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The White House Weekend™: The Weekly Address. Miriam Carey. White House Easter Egg Roll Social. America’s PrepareAthon!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Barack Hussein Obama Week Ahead Schedule, April 7th, To 11th, 2014

 

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On Monday, the President will travel to Prince George’s County, MD to host an event on the economy. Following this event, he will meet with the Commander-in-Chief and Executive Director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

 

On Tuesday, the President  will host an event on the economy at the White House.

 

On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to Houston, TX. The President will attend DCCC and DSCC events.  More details regarding the President and First Lady’s travel to Houston will be forthcoming.

 

On Thursday, the President and the First Lady will travel to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, TX.  The President will deliver remarks at a Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC, in the afternoon.

 

On Friday, the President will travel to New York, NY to deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.

 

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Weekly Address: The President’s Budget Ensures Opportunity for All Hardworking Americans

 

 

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VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: El Presupuesto del Presidente –Expandiendo la oportunidad para todos

April 05, 2014 | 3:16 | Public Domain

 

En el mensaje de esta semana, la Directora del Consejo de Política Doméstica de la Casa Blanca Cecilia Muñoz habla sobre el presupuesto del Presidente que ampliará las oportunidades para todos, incluyendo a millones de familias hispanas.

 

 

 

 

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the important differences between the budget he’s put forward — built on opportunity for all — and the budget House Republicans are advocating for, which stacks the deck against the middle class.

While the President is focused on building lasting economic security and ensuring that hardworking Americans have the opportunity to get ahead, Republicans are advancing the same old top-down approach of cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and slashing important investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development

 

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Weekly Wrap Up: Millions Get Covered, Team USA Visits, and More

7.1 Million Americans: Covered

 

The numbers don’t lie — the Affordable Care Act is working. By the end of open enrollment on March 31, 7.1 million Americans had signed up for coverage.

 

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The First Lady and Local Students Plant the White House Kitchen Garden

 

Spring is definitely here as the White House Kitchen Garden is growing again. First Lady Michelle Obama invited local students to join her for the sixth-annual planting of the garden earlier this week, making sure the White House will have a fresh crop of healthy fruits and vegetables in the months ahead.

The First Lady delivers remarks at the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen garden, emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

The First Lady delivers remarks at the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen garden, emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

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POTUS Rallies Wolverines Around Raising the Wage

 

The President traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan on Wednesday to speak to a crowd filled with University of Michigan Wolverines about his March Madness bracket, a famous local deli named Zingerman’s, and, of course, the importance of raising the national minimum wage.

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Team USA Stops by the White House

 

U.S. Olympians and Paralympians who competed in Sochi earlier this year visited the White House this week, spending time touring the grounds, playing with Bo and Sunny, and hearing from the President and First Lady.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama receive a Paralympic and Olympic flag signed by all the Olympians from Alpine Skier Jon Lujan and Ice Hockey forward Julie Chu

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama receive a Paralympic and Olympic flag signed by all the Olympians from Alpine Skier Jon Lujan and Ice Hockey forward Julie Chu

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Hop to the White House Easter Egg Roll Social

 

Are you a social butterfly? Do you have kids ages 5-13? Want to visit the White House? The 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll is just around the corner, and you are invited.

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West Wing Week: 4/4/14 or, “The Rosies”

 

 

This week, the President wrapped up a six day trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia, spoke on the success of the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, traveled to Michigan to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, and honored both the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, and the 2014 US Olympic and Paralympic teams. That’s March 28th to April 3rd or, “The Rosies.”

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While Marketplace Enrollment Ended, Medicaid Enrollment Continues

 

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already provided coverage to millions of Americans. More than 7.1 million Americans signed up for coverage through the Marketplaces, 3 million additional young adults were covered under their parents’ insurance and millions more will have access through Medicaid. A new report shows that more people are gaining coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a result of the health law. The analysis, produced by the Health and Human Services Department shows enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP in February was at least 3 million people higher than it was, on average, between July and September. That does not include March, which saw an enormous spike in Marketplace enrollment and traffic to HealthCare.gov.

 

While this is great progress, states where governors or legislatures refuse to implement the Medicaid expansion provisions of the law will leave 5.7 million Americans uninsured. States that have expanded Medicaid, such as Kentucky and New York, have seen particularly dramatic declines in their uninsured populations. Just take Kentucky, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky has seen a 40 percent drop in its rate of uninsured since October 1.

 

 

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America’s PrepareAthon!

 

 

 

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Here at the White House, we’re getting ready for the first America’s PrepareAthon!, a national day of action that will take place April 30, 2014.

 

Join us this Monday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss America’s PrepareAthon!, a community-based campaign to build a more secure and resilient nation by getting people to understand what disasters could happen in their communities and to take action to increase their preparedness. Actions include signing up for mobile alerts and warnings, holding a preparedness discussion to emphasize the steps people should take to be ready should a disaster occur, and conducting a drill so people are familiar with what to do beforehand.

 

Join us for a Google+ Hangout to hear from the head of FEMA, an award-winning meteorologist, and leaders from across the nation who share a passion for getting prepared. I will moderate the live discussion.

Read More

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April 4th 2014: Photo of the Day

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President Barack Obama holds the hand of Lincoln Rose Pierce Smith, the daughter of former Deputy Press Secretary Jamie Smith, in the Oval Office, April 4, 2014. Watching from the other side of the Resolute Desk are Sage and Elsa Smith. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama holds the hand of Lincoln Rose Pierce Smith, the daughter of former Deputy Press Secretary Jamie Smith, in the Oval Office, April 4, 2014. Watching from the other side of the Resolute Desk are Sage and Elsa Smith. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama gives a signing pen to Jacob Miller, brother of Gabriella Miller, after signing H.R. 2019, the "Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act", in the Oval Office, April 3, 2014. The law ends taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and diverts the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama gives a signing pen to Jacob Miller, brother of Gabriella Miller, after signing H.R. 2019, the “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act”, in the Oval Office, April 3, 2014. The law ends taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and diverts the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

@MattAntoine #TeamUSA at the White House!!

@MattAntoine
#TeamUSA at the White House!!

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago
U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was “heartbroken” that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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From The Sanders Firm: THE MIRIAM CAREY FAMILY REACTS TO THE AUTOPSY REPORT. What If Miriam Carey Had Been White?

 

Where Are Rev. Al Sharpton. Rev. Jesse Jackson. ALL The So Called Civil Rights Leaders Who Speak For US?
6 Months Ago Miriam Carey Was Executed By D.C. Capitol Hill Police AND Secret Service Officers. Miriam Was Un-Armed AND Had an 18 Month Baby In A Car-seat In The Back.

 

What If Miriam Carey Had Been White? With A Neatly Dressed Caucasian Baby In The Back Seat?

 

 

Miriam Carey star.preview

 

 

From The Sanders Firm: THE MIRIAM CAREY FAMILY REACTS TO THE AUTOPSY REPORT. What If Miriam Carey Had Been White?

 

Six months have passed since Ms. Miriam Carey was brutally gunned down in Washington D.C. by Capitol Hill police and The Secret Service, while her 18 month old child was strapped in the backseat in a baby carrier.

 

WHY was MIRIAM CAREY Chased and EXECUTED by POLICE

 

 

 

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It’s up to us to make history on "NO"vember 4th, 2014.

It’s up to us to make history on “NO”vember 4th, 2014.

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April 4th, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King, Jr., Assassinated.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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On April 4, 1968, LIFE photographer Henry Groskinsky and writer Mike Silva, on assignment in Alabama, learned that Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The two men jumped into their car, raced the 200 miles to the scene of the assassination, and there — to their astonishment — found that they had unfettered access to the motel’s grounds; to nearby abandoned buildings from which the fatal rifle shot likely came; to Dr. King’s motel room; and to the bleak, blood-stained balcony where the civil rights leader fell, mortally wounded, hours earlier.

 

“I was astonished by how desolate it all was,” Groskinsky, now 79 years old, told LIFE.com when asked about the mood in the neighborhood around the motel. “Then again, everyone probably thought that the person who shot Dr. King might still be out there somewhere.”

 

For reasons that have been lost in the intervening decades, Groskinsky’s photographs from that eerily quiet night in Memphis — taken at the site, and on the very day, of one of the signal events of the 20th century — were not published in LIFE magazine, and the story behind them was not told. Until now.

 

Ben Cosgrove is the Editor of LIFE.com

 

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Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African-American civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who became known for his advancement of civil rights by using civil disobedience. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on Thursday April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:05pm that evening. James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was arrested on June 8, 1968 in London at Heathrow Airport, extradited to the United States, and charged with the crime. On March 10, 1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Ray later made many attempts to withdraw his guilty plea and be tried by a jury, but was unsuccessful; he died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70.

 

The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the US government, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993, and that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat. In a 1999 civil trial that did not name the US government as a defendant and sought $100 from Loyd Jowers, with both the family and Jowers cooperating together and the only presenting parties, the jury ruled that Loyd Jowers and others, including unspecified governmental agencies, were all part of the conspiracy to kill King.

 

 

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°08′04″N 90°03′27″WCoordinates

35°08′04″N 90°03′27″W

Date April 4, 1968
6:01 p.m. (Central Time)
Target Martin Luther King, Jr.
Weapon(s) Remington 760 Gamemaster alleged

but unconfirmed

Perpetrators James Earl Ray according to a criminal case;

Loyd Jowers & “others, including unspecified

governmental agencies” according to a

later civil case

 

 

1968 King Assassination Report (CBS News)

 

Uploaded on Apr 3, 2008

Walter Cronkite had almost finished broadcasting the “CBS Evening News” when he received word of Martin Luther King’s assassination. His report detailed the shooting and the nation’s reaction to the tragedy. (CBSNews.com)

 

 

 

Will D. Campbell, alone on the Lorraine Motel balcony, gazes out into the night. "This picture was probably made as soon as we got there," Groskinsky told LIFE.com. "When I saw him standing there, alone, I thought it looked as if he was just asking himself, My God, what has happened here?"

Will D. Campbell, alone on the Lorraine Motel balcony, gazes out into the night. “This picture was probably made as soon as we got there,” Groskinsky told LIFE.com. “When I saw him standing there, alone, I thought it looked as if he was just asking himself, My God, what has happened here?”

 

 

Background

 

King on death

King received death threats constantly due to his prominence in the civil rights movement. As a consequence of these threats, he confronted death constantly, making it a central part of his philosophy. He believed, and taught that murder could not stop the struggle for equal rights. After the 1963JFK assassination, he told his wife Coretta: “This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society.”

 

 

Memphis

King travelled to Memphis, Tennessee in support of striking African American sanitation workers. The workers had staged a walkout on February 11, 1968, to protest unequal wages and working conditions imposed by then-mayor Henry Loeb. At the time, Memphis paid black workers significantly lower wages than whites. In addition, unlike white people, black people received no pay if they stayed home during bad weather; consequently, most black people were compelled to work even in driving rain and snow storms.

 

On April 3, King returned to Memphis to address a gathering at the Mason Temple (World Headquarters of the Church of God in Christ). His airline flight to Memphis was delayed by a bomb threat against his plane. With a thunderstorm raging outside, King delivered the last speech of his life, now known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address. As he neared the close, he made reference to the bomb threat:

 

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats… or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

 

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. [applause] And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! [applause] And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!

 

 

Assassination

King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, owned by businessman Walter Bailey (and named after his wife). King’s close friend and colleague Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, who was King’s roommate in the motel room the day of the assassination, told the House Select Committee on Assassinations that King and his entourage stayed in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often that it was known as the “King-Abernathy Suite.”

 

According to biographer Taylor Branch, King’s last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that night at an event King was going to attend: “Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord‘ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”

 

At 6:01 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 1968, while he was standing on the motel’s second floor balcony, King was struck by a single .30-06 bullet fired from a Remington 760 Gamemaster. The bullet entered through his right cheek, breaking his jaw, neck and several vertebrae as it traveled down his spinal cord, severing the jugular vein and major arteries in the process before lodging in his shoulder. By the force of the blast, King’s necktie was ripped completely off his shirt. He fell violently backwards onto the balcony unconscious. Shortly after the shot was fired, witnesses saw James Earl Ray fleeing from a rooming house across the street from the Lorraine Motel where he was renting a room. A package was dumped close to the site that included a rifle and binoculars with Ray’s fingerprints on them. The rifle had been purchased by Ray under an alias six days before. A worldwide manhunt was triggered that culminated in the arrest of Ray at London Heathrow Airport two months later.

 

Abernathy heard the shot from inside the motel room and ran to the balcony to find King on the floor. King was bleeding profusely from the wound in his cheek. His SCLC colleague Andrew Young believed he was dead, though King still had a pulse.

 

King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where doctors opened his chest and performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. According to Taylor Branch, King’s autopsy revealed that though he was only 39 years old, he had the heart of a 60-year-old man which Branch attributed to the stress of 13 years in the civil rights movement.

 

The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated, is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. The wreath marks the approximate place Dr. King was standing at the time.

The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated, is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. The wreath marks the approximate place Dr. King was standing at the time.

 

FBI investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took responsibility for investigating King’s death. J. Edgar Hoover, who had previously made efforts to undermine King’s reputation, told Johnson that his agency would attempt to find the culprit(s).

Many documents pertaining to this investigation remain classified, and are slated to remain secret until 2027. A proposed Records Collection Act, similar to a 1992 law concerning the Kennedy assassination, would require their immediate release.

 

 

THE ASSASSINATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING

 

Published on Nov 28, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African-American civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who became known for his advancement of civil rights by using civil disobedience. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39.

 

 

 

Funeral

President Lyndon B. Johnson declared April 7 a national day of mourning for the lost civil rights leader. A crowd of 300,000 attended his funeral two days later, on April 9. Vice President Hubert Humphrey attended on behalf of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was at a meeting on the Vietnam War at Camp David. (There were fears that Johnson might be hit with protests and abuses over the war if he attended). At his widow’s request, King eulogized himself: His last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a recording of his famous ‘Drum Major’ sermon, given on February 4, 1968, was played at the funeral. In that sermon he makes a request that at his funeral no mention of his awards and honors be made, but that it be said that he tried to “feed the hungry,” “clothe the naked,” “be right on the [Vietnam] war question,” and “love and serve humanity.”

 

 

James Earl Ray

 

Capture and guilty plea

Two months after King’s death, escaped convict James Earl Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom for AngolaRhodesia or South Africa on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd. Ray was quickly extradited to Tennessee and charged with King’s murder, confessing to the assassination on March 10, 1969 (although he recanted this confession three days later).

 

On the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman, Ray took a guilty plea to avoid a trial conviction and thus the possibility of receiving the death penalty. Ray was sentenced to a 99-year prison term.

 

Ray fired Foreman as his attorney (from then on derisively calling him “Percy Fourflusher”) claiming that a man he met in Montreal with the alias “Raul” was involved, as was his brother Johnny, but not himself, further asserting through his attorney Jack Kershaw that although he did not “personally shoot King,” he may have been “partially responsible without knowing it,” hinting at a conspiracy. He spent the remainder of his life attempting (unsuccessfully) to withdraw his guilty plea and secure the trial he never had. In 1997, Martin Luther King‘s son Dexter King met with Ray, and publicly supported Ray’s efforts to obtain a retrial.

 

Dr. William Pepper remained James Earl Ray’s attorney until Ray’s death and then carried on, on behalf of the King family. The King family does not believe Ray had anything to do with the murder of Martin Luther King.

 

 

Escape

Ray and seven other convicts escaped from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, on June 10, 1977. They were recaptured on June 13, three days later, and returned to prison. One more year was added to his previous sentence to total 100 years. Shortly after, Ray testified that he did not shoot King to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

 

 

Death

Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70 from complications related to kidney disease, caused by hepatitis C (probably contracted as a result of a blood transfusion given after a stabbing while at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary). It was also confirmed in the autopsy that he died of liver failure.

 

 

Allegations of conspiracy

The King family and others believe that the assassination was carried out by a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, and that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat. This conclusion was affirmed by a jury in a 1999 civil trial against Loyd Jowers and unnamed co-conspirators, although no government agency or individual was named in that civil suit so no defense or evidence from the state was considered. The United States Department of Justice later found Jowers’ claims to not be credible.

 

 

Vigil to Mark Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Assassination

 

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A candlelight vigil will be held Friday night to mark the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr.

 

The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is scheduled to speak at the vigil.

 

King was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968.

 

King was in Memphis to support black sanitary workers who had been on strike. The day before he was killed, King delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address in which he said, “I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

 

He was standing on the balcony at about 6 p.m. April 4, when James Earl Ray fatally shot him with a high-powered rifle. Some of the more famous photos of that day show people on the balcony pointing toward where they heard the shots fired from across the street and one of King after being felled by the bullet.

 

Friday’s ceremony will end with a wreath laying at the monument’s Stone of Hope.

 

 

Photo taken hours after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo taken hours after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo taken hours after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo taken hours after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #17: The Black Panther Party For Self-Defense.


 

By Jueseppi B.

123566716 Black Panther Party - 1960s

 

 

Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge. 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #17: The Black Panther Party For Self-Defense.

 

The Black Panther Party or BPP (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a black revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement and U.S. politics of the 1960s and 1970s.

 

black panthers

 

Founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling primarily for the protection of black neighborhoods from police brutality. The leaders of the organization espoused socialist and Marxist doctrines; however, the Party’s early black nationalist reputation attracted a diverse membership. The Black Panther Party’s objectives and philosophy expanded and evolved rapidly during the party’s existence, making ideological consensus within the party difficult to achieve, and causing some prominent members to openly disagree with the views of the leaders.

 

The organization’s official newspaper, The Black Panther, was first circulated in 1967. Also that year, the Black Panther Party marched on the California State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of a selective ban on weapons. By 1968, the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States, among them, BaltimoreBostonChicagoClevelandDallasDenverDetroit,Kansas CityLos AngelesNewarkNew OrleansNew York CityOmahaPhiladelphiaPittsburgh,San DiegoSan FranciscoSeattle and Washington, D.C.

 

 

Black Panther Party
Black Panther Party logo
Leader Huey P. Newton
Founded 1966
Dissolved 1982
Ideology Black nationalism(early)

Maoism
Anti-capitalism
Anti-fascism
Anti-imperialism
Marxism–Leninism
Revolutionary socialism
Anti-racism
Anti-Zionism

Political position Far-left
International affiliation AlgeriaCubaFrance
Colors Black, light blue, green
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

 

 

Dedicated_to_the_Black_Panther_Party

 

Peak membership was near 10,000 by 1969, and their newspaper, under the editorial leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, had a circulation of 250,000. The group created a Ten-Point Program, a document that called for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace”, as well as exemption from conscription for black men, among other demands. With the Ten-Point program, “What We Want, What We Believe”, the Black Panther Party expressed its economic and political grievances.

 

Gaining national prominence, the Black Panther Party became an icon of the counterculture of the 1960s. Ultimately, the Panthers condemned black nationalism as “black racism” and became more focused on socialism without racial exclusivity. They instituted a variety of community social programs designed to alleviate poverty, improve health among inner city black communities, and soften the Party’s public image. The Black Panther Party’s most widely known programs were its armed citizens’ patrols to evaluate behavior of police officers and its Free Breakfast for Children program. However, the group’s political goals were often overshadowed by the supposed criminality of members and their confrontational, militant, and violent tactics against police.

 

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” and he supervised an extensive program (COINTELPRO) of surveillanceinfiltrationperjurypolice harassment and many other tactics designed to undermine Panther leadership, incriminate party members and drain the organization of resources and manpower. Through these tactics, Hoover hoped to diminish the Party’s threat to the general power structure of the U.S., or even maintain its influence as a strong undercurrent. Angela DavisWard Churchill, and others have alleged that federal, state and local law enforcement officials went to great lengths to discredit and destroy the organization, including assassination.

 

Black Panther Party membership reached a peak of 10,000 by early 1969, then suffered a series of contractions due to legal troubles, incarcerations, internal splits, expulsions and defections. Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group’s involvement in illegal activities such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants. By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s; by 1980 the Black Panther Party comprised just 27 members.

 

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THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY

The Black Panther Party “was born in a period of stress when Black people were moving away from the philosophy and strategy of non-violent action toward sterner actions. We dared to believe that we could offer the community a permanent political vehicle which would serve their needs and advocate their interests. We have met many foes; we have seen many enemies. We have been slandered, kidnapped, gagged, jailed and murdered. We know now, more than ever before, that the will of the people is greater than the technology and repression of those who are against the interests of the people. Therefore we know that we can and will continue to serve and educate the people.

 

PRINCIPLES

Our true interest and needs are not being served. The political vehicle of the people must be guided by a consistent ideology which represents nothing more than a systematic and organized set of principles for analyzing and interpreting objective phenomena. An ideology can only be accepted as valid if it delivers a true understanding of the phenomena which affect the lives of the people. The development of a wide variety of truths about the community, its internal development and the external forces surrounding it will lead then to a philosophy which will help orient us toward goals which are in the true interests of the people.

 

 

THE SAME FOR US?

Our children still die, our youth still suffer from malnutrition, our middle-aged people still suffer from sicklecell anemia, and our elderly still face unbearable poverty and hardship because they reach the twilight period of their lives with nothing to sustain them through these difficult times. Where is the democracy in any of this for Black people? Democracy means only that the majority will use us when they need us and cast us aside when they do not need us. A true understanding of the working and effect of American democracy for Black people will reveal most clearly that it is just the same as fascism for us.

 

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DEMOCRACY

Their diversion tactics often lead the people down blind alleys or onto tangents which take them away from their true goals. We can easily see this when we apply the concept of American democracy to the Black community.

Democracy in America (bourgeois democracy) means nothing more than the domination of the majority over the minority. That is why Black people can cast votes all year long but if the majority is against us, we suffer. Then the politicians and educators try to deceive the community with statements such as “It’s rule by the majority, but the rights of the minority are protected.”If, in fact, participating in the democratic process in America were in the interest of the Black community there would be no need for a Free Breakfast Program, there would be no need for Free Health Clinics or any of the other programs we have developed to meet the people’s needs. The rights of the minority are “protected” by the standards of a bourgeois government, and anything which is not in their interest is not permitted. This may be democratic for the majority, but for the minority it has the same effect as fascism. When the majority decreed that we should be slaves, we were slaves where was the democracy in slavery for us? When the majority decreed that we should pay taxes, fight and die in wars, and be given inferior and racist education against our interests, we got all of these things. Where is democracy for us in any of that?

 

 

JUSTIFIED

Such articulation requires us tohave a political organ which will express the interests of the people and interpret phenomena for them. Again, the existence of such a political vehicle is justified only so long as it serves the true interests of the people. Serving the true interests of the people, however, does not mean that the vehicle is simply a reflector of public opinion, for the opinions of the people have often been molded and directed against their true interests by slick politicians and exploitative educators.

 

 

VISION

The Original Vision. The original vision of the Black Panther Party was to serve the needs of the oppressed people in our communities and defend them against their oppressors. When the Party was initiated we knew that these goals would raise the consciousness of the people and motivate them to move more firmly for their total liberation. We also recognized that we live in a country which has become one of the most repressive governments in the world; repressive in communities all over the world. We did not expect such a repressive government to stand idly by while the Black Panther Party went forward to the goal of serving the people. We expected repression.

 

 

Original six members of the Black Panther Party (1966) Top left to right: Elbert "Big Man" Howard, Huey P. Newton (Defense Minister), Sherwin Forte, Bobby Seale (Chairman) Bottom: Reggie Forte and Little Bobby Hutton (Treasurer).

Original six members of the Black Panther Party (1966)
Top left to right: Elbert “Big Man” Howard, Huey P. Newton (Defense Minister), Sherwin Forte, Bobby Seale (Chairman)
Bottom: Reggie Forte and Little Bobby Hutton (Treasurer).

 

Origins

In 1966, Huey P. Newton was released from jail. With his friend Bobby Seale from Oakland City College, he joined a black power group called the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM). RAM had a chapter in Oakland and followed the writings of Robert F. Williams. Williams had been the president of the Monroe, North Carolina branch of the NAACP and later published a newsletter called The Crusader from Cuba, where he fled to escape kidnapping charges.

 

Newton and Seale worked at the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center, where they also served on the advisory board. To combat police brutality, the advisory board obtained 5,000 signatures in support of the City Council’s setting up a police review board to review complaints. Newton was also taking classes at the City College and at San Francisco Law School.

 

Both institutions were active in the North Oakland Center. Thus the pair had numerous connections with whom they talked about a new organization. Inspired by the success of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization and Stokely Carmichael‘s calls for separate black political organizations, they wrote their initial platform statement, the Ten-Point Program. With the help of Huey’s brother Melvin, they decided on a uniform of blue shirts, black pants, black leather jackets, black berets, and openly displayed loaded shotguns. (In his studies, Newton had discovered a California law that allowed carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun in public, as long as it was publicly displayed and pointed at no one.)

 

What became standard Black Panther discourse emerged from a long history of urban activism, social criticism and political struggle by African Americans. There is considerable debate about the impact that the Black Panther Party had on the greater society, or even their local environment. Author Jama Lazerow writes: “As inheritors of the discipline, pride, and calm self-assurance preached by Malcolm X, the Panthers became national heroes in black communities by infusing abstract nationalism with street toughness—by joining the rhythms of black working-class youth culture to the interracial élan and effervescence of Bay Area New Left politics …

 

In 1966, the Panthers defined Oakland’s ghetto as a territory, the police as interlopers, and the Panther mission as the defense of community. The Panthers’ famous “policing the police” drew attention to the spatial remove that White Americans enjoyed from the police brutality that had come to characterize life in black urban communities.” In his book Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America journalist Hugh Pearson takes a more jaundiced view, linking Panther criminality and violence to worsening conditions in America’s black ghettos as their influence spread nationwide.

 

 

Evolving ideology and widening support

Awareness of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense grew rapidly after their May 2, 1967, protest at the California State Assembly.

 

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In May 1967, the Panthers invaded the State Assembly Chamber in Sacramento, guns in hand, in what appears to have been a publicity stunt. Still, they scared a lot of important people that day. At the time, the Panthers had almost no following. Now, (a year later) however, their leaders speak on invitation almost anywhere radicals gather, and many whites wear “Honkeys for Huey” buttons, supporting the fight to free Newton, who has been in jail since last Oct. 28 (1967) on the charge that he killed a policeman …”

In October 1967, Huey Newton was arrested for the murder of Oakland Police Officer John Frey. At the time, Newton claimed that he had been falsely accused, leading to the “Free Huey” campaign. On February 17, 1968, at the “Free Huey” birthday rally in the Oakland Auditorium, several Black Panther Party leaders spoke. H. Rap Brown, Black Panther Party Minister of Justice, declared:

Huey Newton is our only living revolutionary in this country today … He has paid his dues. He has paid his dues. How many white folks did you kill today?

 

The mostly black crowd erupted in applause. James Forman, Black Panther Party Minister of Foreign Affairs, followed with:

We must serve notice on our oppressors that we as a people are not going to be frightened by the attempted assassination of our leaders. For my assassination—and I’m the low man on the totem pole—I want 30 police stations blown up, one southern governor, two mayors, and 500 cops, dead. If they assassinate Brother Carmichael, Brother Brown … Brother Seale, this price is tripled. And if Huey is not set free and dies, the sky is the limit!

 

Referring to the 1967–68 period, black historian Curtis Austin states: “During this period of development, black nationalism became part of the party’s philosophy.” During the months following the “Free Huey” birthday rallies, one in Oakland and another in Los Angeles, the Party’s violent, anti-white rhetoric attracted a huge following and Black Panther Party membership exploded.

 

Two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., on April 6, 1968, 17-year-old Bobby Hutton joined Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party Minister of Information, in what Cleaver later admitted was “an ambush” of the Oakland police. Two officers were wounded, and Bobby Hutton was killed when officers opened fire, wounding Cleaver as well.

 

After Hutton’s death, Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale and Kathleen Cleaver (Eldridge’s wife) held a rally in New York City at the Fillmore East in support of Hutton and Cleaver. Playwright LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka) joined them on stage before a mixed crowd of 2,000:

We want to become masters of our own destiny … we want to build a black nation to benefit black people … The white people who killed Bobby Hutton are the same white people sitting here.

 

The crowd, including many whites, gave LeRoi Jones a standing ovation.

 

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In 1968, the group shortened its name to the Black Panther Party and sought to focus directly on political action. Members were encouraged to carry guns and to defend themselves against violence. An influx of college students joined the group, which had consisted chiefly of “brothers off the block.” This created some tension in the group. Some members were more interested in supporting the Panthers social programs, while others wanted to maintain their “street mentality”.

 

Curtis Austin states that by late 1968, Black Panther Party ideology had evolved to the point where they began to reject black nationalism and became more a “revolutionary internationalist movement”:

(The Party) dropped its wholesale attacks against whites and began to emphasize more of a class analysis of society. Its emphasis on Marxist-Leninist doctrine and its repeated espousal of Maoist statements signaled the group’s transition from a revolutionary nationalist to a revolutionary internationalist movement. Every Party member had to study Mao Tse-tung’s “Little Red Book” to advance his or her knowledge of peoples’ struggle and the revolutionary process.

 

Panther slogans and iconography spread. At the 1968 Summer OlympicsTommie Smith and John Carlos, two American medalists, gave the black power salute during the playing of the American national anthem. The International Olympic Committee banned them from the Olympic Games for life. Hollywood celebrity Jane Fonda publicly supported Huey Newton and the Black Panthers during the early 1970s. She and other Hollywood celebrities became involved in the Panthers’ leftist programs. The Panthers attracted a wide variety of left-wing revolutionaries and political activists, including writer Jean Genet, former Ramparts magazine editor David Horowitz (who later became a major critic of what he describes as Panther criminality) and left-wing lawyer Charles R. Garry, who acted as counsel in the Panthers’ many legal battles.

 

Survival committees and coalitions were organized with several groups across the United States. Chief among these was the Rainbow Coalitionformed by Fred Hampton and the Chicago Black Panthers. The Rainbow Coalition included the Young Lords, a Latino youth gang turned political under the leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez. It also included the Young Patriots, which was organized to support young, white migrants from the Appalachia region.

 

 

Women and Womanism

At its beginnings, the Black Panther Party reclaimed black masculinity and traditional gender roles. Several scholars consider the Party’s stance of armed resistance highly masculine, with the use of guns and violence affirming proof of manhood. In 1968, the Black Panther Party newspaper stated in several articles that the role of female Panthers was to “stand behind black men” and be supportive.

 

By 1969, the Black Panther Party newspaper officially stated that men and women are equal and instructed male Panthers to treat female Party members as equals, a drastic change from the idea of the female Panther as subordinate. That same year, Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois chapter conducted a meeting condemning sexism. After 1969, the Party considered sexism counter-revolutionary.

 

The Black Panthers adopted a womanist ideology in consideration of the unique experiences of African-American women, affirming that racism is more oppressive than sexism. Womanism was a mix of black nationalism and the vindication of women, putting race and community struggle before the gender issue. Womanism posited that traditional feminism failed to include race and class struggle in its denunciation of male sexism  and was therefore part of white hegemony. In opposition to some feminist viewpoints, womanism promoted a gender role point of view that men are not above women, but hold a different position in the home and community, so men and women must work together for the preservation of African-American culture and community.

 

From this point forward, the Black Panther Party newspaper portrayed women as revolutionaries, using the example of party members such as Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis and Erika Huggins, all political, intelligent and attractive women. The Black Panther Party newspaper often showed women as active participants in the armed self-defense movement, picturing them with children and guns as protectors of the home, the family and the community.

 

This had direct implications at every level for Black Panther women. From 1968 to the end of its publication in 1982, the head editors of the Black Panther Party newspaper were all women. In 1970, approximately 40% to 70% of Party members were women, and several chapters, like the Des Moines, Iowa, and New Haven, Connecticut, were headed by women.

 

During the 1970s, recognizing the limited access poor women had to abortion, the Party officially supported women’s reproductive rights, including abortion. That same year, the Party condemned and opposed prostitution.

 

The Black Panther Party experienced significant problems in several chapters with sexism and gender oppression, particularly in the Oakland chapter where cases of sexual harassment and gender division were common. When Oakland Panthers arrived to bolster the New York City Panther chapter after New York Twenty-one leaders were incarcerated, they displayed such chauvinistic attitudes towards New York Panther women that they had to be fended off at gunpoint. Some Party leaders thought the fight for gender equality was a threat to men and a distraction from the struggle for racial equality.

 

In response, the Chicago and New York chapters, among others, established equal gender rights as a priority and tried to eradicate sexist attitudes.

 

By the time the Black Panther Party disbanded, official policy was to reprimand men who violated the rules of gender equality.

 

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Rules

The Black Panther Party had a list of 26 rules that dictated their daily party work. They regulated their participants’ use of drugs, alcohol, and their actions while they were working. Almost all of the rules had to do with only the actions of members while they were in an event or a meeting of the Black Panthers. The rules also said that members had to follow the Ten Point Program, and had to know it by heart. The final section of rules had to do with more of the leader’s responsibilities, such as providing a first aid center for members of the Black Panthers.

 

Ten Point Program

The original “Ten Point Program” from October, 1966 was as follows:

 

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black Community.

We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

2. We want full employment for our people.

We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our black Community.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of black people. We will accept the payment as currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over 50 million black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.

We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.

We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

6. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.

We believe that black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of black people.

We believe we can end police brutality in our black community by organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self defense.

8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.

We believe that all black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.

9. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.

We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the black community from which the black defendant came. We have been, and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the “average reasoning man” of the black community.

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

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Action

“This country is a nation of thieves. It stole everything it has, beginning with black people. The U.S. cannot justify its existence as the policeman of the world any longer. I do not want to be a part of the American pie. The American pie means raping South Africa, beating Vietnam, beating South America, raping the Philippines, raping every country you’ve been in. I don’t want any of your blood money. I don’t want to be part of that system. We must question whether or not we want this country to continue being the wealthiest country in the world at the price of raping everybody else.”

— Stokely Carmichael, Honorary Prime Minister

 

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Survival programs

Inspired by Mao Zedong‘s advice to revolutionaries in The Little Red Book, Newton called on the Panthers to “serve the people” and to make “survival programs” a priority within its branches. The most famous of their programs was the Free Breakfast for Children Program, initially run out of an Oakland church.

 

Other survival programs were free services such as clothing distribution, classes on politics and economics, free medical clinics, lessons on self-defense and first aid, transportation to upstate prisons for family members of inmates, an emergency-response ambulance program, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and testing for sickle-cell disease.

 

The BPP also founded the “Intercommunal Youth Institute” in January 1971, with the intent of demonstrating how black youth ought to be educated. Ericka Huggins was the director of the school and Regina Davis was an administrator. The school was unique in that it did not have grade levels but instead had different skill levels so an 11-year-old could be in second-level English and fifth-level science. Elaine Brown taught reading and writing to a group of 10- to 11-year-olds deemed “uneducable” by the system. As the school children were given free busing; breakfast, lunch, and dinner; books and school supplies; children were taken to have medical checkups; and many children were given free clothes.

 

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Political activities

The Party briefly merged with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, headed by Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture). In 1967, the party organized a march on the California state capitol to protest the state’s attempt to outlaw carrying loaded weapons in public after the Panthers had begun exercising that right. Participants in the march carried rifles. In 1968, BPP Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver ran for Presidential office on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. They were a big influence on the White Panther Party, that was tied to the Detroit/Ann Arbor band MC5 and their manager John Sinclair, author of the book Guitar Army that also promulgated a ten-point program.

 

 

Conflict with law enforcement

 

Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton standing in the street, armed with a Colt .45 and a shotgun

Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton standing in the street, armed with a Colt .45 and a shotgun

 

One of the central aims of the BPP was to stop abuse by local police departments. When the party was founded in 1966, only 16 of Oakland’s 661 police officers were African American. Accordingly, many members questioned the Department’s objectivity and impartiality. This situation was not unique to Oakland, as most police departments in major cities did not have proportional membership by African Americans. Throughout the 1960s, race riots and civil unrest broke out in impoverished African-American communities subject to policing by disproportionately white police departments. The work and writings of Robert F. WilliamsMonroe, North Carolina NAACP chapter president and author of Negroes with Guns, also influenced the BPP’s tactics.

 

The BPP sought to oppose police brutality through neighborhood patrols (an approach since adopted by groups such as Copwatch). Police officers were often followed by armed Black Panthers who sought at times to aid African-Americans who were victims of police brutality and racial prejudice. Both Panthers and police died as a result of violent confrontations. By 1970, 34 Panthers had died as a result of police raids, shoot-outs and internal conflict. Various police organizations claim the Black Panthers were responsible for the deaths of at least 15 law enforcement officers and the injuries of dozens more. During those years, juries found several BPP members guilty of violent crimes.

 

On October 17, 1967, Oakland police officer John Frey was shot to death in an altercation with Huey P. Newton during a traffic stop. In the stop, Newton and backup officer Herbert Heanes also suffered gunshot wounds. Newton was arrested and charged with murder, which sparked a “free Huey” campaign, organized by Eldridge Cleaver to help Newton’s legal defense. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, though after three years in prison he was released when his conviction was reversed on appeal. During later years Newton would boast to friend and sociobiologist Robert Trivers (one of the few whites who became a Party member during its waning years) that he had in fact murdered officer John Frey and never regretted it.

 

 

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The Murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton

 

Published on Dec 4, 2013

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther. On December 4th, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment, shot and killed him in his bed. He was just twenty-one years old. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a very different story: that the FBI, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton.

Noam Chomsky has called Hampton’s killing “the gravest domestic crime of the Nixon administration.” In 1969, he had emerged as the charismatic young chairman of the Chicago Black Panther Party.

After Hampton was killed, Black Panther leader Bobby Rush spoke at his funeral about his life and legacy.

Courtesy of documentary The Murder of Fred Hampton, produced by the Chicago Film Group.

 

 

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In April 1968, the party was involved in a gun battle, in which Panther Bobby Hutton was killed. Cleaver, who was wounded, later said that he had led the Panther group on a deliberate ambush of the police officers, thus provoking the shoot-out. In Chicago, on December 4, 1969, two Panthers were killed when the Chicago Police raided the home of Panther leader Fred Hampton. The raid had been orchestrated by the police in conjunction with the FBI; during this era the FBI was complicit in many local police actions. Hampton was shot and killed, as was Panther guard Mark Clark. Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan, his assistant and eight Chicago police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury over the raid, but the charges were later dismissed.

 

Prominent Black Panther member H. Rap Brown is serving life imprisonment for the 2000 murder of Ricky Leon Kinchen, a Fulton County, Georgia sheriff’s deputy, and the wounding of another officer in a gunbattle. Both officers were black.

 

From 1966 to 1972, when the party was most active, several departments hired significantly more African-American police officers. During this time period, many African-American police officers started to form organizations of their own to become more protective of the African-American citizenry and to increase black representation on police forces.

 

 

 

Conflict with COINTELPRO

In August 1967, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) instructed its program “COINTELPRO” to “neutralize” what the FBI called “black nationalist hate groups” and other dissident groups. In September 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panthers as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” By 1969, the Black Panthers and their allies had become primary COINTELPRO targets, singled out in 233 of the 295 authorized “Black Nationalist” COINTELPRO actions.

 

The goals of the program were to prevent the unification of militant black nationalist groups and to weaken the power of their leaders, as well as to discredit the groups to reduce their support and growth. The initial targets included the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Revolutionary Action Movement and the Nation of Islam. Leaders who were targeted included the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.Stokely CarmichaelH. Rap Brown, Maxwell Stanford and Elijah Muhammad.

 

Part of the FBI COINTELPRO actions were directed at creating and exploiting existing rivalries between black nationalist factions. One such attempt was to “intensify the degree of animosity” between the Black Panthers and the Blackstone Rangers, a Chicago street gang. They sent an anonymous letter to the Ranger’s gang leader claiming that the Panthers were threatening his life, a letter whose intent was to induce “reprisals” against Panther leadership. In Southern California similar actions were taken to exacerbate a “gang war” between the Black Panther Party and a group called the US Organization. It was alleged that the FBI had sent a provocative letter to the US Organization in an attempt to increase existing antagonism between US and the Panthers.

 

 

Violence

From the beginning, the Black Panther Party’s focus on militancy came with a reputation for violence. The Panthers employed a California law that permitted carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun as long as it was publicly displayed and pointed at no one. Carrying weapons openly and making threats against police officers, for example, chants like “The Revolution has come, it’s time to pick up the gun. Off the pigs!”, helped create the Panthers’ reputation as a violent organization.

 

On May 2, 1967, the California State Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure was scheduled to convene to discuss what was known as the “Mulford Act“, which would ban public displays of loaded firearms. Cleaver and Newton put together a plan to send a group of about 30 Panthers led by Seale from Oakland to Sacramento to protest the bill. The group entered the assembly carrying their weapons, an incident which was widely publicized, and which prompted police to arrest Seale and five others. The group pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disrupting a legislative session.

 

On October 28, 1967, Oakland police officer John Frey was shot to death in an altercation with Huey P. Newton during a traffic stop. In the stop, Newton and backup officer Herbert Heanes also suffered gunshot wounds. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter at trial. This incident gained the party even wider recognition by the radical American left, and a “Free Huey” campaign ensued. Newton was released after three years, when his conviction was reversed on appeal. During later years Newton would boast to sociobiologist Robert Trivers (one of the few whites who became a Party member during its waning years) that he had in fact murdered officer John Frey.

 

On April 7, 1968, Panther Bobby Hutton was killed, and Cleaver was wounded in a shootout with the Oakland police. Two police officers were also shot. Although at the time Cleaver claimed that the police had ambushed them, Cleaver later admitted that he had led the Panther group on a deliberate ambush of the police officers, thus provoking the shoot-out.

 

From the fall of 1967 through the end of 1970, nine police officers were killed and 56 were wounded, and ten Panther deaths and an unknown number of injuries resulted from confrontations. In 1969 alone, 348 Panthers were arrested for a variety of crimes. On February 18, 1970 Albert Wayne Williams was shot by the Portland Police Bureau outside the Black Panther party headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Though his wounds put him in a critical condition, he made a full recovery.

 

In May 1969, Black Panther Party members tortured and murdered Alex Rackley, a 19-year-old member of the New York chapter, because they suspected him of being a police informant. Three party officers — Warren KimbroGeorge Sams, Jr., and Lonnie McLucas — later admitted taking part. Sams, who gave the order to shoot Rackley at the murder scene, turned state’s evidence and testified that he had received orders personally from Bobby Seale to carry out the execution. After this betrayal, party supporters alleged that Sams was himself the informant and an agent provocateur employed by the FBI. The case resulted in the New Haven, Connecticut Black Panther trials of 1970, memorialized in the courtroom sketches of Robert Templeton. The trial ended with a hung jury, and the prosecution chose not to seek another trial.

 

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Violent conflict between the Panther chapter in LA and the US Organization, a rival group, resulted in shootings and beatings, and led to the murders of at least four Black Panther Party members. On January 17, 1969, Los Angeles Panther Captain Bunchy Carter and Deputy Minister John Huggins were killed in Campbell Hall on the UCLA campus, in a gun battle with members of the US Organization. Another shootout between the two groups on March 17 led to further injuries.

 

 

Murder of Betty van Patter

Black Panther bookkeeper Betty van Patter was murdered in 1974, and although this crime was never solved, the Panthers, according to the magazine Mother Jones, were “almost universally believed to be responsible”. David Horowitz became certain that Black Panther members were responsible and denounced the Panthers. When Huey Newton was shot dead 15 years later, Horowitz characterized Newton as a killer. 

 

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Let it be noted, David Horowitz waited until AFTER Huey Newton was dead to open his punk ass mouth about Huey P. Newton.

 

A Huey P. Newton Story

 

 

 

When Art Goldberg, a former colleague at Ramparts, alleged that Horowitz himself was responsible for the death of van Patter by recommending her for the position of Black Panther accountant, Horowitz counter-alleged that “the Panthers had killed more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution and drug rackets in the Oakland ghetto.” He said further that the organization was committed “to doctrines that are false and to causes that are demonstrably wrongheaded and even evil.” Former chairperson Elaine Brown also questioned Horowitz’s motives in recommending van Patter to the Panthers; she suspected espionage. Horowitz later became known for his conservative viewpoints and opposition to leftist thought.

 

 

Decline

Significant disagreements among the Party’s leaders over how to confront ideological differences led to a split within the party. Certain members felt the Black Panthers should participate in local government and social services, while others encouraged constant conflict with the police. For some of the Party’s supporters, the separations among political action, criminal activity, social services, access to power, and grass-roots identity became confusing and contradictory as the Panthers’ political momentum was bogged down in the criminal justice system. These (and other) disagreements led to a split.

 

Some Panther leaders, such as Huey Newton and David Hilliard, favored a focus on community service coupled with self-defense; others, such as Eldridge Cleaver, embraced a more confrontational strategy. Eldridge Cleaver deepened the schism in the party when he publicly criticized the Party for adopting a “reformist” rather than “revolutionary” agenda and called for Hilliard’s removal. Cleaver was expelled from the Central Committee but went on to lead a splinter group, the Black Liberation Army, which had previously existed as an underground paramilitary wing of the Party.

 

The Party eventually fell apart due to rising legal costs and internal disputes. In 1974, Huey Newton appointed Elaine Brown as the first Chairwoman of the Party. Under Brown’s leadership, the Party became involved in organizing for more radical electoral campaigns, including Brown’s 1975 unsuccessful run for Oakland City Council and Lionel Wilson‘s successful election as the first black mayor of Oakland.

 

In addition to changing the Party’s direction towards more involvement in the electoral arena, Brown also increased the influence of women Panthers by placing them in more visible roles within the previously male-dominated organization. In 1977, after Newton returned from Cuba and ordered the beating of a female Panther who organized many of the Party’s social programs, Brown left the Party.

 

Although many scholars and activists date the Party’s downfall to the period before Brown became the leader, an increasingly smaller cadre of Panthers continued to exist through the 1970s. By 1980, Panther membership had dwindled to 27, and the Panther-sponsored school closed in 1982 after it became known that Newton was embezzling funds from the school to pay for his drug addiction.

 

Legacy

Some critics have written that the Panthers’ “romance with the gun” and their promotion of “gang mentality” was likely associated with the enormous increase in both black-on-black and black-on-white crime observed during later decades. This increase occurred in the Panthers’ hometown of Oakland, California, and in other cities nationwide. Interviewed after he left the Black Panther Party, former Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver lamented that the legacy of the Panthers was at least partly one of disrespect for the law and indiscriminate violence. He acknowledged that, had his promotion of violent black militantism prevailed, it would have resulted in “a total bloodbath.” Cleaver also lamented the abandonment of poor blacks by the black bourgeoisie and felt that black youth had been left without appropriate role models who could teach them to properly channel their militant spirit and their desire for justice.

 

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In October 2006, the Black Panther Party held a 40-year reunion in Oakland.

 

In January 2007, a joint California state and Federal task force charged eight men with the August 29, 1971, murder of California police officer Sgt. John Young. The defendants have been identified as former members of the Black Liberation Army. Two have been linked to the Black Panthers. In 1975 a similar case was dismissed when a judge ruled that police gathered evidence through the use of torture. On June 29, 2009 Herman Bell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Sgt. Young. In July 2009, charges were dropped against four of the accused: Ray Boudreaux, Henry W. Jones, Richard Brown and Harold Taylor. Also that month Jalil Muntaquim pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter becoming the second person to be convicted in this case.

 

Since the 1990s, former Panther chief of staff David Hilliard has offered tours of sites in Oakland historically significant to the Black Panther Party.

 

 

 

PANTHER ( 1995 ) Full Length Movie

 

 

 

WHAT WAS THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY? The Black Panther Party was a progressive political organization that stood in the vanguard of the most powerful movement for social change in America since the Revolution of 1776 and the Civil War: that dynamic episode generally referred to as The Sixties. It is the sole black organization in the entire history of black struggle against slavery and oppression in the United States that was armed and promoted a revolutionary agenda, and it represents the last great thrust by the mass of black people for equality, justice and freedom.

 

The Party’s ideals and activities were so radical, it was at one time assailed by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States.” And, despite the demise of the Party, its history and lessons remain so challenging and controversial that established texts and media would erase all reference to the Party from American history.

 

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#Justice4Jordan #HoodiesStillUp4Trayvon

#Justice4Jordan
#HoodiesStillUp4Trayvon

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BREAKING NEWS: Marissa Alexander Bonds Out Of Jail. THATS A Great Thanksgiving Moment.


 

By Jueseppi B.

download (2)

 

 

Marissa Alexander bonds out of jail

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The Jacksonville mother convicted of shooting at her estranged husband has bonded out of jail.

 

Marissa Alexander was released just before midnight Wednesday. She is now under house arrest.

 

Alexander is awaiting a new trial for firing two shots near her estranged husband.

 

A judge ruled in September that Alexander would receive a new trial due to bad jury instructions given in her first trial.

 

Alexander and her attorneys say she fired the gun as a “warning shot.”

 

 

Statement from State Attorney‘s Office

 

“The State Attorney’s Office made all statements regarding its position on bond in its written response dated November 13, 2013. The SAO will continue to seek justice for our two child victims and their father who were endangered by the shot the defendant fired at them. Any further comments regarding the prosecution of this defendant will be made in the proper venue – the courtroom.”
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Jackelyn Barnard
State Attorney’s Office

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Marissa Alexander Released On Bail

 

 

 

Florida Woman Marissa Alexander Sentenced To 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot Seeks Bail

 

 

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Florida was convicted of aggravated assault in March 2012. She has now been granted a new trial in September after her conviction was thrown out by an appeals court judge who said the trial jury was given incorrect instructions on self-defense.

 

A new trial for the 31-year-old mother of three will begin next April.

 

Alexander’s conviction sparked criticism of racial double standards in Florida’s justice system as it was compared to George Zimmerman‘s exoneration.

 

The Jacksonville woman, who is black, argued self-defense under the “Stand Your Ground” law, which gives the benefit of the doubt to a shooter who feels threatened. In her case no one was injured and she was still convicted.

 

More than a year later George Zimmerman, who is half Latino and half white, used the same defense. In his case a black teenager was killed and he was not convicted.

 

Alexander hopes she will be released from jail after her bond hearing on Wednesday. As she awaits the new trial, her team of prosecutors say they will be prepared.

 

“The facts are facts,” Assistant State Attorney David Thompson said. “Facts don’t change. So we’re going to put the same facts to the law and give the proper jury instruction this time.”

 

Related Links

 

Marissa Alexander Bond Order 

 

This is the best Thanksgiving that I have ever experienced. Enjoy your family Ms. Alexander. Well deserved. No Justice No Peace.

 

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Young Kendrick Johnson: Kills Self By Blow To Back Of Head Then Crawls UP Inside A Rolled Up Gym Mat…So Say Authorities.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Young Kendrick Johnson. Murder or Accident?

 

I originally wrote this on  May 14, 2013 and now new evidence has come to light in this travesty of justice, which is more like injustice than anything else. Black life in AmeriKKKa is a worthless joke….it’s not justice but “JustUS.”

 

From ClutchMagazineOnline.

 

What Happened to Kendrick Johnson?

 

 

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Kendrick Johnson was found dead 110 days ago. The sophomore’s bruised and battered frame was hidden in a rolled-up mat in Georgia’s Lowndes High School’s gymnasium. Johnson’s parents believe he was murdered and are seeking answers and justice.

 

 

Authorities have ruled Kendrick Johnson’s death accidental, claiming Johnson was ensnared in the mat while attempting to retrieve a piece of clothing. A preliminary autopsy found no signs of struggle or injuries congruent with a murder. The case was closed soon after the autopsy results were released.

 

 

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine issued this release Thursday- 

 

This morning Sheriff Prine, investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson and District Attorney J. David Miller and all met and participated in a conference call with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

 

In addition of the persons from Lowndes County, the call was attended by Doctor Maryanne Gaffney-Kraft, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of Kendrick Johnson in January, George Herring, Deputy Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation-Division of Forensic Sciences, Doctor Kris Sperry, Chief Medical Examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and representatives from the Forensic Biology section of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

 

During this call, the findings of recent forensic testing and the autopsy were relayed. Based on the findings of the investigation, physical evidence, forensic sciences and the autopsy, the death of Kendrick Johnson has been ruled as an accident as a result of positional asphyxia.

 

Although not previously released, Sheriff Prine stated that this investigation was very extensive and included the completion of multiple forensic tests, including DNA samples collected from the scene and the interview of over one hundred {100} persons, including students, teachers and other people who were identified as the investigation progressed.

 

Nothing learned during the investigation has indicated anything other than this was a tragic accident.

 

Sheriff Prine continued to express his sorrow for the family and hopes that with the release of the investigative findings, including the medical findings, the family can find the answers they seek and begin the healing process.

 

This explanation hasn’t persuaded Johnson’s father.Kenneth Johnson believes his son was murdered and left in the mat to be discovered.

 

“He was last seen third block going to fourth block, he was seen no more,” Johnson told the local news affiliate, WALB. “Then again, I want to express how did my son go missing during school hours in broad daylight? We know our son was murdered while he was at Lowndes High School. We do know that.”

 

A graphic photo shows Johnson with visible lacerations on his face. The coroner claims the injuries are due to all of the blood rushing to his head while he was attempting to escape the map.

 

These explanations are not satiating the Johnson’s quest for answers. His parents have requested a complete autopsy, but allege authorities have not been cooperative or transparent about their investigation. Lowndes High School’s administration refuses to release security camera footage of Johnson entering the gymnasium or what occurred in the moments prior to his death.

 

The sheriff’s department did not contact the coroner until six hours after Johnson’s body was discovered, leading speculation that evidence was either removed or tampered with prior to the notification of death. The coroner, Bill Watson, claims his investigation was compromised by the delay.

 

“This was not fair to the decedent, his family, and the citizens of Valdosta and Lowndes County, Ga. And it’s wrong as rain,” Watson told the Examiner.

 

He continued. “Well it compromises my investigation one hundred percent. I don’t know what the county did when they got there on the scene. The body had been moved. The scene, in my opinion, had been compromised.”

 

All of these missteps are prompting the Johnson family to continue probing for answers. On April 25, Johnson’s parents staged a demonstration at the Lowndes Judicial Complex in Valdosta, Georgia. Supporters chanted and held “No Justice, No Peace” signs before blocking the front door to the complex.

 

Johnson’s parents and five other supporters were arrested for civil obedience, but still plan to continue protesting until a resolution is reached.

 

A final autopsy was conducted, but the results haven’t been released by the GBI Crime Lab. The sheriff’s department has no approximate estimation for when the results will be available.

 

“We certainly would like to get it as fast as anybody but we don’t know when the GBI will be able to complete this testing,” Lt. Stryde Jones of the Lowndes Co. Sheriff’s Office told The Global Dispatch.

 

“We’re still waiting the final facts and to close it out prematurely and to make a premature decision would just be totally wrong, and we wouldn’t be doing justice to the family, to the community, or to ourselves as a law enforcement agency,” Jones explained.

 

Johnson’s father is still grieving. He asked local reporters, “How can you go on when you have a beloved child who wakes up everybody in the house and makes a laugh out of everything, how can you go on? It’s hard.”

 

However, the family’s mourning is not keeping them from seeking justice for Kendrick.

 

The question we must all continue to ask is: What happened to Kendrick Johnson?

 

Thank you ClutchMagazineOnline.

 

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The Results Are In: 17-Year-Old Kendrick Johnson’s Death Ruled An Accident 

 

After suspicion that their son was murdered and a call for further investigation, officials in Lowndes County, Ga. are finally announcing the anticipated autopsy results that will reveal the cause of Kendrick Johnson’s death.

 

According to WCTV:

Based on the findings of the investigation, physical evidence, forensic sciences and the autopsy, the death of Kendrick Johnson has been ruled as an accident as a result of positional asphyxia.

 

However, Kendrick’s family isn’t convinced.

 

The family believes Johnson was murdered. His body was found inside a rolled-up cheerleading mat in the old Lowndes High School gym January 11th. Investigators believe he was in the gym alone, reached into the mat to get something he dropped, and got stuck.

“I’m frustrated that my nephew was supposedly found in a mat, when that doesn’t make sense,” said Johnson’s Aunt, Stacy Roe.

 

Civil Rights activists with Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and The United Justice League led the rally, calling for a federal investigation.

 

“We want an independent investigation, lets just say by an agency with higher credentials than Lowndes County. There’s been a number of what we feel are inconsistencies, are mishandlings, and for that very reason is why we want another set of eyes,” said Atlanta’s National Action Network Chapter President, Marcus Coleman.

 

The family says they expected the autopsy report would rule the death as an accident. And they plan to keep rallying until federal investigators step in.

 

“When you have the body that’s been moved, when you have the Coroner’s Office being notified hours later, when you have the misplacement of his clothing, which could be a direct indicator of any evidence needed to move forward,” said Coleman.

Read more:

 

 

Related Stories

 

R.I.P Kendrick Johnson Facebook Page

 

The Johnson and supporters of the KJ movement have continued to put pressure on local officials through peaceful assembly in a myriad of demonstrations throughout the month of April on the streets of downtown Valdostaand near the Courthouse. The Johnson and supporters of the KJ movement have continued to put pressure on local officials through peaceful assembly in a myriad of demonstrations

 

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Kendrick Johnson (Bottom) looks the same as Emmett Till 2 days after he was found (On Jan. 11, 2013) deceased at Lowndes High School, but the Sheriff say that no foul play was involved…THE DEVIL IS A LIE!!!…The Johnson family needs the TRUTH AND JUSTICE!!!

 

 

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This is a picture of Kendrick Johnson’s father trying to get himself into one of the mats they say Kendrick Johnson supposedly gotten himself stuck in. His father was trying to push himself into the mat & this is all he could get inside of the mat… Y’ALL BE THE JUDGE!!!

 

 

New developments in the Kendrick Johnson Case.

 

New photos in Ga. teen Kendrick Johnson’s death raise specter of foul play, report says

By ByIris Carreras & CBS News:

 

CBS) LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. – The body of  Georgia 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found in an athletic mat last January, a  death originally ruled an accident.

Now, new images suggest that it could have been something else, reports CNN.

 

Johnson’s body was reportedly found wedged into a rolled up wrestling mat at Lowndes County High School on January 11, and medical examiners had determined that he suffocated while reaching for a sneaker.

 

The teen’s family, who doubted the medical examiner’s findings, commissioned a second autopsy that concluded he died from non-accidental blunt force trauma, according to CBS affiliate WCTV.

 

In a new video and photos taken by the sheriff’s office and released by CNN, blood can reportedly be seen in several areas of the gym where Johnson was found. Blood streaks are also seen on a nearby wall but investigators reportedly said it wasn’t Johnson’s.

 

Harold Copus, an FBI agent turned private investigator, told CNN, “I don’t believe this was an accident. I think this young man met with foul play.”

 

CNN reports the Lowndes County Sheriff’s office refused to discuss the case saying it was closed.

 

Federal prosecutors in Georgia are now reportedly reviewing the photos to determine if another investigation is necessary.

 

Johnson’s father told CNN he believes his son was murdered.

 

Thank you CBS News.

 

 

What happened to Kendrick Johnson!

 

Published on May 10, 2013

Kendrick Johnson: Georgia Teen’s Family Waiting For Autopsy.

 

 

 

 

Kendrick Johnson Murder or Accident, Michael Baisden, Al Sharpton and Death at LCHS

 

Published on Jan 14, 2013

 

 

 

Part I. Autopsy, Kendrick Johnson Exhumed June 14, 2013

 

Published on Jun 15, 2013

June 14, 2013, 5:30 AM “Sunset Cemetery” Valdosta, Georgia.

 

 

 

Part II. Kindrick Johnson Auopsy, June 14, 2013

 

Published on Jun 15, 2013

June 14, 2013, 5:30 AM “Sunset Cemetery” Valdosta, Georgia.

 

 

 

Part III, and Conclusioin (June 14, 2013), KENDRICK JOHNSON

 

Published on Jun 15, 2013

June 14, 2013, 5:30 AM “Sunset Cemetery” Valdosta, Georgia.

 

 

 

See disturbing new evidence in Kendrick Johnson’s death

 

Published on Oct 8, 2013

Disturbing new evidence casts a new light on the death of high school student Kendrick Johnson. Victor Blackwell reports.

 

 

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Gym mat death shocker: Body stuffed with newspaper

 

By Victor Blackwell and Devon Sayers, CNN

 

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Valdosta, Georgia (CNN) – The death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was awful enough for his parents. Then came the doubts about investigators’ conclusion that it was an accident.

 

But the discovery that their son’s body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial added a horrific new dimension to their anguish and further fueled their skepticism of the official findings.

 

“We have been let down again,” his father, Kenneth Johnson, told CNN. “When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick.”

 

Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January. State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker.

 

Death was not accidental, family’s autopsy finds

 

His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, never have bought that explanation. They won a court order to have their son’s body exhumed and a second autopsy performed in June.

 

During an autopsy, internal organs are removed and examined before being returned for burial. But when Dr. Bill Anderson, the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy, opened up the teen’s remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.

 

“I’m not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body,” Anderson said. “But I know when we got the body, the organs were not there.”

 

Two entities had custody of Kendrick Johnson’s body after his death — the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the first autopsy in January; and the Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, which handled the teen’s embalming and burial.

 

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang told CNN that after the autopsy, “the organs were placed in Johnson’s body, the body was closed, then the body was released to the funeral home.” That’s normal practice, Lang said.

 

The funeral home would not comment to CNN. But in a letter to the Johnsons’ attorney, funeral home owner Antonio Harrington said his firm never received the teen’s organs. Harrington wrote that the organs “were destroyed through natural process” due to the position of Kendrick Johnson’s body when he died, and “discarded by the prosector before the body was sent back to Valdosta.” A prosector dissects the body for pathological examination.

 

Scene points to foul play

 

Stuffing a body with old newsprint and department-store circulars — “like he was a garbage can,” as Jacquelyn Johnson put it — isn’t exactly standard practice in forensic pathology or the mortician’s trade. Vernie Fountain, the founder of a Missouri embalming school, called it “not consistent with the standards of care” in the industry. And Dr. Gregory Schmunk, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told CNN, “I have never heard of this practice.”

 

Organs are typically placed in plastic bag, which is then put back into the body cavity after an autopsy, Schmunk told CNN in an e-mail. While individual organs may be kept back for further testing, he wrote, “This would not amount to all of the organs in any circumstance that I can imagine.”

 

Funeral homes are licensed by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, which has opened an investigation into how Johnson’s body was treated, said Jared Thomas, a spokesman for the agency.

 

Anderson, who was hired by the Johnson family for a second autopsy, found Kendrick Johnson had sustained a blow to the right side of his neck that was “consistent with inflicted injury.” Challenging the state autopsy’s finding of positional asphyxiation, he concluded the teen died as the result of “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.”

 

And death scene imagery obtained exclusively by CNN has led a former FBI agent to question how Johnson died: “I think this young man met with foul play,” said Harold Copus, now an Atlanta private investigator.

 

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine refused to discuss the matter with CNN, calling Johnson’s death a closed case. The U.S. Justice Department announced in September that it wouldn’t open a civil rights investigation into the case.

 

But federal prosecutors in south Georgia have met with the family’s representatives and are weighing whether to open their own probe, said Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney whose district includes Valdosta.

 

“This is about getting to the facts and the truth, and we want the Johnson family and the community of Valdosta to have confidence in the process,” Moore said. “I am cognizant of time, and we continue to move the process along.”

 

Moore urged anyone with information about Johnson’s death to contact his office. Johnson’s parents have come to believe their son’s death was no accident, and the macabre discovery about their son’s body has only deepened that belief.

 

“It’s unbearable, just about,” Jacquelyn Johnson said. “The only thing that wakes you up in the morning is to just keep pushing.”

 

CNN’s Mary Lynn Ryan contributed to this report.

 

Thank you  CNN.

 

Now I’m NOT a crime scene investigator but I do have common sense, and my common sense tells me Kendrick Johnson could not kill himself by a blow to the rear of HIS OWN head. Then proceed to crawl up inside of a rolled up gym mat.

 

And die of suffocation….after being dead form a self inflicted fatal blow to the back OF HIS OWN HEAD.

 

Or am I just crazy?

 

Black life means jack shit in The United States Of AmeriKKKa.

 

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