BECAUSE IT WORKED IN MEMPHIS....
The Assassination of Fred Hampton
How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a
$4.97 (18.44 %)
The Assassination of Fred Hampton Description
It's around 7:00 A.M. on December 4, 1969, and attorney Jeff Haas is in a
police lockup in Chicago, interviewing Fred Hampton's fiancee. She is
describing how the police pulled her from the room as Fred lay unconscious on
their bed. She heard one officer say, "He's still alive." She then
heard two shots. A second officer said, "He's good and dead now."
She looks at Jeff and asks, "What can you do?" "The
Assassination of Fred Hampton "is Haas's personal account of how he and
People's Law Office partner Flint Taylor pursued Hampton's assassins,
ultimately prevailing over unlimited government resources and FBI conspiracy.
Not only a story of justice delivered, the book puts Hampton in a new light as
a dynamic community leader and an inspiration in the fight against injustice.
- Media: Hardcover Book, 424 pages
- Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books (Nov. 30th, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 1556527659
- ISBN-13: 9781556527654
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The Assassination of Fred Hampton Reviews
5 out of 5
from Houston, TX | Nov 28, 2009
Among some circles, Fred Hampton is a luminary without peers. Though
new generations may only catch his reference in a song, his legacy in
Chicago and to the Black liberation movement is without question. The
charismatic Black Panther Party chapter leader demonstrated a natural gift
for reaching people, and marshaled young people into political action for
the first time. His brutal murder — in which Chicago police, after
wounding him as he slept, delivered two rounds to the head, killing him
— horrified the world. He was just 21 years old.
The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered
A Black Panther is the account of attorney Jeff Haas’ fight to ensure
justice for the families of Hampton and Mark Clark, killed in the police
raid spun by authorities at the time as repelling a Panther attack. It is
also a chilling chronicle of the depths authorities will sink to silence
dissent and to cover it up.
Haas and three other lawyers set up the People’s Law Office in 1969, and
he defended many social justice activists since then. The Hampton case,
however, drove Haas. It dragged on for years, facing defeats along the
way, until a settlement. The book is as much about the commitment of
scores of people, who poured in their time and energies to see that
justice was done, as it is the quest to hold the police officers and
establishment involved accountable.
Subsequent investigations of Fred Hampton’s murder would reveal
involvement by a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and
collaboration with local police that resulted in the organizer’s
assassination. Few knew it at the time, but what occurred would be shown
to be part of a sophisticated federal effort, labeled COINTELPRO, aimed at
disrupting, demoralizing, dividing and exterminating Black activism
primarily among social justice tendencies. It wasn’t until activists
burglarized a Pennsylvania FBI office and released documents in 1971 that
COINTELPRO was exposed. Operative William O’Neal, working through the
bureau’s Racial Matters unit, provided key information just hours before
the murder. His work, and the war the FBI waged on Black revolutionaries,
figures prominently in the book.
Those familiar with writings that trace legal trajectories will find The
Assassination of Fred Hampton cuts a familiar path, yet one that takes on
a particular heft given the case. The final days of Hampton’s life is
imparted, but it is the excruciating detail with which the murder is told
that is where Haas’ legal background brings the story out. Culled from
volumes of testimony, research, released documents and other sources, Haas
compares what happened with conflicting police testimony and
justifications. His writing presents a penetrating image of law
enforcement bent on protecting its own, even if some recognized the fault
in their actions. Indirectly, the book shows the determination of the
Hampton and Clark families as well as the legal team to counter the
coverup in court and in the community.
Though contemporary political movements in the United States have few
comparisons quite like the Fred Hampton case in terms of severity today,
Haas’ book is a primer on how a movement can challenge official
misconduct through a diversity of efforts. The Assassination of Fred
Hampton stands out, just as Hampton himself did all those years ago.
4 out of 5
from Miami, FL | Jan 12, 2010
This book is a very valuable first-hand account of some of the legal
aftermath of Fred Hampton's assassination. The author was a lawyer for the
Black Panthers, and explains in detail the appalling miscarriages of
justice that occurred every step of the way in the lawsuit brought by the
survivors of the police raid during which Fred Hampton was killed. For
example, he describes how, after he (the author) frustratedly stated in
court that all they want is a fair trial but it looks like they're not
going to get it, the judge angrily responded, "You're damn right
you're not going to get it".
My only quibble with the book is that a more accurate title for it would
be something like "The Assassination of Fred Hampton: Recollections
of a Self-Conscious Counterculture Lawyer". I thought I was picking
up a popular history; what I got was more of a memoir. I learned a lot of
personal information about the author that I thought was totally
irrelevant, like how he had two unhappy marriages, and a tendency towards
recent law school graduates much younger than him. I get it that he's of
the "the personal is political" generation, and I do think
there's some truth to that, but I found his writing style more or less
I still strongly recommend the book, though. I'm sure that not everyone
will be put off by his style, and even for those who would be, the content
of the book is so important that it's worth it.