>July 17, 2000
>L.A. settles with ex-Black Panther
>LOS ANGELES -- Friday, a chapter was closed from the turbulent
>1960s when Los Angeles officials reached a settlement with a
>former member Black radical who - according to the courts -- was
>wrongly convicted of murder.
>Los Angeles officials agreed to a $4.5 million settlement for Elmer
>The member of the radical Black Panther party spent 27 years in
>prison for crime he says he did not commit.
>Pratt says was attending a Black Panther meeting in Northern
>California when a Los Angeles school teacher was robbed and shot
>on a tennis court in 1968.
>The woman's husband, who saw the killing, identified Pratt as the
>assailant. But three years ago, his conviction was overturned after
>the government said its chief witness was an informant for both
>Los Angeles police and the FBI. Prosecutors earlier had denied
>Under terms of the settlement, Pratt will receive nearly $3 million
>from the city of Los Angeles and the remainder from the federal
>Several local officials, including Los Angeles city councilman Nate
>Holden, said the settlement is too low in view of what Pratt went
>"His constitutional rights, civil rights, have been violated. He
>should be compensated for that appropriately," Holden said.
>Pratt has always maintained he was targeted by police because of
>his radical connections.
>Now 53, he lives in his home state of Louisiana.
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