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Black Panther Party

Bobby Seale — Chairman of the Black Panther Party — on Assassination of Police Officers We Do Not Assassinate Policemen. We, the peaceful protesters, DO NOT ASSASSINATE POLICEMEN. And those who do, and those who chant to support such negativity are stooping to the low level of a racist fascist mentality. Real peoples’ constitutional democratic civil-human rights revolution is not about a need for violence. Grass roots, middle working, poor and low income peoples revolution is about evolving and re-evolving more progressive politics, i.e., better economic parity, greater environmental ecological standards and practices, and broad social justice empowerments into the hands of the people via legislative policies and practical economic jobs programs that make humane sense. That is what peoples empowerment revolution is about. The fact that some mentally deranged young person who shot his girlfriend, left Baltimore for New York and then stupidly shot and killed two police officers and himself has little or nothing to do with the peaceful protester’s right to demand and call for justice and indictments of specific policemen or others involved in the killings of the unarmed Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and others including black killings in Cleveland Ohio, Milwaukee Wisconsin and many cities across our USA. Nor should the killer of the two police officers in New York be any reason for that small group of protest chanters to call for cops to be killed. They are dead wrong to chant that. Such a chant begins to confuse the real social justice goal objective of the Black Lives Matter protest movement. Months before the beginning of my Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966, I remember meeting at Merritt College a Black Police officer, Sargent Williams who was recruiting young black and brown male students for the Oakland Police Department. Conversationally befriending him, I remember he gave us information about the thirty five percent white racist policemen in the Oakland P.D., how most other policemen were just doing their jobs. {Read my book SEIZE THE TIME] Later, when we went out to “legally” observe the Oakland, SF, Richmond, and Berkeley, California police, because of the unchecked rampant police brutality and murder of Black People in those communities, not to mention their brutality on peaceful protesters, our patrolling of police was our BPP tactic. A tactic to capture the imagination of the people to better organize their electoral voting power bringing the community together. I never thought in terms of just running out and killing policemen. Never. Not me. In fact our Black Panther policy was that we will take the arrest if a policeman formally demanded it. We were not scared of the court. The courts would be a forum for us as I demonstrated in the Great Chicago Seven Conspiracy trial in 1969 of which I was the eighth defendant. And later we defendants won that case. After the last big shootout on December 8th 1969 in Los Angeles which we won in the courts with nationwide public support, there was a young white Berkeley policeman who stole the POLICE-FBI plans to attack out Berkeley, CA BPP headquarters and gave the plans to our Lawyer, Charles R. Garry. The young policemen lost his job, but it gave us an edge when we printed these POLICE-FBI planned attacks that later was fed into the US Senate investigation against the FBI’s COINTELPRO fascist tactics. This political move stopped all the racist Fascist attacks on our BPP offices across the USA. Actually of all the Black Panther Party members who went to trial, we actually won ninety-five percent of all our court room trials.

Over the years I have become friends with many policemen beginning with some thirty odd policemen who supported and voted for me when I ran for Mayor of Oakland, CA in 1974. These were the days after the 1969 year of cross country police-FBI attacks on our BPP offices where we did defend ourselves when we were literally attacked. After my BPP era, and living in Philadelphia, PA, I became friends with some eight different police and state troopers in Philadelphia while organizing socially responsible programs at Temple University and running, yet again, youth Jobs programs (my real original forte’) in the Germantown community in Philadelphia in the 1980’s. Today I have a Black Panther Party person who is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff complete with his badge. We, you and I, the peace loving people protesting for justice, do NOT stoop to the level of the racist mentality of indiscriminate killings and murder. And we find and support those policemen who help us get the justice we demand. All Power to All the People Bobby Seale: 1966 Founding Chairman & National Organizer of the original Black Panther Party

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