Re: [sixties-l] Opening statements expected in trial of ex-Black Panther (fwd)

From: Jama Lazerow (jlazerow@wheelock.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 12:09:23 EST

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    Except that Rap was never really a Panther, save for the titular position he
    held during the short-lived "merger" or "alliance" (depending on the
    perspective) of early 1968. Some of us have been trying to correct this
    misnomer since last year, without success, obviously.

    Jama Lazerow
    Wheelock College
    jlazerow@wheelock.edu

    George Snedeker wrote:

    > I can not understand why people insist in referring to Al-Amin (H. Rap
    > Brown) as an ex-Black Panther. why not refer to him as a former leader of
    > SNCC? what does "Black Panther" signify in this context? a violent criminal?
    > let's be a little careful about the hidden meanings of our very political
    > language. why not refer to H. Rap as a former Communist? after all, the
    > Panthers were Marxist-Leninists...
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: <sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu>
    > To: sixties-l <sixties-l@lists.village.virginia.edu>
    > Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 3:26 AM
    > Subject: [sixties-l] Opening statements expected in trial of ex-Black
    > Panther (fwd)
    >
    > >
    > >
    > > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    > > Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 23:57:56 -0800
    > > From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    > > Subject: Opening statements expected in trial of ex-Black Panther
    > >
    > > Opening statements expected in trial of ex-Black Panther
    > >
    > > <http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/02/19/al.amin.trial/index.html>
    > >
    > > February 19, 2002
    > > Atlanta, Georgia (CNN)
    > >
    > > Opening statements got under way Tuesday in the trial of a former Black
    > > Panther whoin the 1960swent by the name H. Rap Brown.
    > > If convicted, Jamil Abdullah Abdullah Al-Amin, who went by the name H. Rap
    > > Brown in the 1960s, could face the death penalty.
    > > Al-Amin, now a Muslim cleric who ran a small grocery store till his
    > arrest,
    > > is charged with killing a Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff's deputy and
    > > wounding another on March 16, 2000.
    > > The surviving deputy is expected to testify that Al-Amin fired at them
    > that
    > > day when officers tried to arrest him on minor charges.
    > > The arrest warrant was for Al-Amin's failure to appear in court on charges
    > > of receiving stolen property and impersonating an officer.
    > > The deputies exchanged gunfire with a man standing near a black Mercedes
    > > Benz, and a spokesman on that day said the deputies might have wounded the
    > > man who shot at them.
    > > One deputy, Ricky Kinchen, died the next day. The surviving officer
    > > identified Al-Amin as the shooter.
    > > SWAT teams, helicopters and search dogs joined in a hunt that started with
    > > a blood trail. After entering a vacant house where police thought they'd
    > > cornered the shooter, they found more signs that the assailant may have
    > > been wounded.
    > > Four days later, authorities arrested Al-Amin in Lowndes County, Alabama,
    > > 175 miles southwest of Atlanta. He was not wounded.
    > > Police also found a rifle and handgun near his arrest location, and tests
    > > indicated they were the weapons that wounded Kinchen, a local newspaper
    > > reported. Ten days later, they also found a black Mercedes with bullet
    > > holes in it.
    > > Three months later, an Atlanta fugitive captured in Nevada confessed to
    > > killing Kinchen. He later recanted that statement.
    > > Black Panther past
    > > Born Hubert Gerold Brown in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Al-Amin went by the
    > > name H. Rap Brown during the 1960s and served as chairman of the Student
    > > Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
    > > In 1967, he was charged with inciting a riot in Cambridge, Maryland, where
    > > he declared to hundreds of African-Americans: "It's time for Cambridge to
    > > explode, baby. Black folks built America, and if America don't come
    > around,
    > > we're going to burn America down."
    > > The next morning, a school and two city blocks burned.
    > > He later joined the Black Panther Party, which sought to empower
    > > African-Americans and confront and conquer social injustices. At one point
    > > he was minister of justice for the Panthers.
    > > As a Panther, Al-Amin exhorted African-Americans to arm themselves. "I say
    > > violence is necessary," he once famously said. "It is as American as
    > cherry
    > > pie."
    > > The Black Panther Party collapsed in the late 1970s, brought down by
    > > deaths, defections and infighting.
    > > Al-Amin, 58, converted to Islam while in prison serving five years for his
    > > role in a robbery that ended in a shootout with New York police.
    > > Until his arrest, Al-Amin operated the grocery in Atlanta's West End and
    > > was the spiritual leader of a mosque in the neighborhood.
    > > Neighbors credited Al-Amin, whom friends described as a humble and
    > > respectful man, for working to clean up drugs and prostitution in the
    > > low-income West End.
    > > Conspiracy accusations
    > > Al-Amin and his followers contend the state's case is bogus, and
    > represents
    > > the U.S. government's latest attempt to destroy the Muslim cleric.
    > > Because the accused in under a gag order, Ed Brown, Al-Amin's brother,
    > > serves as spokesman for the family.
    > > "This [murder arrest] is part of a pattern that has gone on for 35 years,"
    > > Brown said. "It started with his civil rights efforts and now it's Islam.
    > > Anything that shines a light on the corruption of this government or does
    > > not contribute to its process of corruption, they are opposed to."
    > > The government has cooked up a case against his brother, destroying
    > > evidence, Brown continued.
    > > "Both officers said they wounded the perpetrator. It was reported there
    > was
    > > a blood trail. They got a search warrant and mobilized the SWAT team based
    > > on the blood trail," he said.
    > > "But then when they arrested him and he wasn't wounded, they stopped
    > > talking about it."
    > > Al-Amin's dealings with authorities did not end when he converted to
    > Islam,
    > > records show. In 1995, he was accused of aggravated assault, but the
    > victim
    > > later recanted and said authorities pressured him to blame Al-Amin.
    > > From 1992 to 1997, the FBI staked out Al-Amin, suspecting him of
    > > gun-running. The agency generated 44,000 documents, records indicate, but
    > > failed to produce an arrest or indictment.
    > > "What explanation do they have for watching him?" Ed Brown asked. "They
    > > were so obsessed."
    > > Now, Al-Amin faces the death penalty if convicted. Brown said Al-Amin's
    > > death is what law enforcement has sought for years.
    > > "This is a very unforgiving country when you show this country its warts,
    > > when you hold the mirror up," Brown said. "If you happen not to share
    > their
    > > beliefs, they'll kill you."
    > >



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