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Black Panthers, Legal Struggles

StoryMay 13, 1996
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Robert Collier

Member of the Panther 21

Kwando Kinshasa

Member of the Panther 21

Report from a recent conference in Oakland called "What happened to black youth in the absence of the Black Panther Party?"

Interview with Jim McCloskey of the Geronimo Pratt Defense Team on his investigation that found that prosecutors in the original trial withheld evidence as part of an FBI frame up against the former Black Panther.

Interview with Panther Bill Brent, who in 1969 was wanted for violating parole, armed robbery, and shooting and wounding two police officers. Brent hijacked a TWA plane carrying 180 passengers to Cuba. But now, the 66 year old Bill Brent wants to come home to the United States, even though his hijacking charge could carry the death penalty. He spoke with Pacifica’s Verna Avery Brown. His autobiography is called "Long Time Gone: A Black Panther’s True Life Story of his Hijacking and his 25 years in Cuba.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the acquittal of the Panther 21, who in 1971 were the leadership of the eastern region of the Black Panther Party. They were arrested in 1969 on charges of conspiracy to blow up New York botanical Gardens, department stores and other sites. On May 13, 1971, after one of the longest political trials in NY history, all 21 panthers were acquitted of all charges. Their case was a classic example of police infiltration and political repression in the U.S.

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