Monday, November 02, 2009

book review - The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther

This new book was released on November 1, and my review of it is featured at, a progressive perspective on world events. Below is an excerpt. Please read the full article here.

On the morning of December 4, 1969, lawyer Jeffrey Haas received a call from his partner at the People’s Law Office, informing him that early that morning Chicago police had raided the apartment of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton at 2337 West Monroe Street in Chicago. Tragically, Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark had both been shot dead, and four other Panthers in the apartment had critical gunshot wounds. Police were uninjured and had fired their guns 90-99 times. In sharp contrast, the Panthers had shot once, from the shotgun held by Mark Clark, which had most likely been fired after Clark had been fatally shot in the heart and was falling to the ground.

Haas went straight to the police station to speak with Hampton’s fiancĂ©e, Deborah Johnson, who was then eight months pregnant with Hampton’s son. She had been sleeping in bed next to Hampton when the police attacked and began shooting into the apartment and towards the bedroom where they were sleeping. Miraculously, Johnson had not been shot, but her account given to Haas was chilling. Throughout the assault Hampton had remained unconscious (strong evidence emerged later that a paid FBI informant had given Hampton a sedative that prevented him from waking up) and after police forced Johnson out of the bedroom, two officers entered the room where Hampton still lay unconscious. Johnson heard one officer ask, "Is he still alive?" After two gunshots were fired inside the room, the other officer said, "He’s good and dead now."

This article has also been featured at Black Commentator, Z Net, Infoshop, Philly IMC, Peoples' Voice, Daily Kos, Mostly Water,, Eat The State!, Political Affairs mediaLeft, and Assata Shakur Speaks.

Also, be sure and check out the review by Ernesto Aguilar here. and another review at the Why Am I Not Suprised? blog here.

(In this photo, reminiscent of the photos of southern lynchings, smiling police carry away Fred Hampton's body)

Watch the 1971 film "The Murder of Fred Hampton."