on Dec. 4, Fifty Years Ago? RIP Fred Hampton: a Black Visionary Assassinated by the FBI

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Considering Fred Hampton's legacy, 50 years after his death in police raid Dec. 4 marks 50 years since an infamous day in Chicago history that still sparks strong reactions from some of the city's residents.
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The Panthers and the police gave diametrically opposed versions of Hampton’s death. The police said when they had announced themselves they were greeted with a shotgun blast. The Panthers said the cops opened fire. Hampton died in his bed, next to his pregnant wife. 

Chicago authorities gave informant O’Neal a $300 bonus, charged 7 survivors with attempted murder of officers. At trial, FBI crime scene examiners testified police had fired 89 gunshots; Panthere in apartment had fired one and  not come from Hampton’s room. Public outrage mounted; the U.S. Justice Department investigate; charges were dropped. A special prosecutor indicted him and 13 police officials and officers for obstruction of justice, but all were acquitted in 1972.

In 1982, the city of Chicago, Cook County, and the Justice Department paid $1.85 million, a belated admission that Hampton had been illegally targeted.

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)

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