[sixties-l] Geronimo wins $4.5 million settlement (was Targets of Cointelpro)

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Jun 02 2000 - 18:58:53 CUT

  • Next message: Jeffrey Apfel: "[sixties-l] Re: Will the sixties have its "Gone with the Wind"?"

    > Judge approves $4.5 million settlement for former Black Panther
    > leader
    > April 28, 2000
    > LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- With his lawyer declaring that 3 decades of
    > injustice had come to an end, a federal judge on Friday approved a
    > $4.5 million settlement for former Black Panther leader Elder "Geronimo"
    > who spent 25 years in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit.
    > Attorney Johnnie Cochran, who represented Pratt at his 1972 murder trial
    > and helped him win his freedom a quarter century later after a judge
    > found that key evidence was withheld by prosecutors, said the case proved
    > that "you can fight city hall and the federal government and win."
    > A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice said the deal must still be
    > approved by the Los Angeles City Council and includes no admission of
    > wrongdoing by the federal government. A spokesman for Mayor Richard
    > Riordan could not be reached for comment on the agreement.
    > "We have an agreement in principle, but the details have not been
    > finalized and there has been no admission of liability by the U.S.," said
    > Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller. Cochran said the terms of
    > the settlement call for the city to pay Pratt, 53, who now uses the name
    > Geronimo ji-Jaga, $2.75 million and the federal government to pay $1.7
    > million.
    > "This puts to rest a matter that has gone on for more than three decades,"
    > Cochran said, referring to Pratt's imprisonment, release and subsequent
    > civil rights lawsuit against those he held responsible.
    > "Both the city of Los Angeles and the government stepped up to the plate
    > and did the right thing," said Cochran, who is best known for winning an
    > acquittal on murder charges for former football star O.J. Simpson at the
    > so-called "Trial of the Century."
    > He said that the Pratt case demonstrated that "you have to look at every
    > (governmental) agency. No agency should be considered above the
    > law."
    > Pratt, 53, a Vietnam War veteran, was convicted in 1972 of the December,
    > 1968, murder of school teacher Caroline Olsen in a Santa Monica park
    > in a robbery that netted just $18.
    > He claimed during his trial and thereafter that he was innocent and was
    > framed by Los Angeles police officers and FBI agents. He argued that the
    > FBI had him under surveillance and knew through illegal wiretaps that he
    > was in Oakland, California, attending Black Panther Party meetings when
    > Olsen was slain.
    > In Pratt's sixth appeal of his conviction, Orange County Superior Court
    > Judge Everett W. Dickey overturned his conviction, ruling that prosecutors
    > at his 1972 murder trial had concealed evidence that could have led to
    > an acquittal.
    > Pratt has moved to Morgan City, Louisiana, his hometown, where he is
    > working with a community coalition to convert the abandoned school he
    > once attended into a youth center.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 02 2000 - 19:11:56 CUT