The FBI and the Panther
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Reviewed by: Judson L. Jeffries
In May, ABC presented 1969, a 6 part-series that takes a look back at some of the most controversial events and figures of that year. Part 4 of that series is inaptly titled The FBI and the Panther. The title refers to the murders of Black Panthers Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark on a cold wintry morning in December. The reality is, the FBI was a mere instigator in the murders of Mark Clark and Fred Hampton; it was Cook County State’s Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan and his Assistant State’s Attorney Richard Jalovec who accepted the FBI’s entreaty and then went about putting the murderous plot in motion. That was the FBI’s modus operandi where the Panthers were concerned. In other words, make inroads with some police department or other law enforcement agency and get them to do the dirty work, thus allowing the Bureau plausible deniability. Conversations with police officers, FBI agents and elected officials over the years have...