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          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/2019/12/4/20994612/fred-hampton-mark-clark-black-panther-party-billy-che-brooks-edward-hanrahan-monroe-bobby-rush">https://chicago.suntimes.com/2019/12/4/20994612/fred-hampton-mark-clark-black-panther-party-billy-che-brooks-edward-hanrahan-monroe-bobby-rush</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">Fred Hampton remembered as ‘focused,
          caring’ visionary</h1>
        <span class="c-byline-wrapper">By <span class="c-byline__item">
            <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/authors/kathy-chaney"
              data-analytics-link="author-name"><span
                class="c-byline__author-name">Kathy Chaney</span></a> </span>
          <span class="c-byline__item"> <time class="c-byline__item"
              data-ui="timestamp" datetime="2019-12-04T11:00:00"> Dec 4,
              2019</time></span></span></div>
      <hr>
      <div class="content">
        <div class="moz-reader-content line-height4 reader-show-element">
          <div id="readability-page-1" class="page">
            <div>
              <p id="qs9IJz">An early morning raid on an apartment on
                the West Side a half-century ago left the Black
                community in an uproar over the deaths of Black Panther
                leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and a fellow
                Panther with one question that’s plucked at his nerves
                for 50 years.</p>
              <p id="3WeHOe">Billy “Che” Brooks, who remembers Hampton
                as a “focused, caring, full of love and funny
                visionary,” wants to know, “Who the hell drugged
                Chairman Fred?”</p>
              <p id="ycROgp">Hampton, 21, and Clark, 22, were ambushed
                in the Dec. 4, 1969 raid conducted jointly by the
                Chicago police and officers assigned to the office of
                then-State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan. </p>
              <p id="OJHzKu">Brooks, the deputy minister of education
                for the Black Panther Party of Illinois, said the police
                raided their offices several times that year, and
                constantly harassed them.</p>
              <p id="PbFZn4">In November 1969, fellow Panther Spurgeon
                “Jake” Winters, 19, for whom the party named their
                medical center in Lawndale, died in a shootout with
                police. Two officers died too.</p>
              <p id="KxPAuq">After Winters’ death, the Panthers could
                sense “something was imminent,” Brooks said.</p>
              <p id="oUnVQw">Police entered Hampton’s apartment in the
                2300 block of West Monroe Street and unleashed 99
                bullets, versus one shot fired by the opposing side. The
                apparent ambush cost Hampton and Clark their lives.</p>
              <p id="S0uYAO">The Chicago Sun-Times wrote a story that
                challenged the narrative provided by police and official
                photos after a Sun-Times reporter took a Panther-led
                tour of the bullet-riddled apartment. The story detailed
                what was depicted in official photos, such as nail heads
                circled as being bullet holes.</p>
              <div id="iw0bvu">
                <section
                  data-cid="apps/image_gallery-1575476929_2197_2277"
data-cdata="{"anthem_component_id":1462880,"entry_id":20758653,"routing":false,"keyboard":false,"two_col":false,"display_headline":false,"expandable":false}">
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                        <ul>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428696"
data-slug="bobby-rush-left-and-fred-hampton-pose-at-illinois-black-panther-party-headquarters-at-2350-w-madison-rush-is-the-partys-deputy-minister-of-defense-and-hampton-is-deputy-chairman"
                            data-index="0"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428696/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476339A.4861.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Bobby Rush
                              (left) and Fred Hampton, pose at Illinois
                              Black Panther Party headquarters at 2350
                              W. Madison. Rush is the party’s deputy
                              minister of defense and Hampton is deputy
                              chairman. </span> <span> Sun-Times
                              Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428697"
data-slug="fred-hampton-jr-son-of-slain-chairman-fred-hampton-and-deborah-johnson"
                            data-index="1"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428697/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476338A.4859.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Fred Hampton
                              Jr., son of slain chairman, Fred Hampton
                              and Deborah Johnson. </span> <span>
                              Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428698"
data-slug="fred-hampton-and-r-chaka-walls-deputy-minister-of-information-for-the-black-panther-party-ill-discuss-the-fate-of-bobby-seale-in-november-1969"
                            data-index="2"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428698/Fred_Hampton.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Fred Hampton
                              and R. Chaka Walls, deputy minister of
                              information for the Black Panther Party,
                              Ill, discuss the fate of Bobby Seale in
                              November 1969. </span> <span> Sun-Times
                              Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428700"
data-slug="fbi-model-of-the-monroe-st-apartment-in-which-the-december-raid-by-states-attorneys-police-took-the-lives-of-two-black-panther-leaders-federal-grand-jury-condemned-the-raiders-who-entered-through-both-front-door-and-rear-door-firing-a-total-of-82-to-99-shots"
                            data-index="3"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428700/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476341A.4865.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> FBI model of
                              the Monroe St. apartment in which the
                              December raid by state’s attorney’s police
                              took the lives of two black Panther
                              leaders. Federal grand jury condemned the
                              raiders, who entered through both front
                              door and rear door, firing a total of 82
                              to 99 shots. </span> <span> Sun-Times
                              Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428701"
data-slug="black-panther-attoneys-francis-andrew-right-and-dennis-cunningham-with-controversial-panel-of-front-door-of-black-panther-apartment"
                            data-index="4"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428701/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476343A.4869.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Black Panther
                              attoneys Francis Andrew Right and Dennis
                              Cunningham with controversial panel of
                              front door of Black Panther apartment. </span>
                            <span> Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428702"
data-slug="police-carry-the-body-of-slain-black-panther-leader-fred-hampton-from-at-2337-w-monroe"
                            data-index="5"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428702/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476327A.4837.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Police carry
                              the body of slain black Panther leader
                              Fred Hampton from at 2337 W. Monroe. </span>
                            <span> Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428703"
data-slug="at-a-rally-outside-the-u-s-courthouse-oct-29-1969-dr-benjamin-spock-background-listens-to-fred-hampton-chairman-of-the-illinois-black-panther-party-at-a-protest-against-the-trial-of-eight-persons-accused-of-conspiracy-to-cause-a-riot-during-the-democratic-national-convention-in-1968"
                            data-index="6"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428703/OBIT_SPOCK.A0926.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> At a rally
                              outside the U.S. Courthouse Oct. 29, 1969,
                              Dr. Benjamin Spock, background, listens to
                              Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois
                              Black Panther party at a protest against
                              the trial of eight persons accused of
                              conspiracy to cause a riot during the
                              Democratic National Convention in 1968. </span>
                            <span> AP file photo </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428705"
data-slug="a-technician-from-the-crime-laboratory-searches-for-clues-during-a-revisit-by-states-attorneys-police-to-the-apartment-at-2337-w-monroe-where-fred-hampton-and-mark-clark-where-slain-dec-4-1969-the-picture-was-taken-through-a-window-from-outside-the-building"
                            data-index="7"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428705/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476340A.4863.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> A technician
                              from the crime laboratory searches for
                              clues during a revisit by state’s
                              attorney’s police to the apartment at 2337
                              W. Monroe where Fred Hampton and Mark
                              Clark where slain Dec. 4, 1969. The
                              picture was taken through a window from
                              outside the building. </span> <span>
                              Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428707"
data-slug="mourners-pass-the-body-of-slain-black-panther-leader-fred-hampton-at-rayner-amp-sons-funeral-home-3654-w-roosevelt"
                            data-index="8"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428707/HAMPTON__FRED_BLACK_PANTHERS____IMG00476345A.4873.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Mourners pass
                              the body of slain Black Panther leader
                              Fred Hampton at Rayner & Sons Funeral
                              Home, 3654 W. Roosevelt. </span> <span>
                              Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                          <li data-ui="thumb" data-asset="19428708"
data-slug="criminal-court-judge-philip-romiti-looks-back-before-entering-apartment-at-2337-w-monroe-where-fred-hampton-and-mark-clark-were-shot-to-death-in-dec-4-1969"
                            data-index="9"> <a
href="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19428708/img0010A.4152.jpg"
                              role="button"> </a> <span> Criminal
                              Court Judge Philip Romiti looks back
                              before entering apartment at 2337 W.
                              Monroe where Fred Hampton and Mark Clark
                              were shot to death in Dec. 4, 1969. </span>
                            <span> Sun-Times Library </span> </li>
                        </ul>
                      </div>
                    </div>
                  </div>
                </section>
              </div>
              <p id="IpZwCB">The home was dubbed “Ground Zero” by
                Hampton’s son, Fred Hampton Jr.</p>
              <p id="WAGlKf">Brooks was jailed from November 1969 to
                January 1970 for a case he caught in 1968.</p>
              <p id="OHH9wx">When he heard the news, he was devastated
                and couldn’t fathom how it could happen.</p>
              <p id="SNHLuI">Reports said fellow member William O’Neal
                was an FBI informant and provided the floor plan of the
                apartment. It was also speculated that he put “Seconal
                in Fred’s Kool-aid,” making it easier for police to kill
                Hampton.</p>
              <p id="IED7WR">While Brooks didn’t comment on whether
                O’Neal provided the floor plan, he said O’Neal did not
                drug Hampton.</p>
              <p id="CyzRDS">“O’Neal did not come into that house. I
                know that for a fact. So, who did it? Nobody wants to
                talk about it. That’s the real question. Who put the
                Seconal in Chairman Fred’s Kool-aid? Who drugged
                Chairman Fred?” Brooks asked.</p>
              <p id="dVpsIQ">That question has dogged him most of his
                life. </p>
              <p id="2prQqm">While he knows he’ll never get the answer,
                he thinks things would’ve gone differently if he’d been
                there. </p>
              <p id="uKh9Nr">“I hate the fact I was in jail when that
                s--- happened,” he angrily said.</p>
              <p id="uocd6B">Brooks said he would’ve been another man in
                the apartment able to keep a closer eye on things and
                maybe Hampton would still be alive.</p>
              <p id="YeRhg3">He said not only was Hampton a friend, he
                was like a brother to him. And while they were the same
                age, he learned a ton from the “charismatic, full of
                empathy” leader who was “beyond the times.”</p>
              <p id="CXXqVK">“Fred was considered a threat in the eyes
                of law enforcement because he could galvanize all types
                of people. We wanted to end police brutality. We created
                programs to point out the contradictions that existed in
                society. Children were going to school hungry and we
                started a free breakfast program. Shortly thereafter,
                the government started breakfast programs, and lunch
                programs in schools,” he said.</p>
              <p id="DewoaF">Brooks continued, “The government wasn’t
                thinking about sickle cell anemia so we opened up our
                medical centers and started testing Black people for
                sickle cell. Shortly thereafter, it became an issue and
                the government took it over. We had a way of creating
                consciousness amongst the people, forcing the government
                to do what it was supposed to do.”</p>
              <p id="oyCote">Comparing that decade to now, Brooks said
                it’s gotten worse, and it brings him to tears. </p>
              <p id="gI7PlM">“The fascist tactics that police use now
                are tantamount to murder. They don’t think twice about
                killing a person of color. A lot of it has to do with
                the political climate in this country. There’s an
                analogous situation with 1969 and what’s going on now.
                Then we had [President Richard] Nixon. Now we have
                [Donald] Trump as president. Their whole objective was
                oppression, and it’s the same flavor now,” he stressed.</p>
              <p id="3Cxui8">Hampton, who grew up in Maywood, was
                honored in September 2007 in the west suburb with an
                honorary street name and statue in his honor. The former
                Oak Street is now known as Fred Hampton Way and his
                statue sits in front of the Fred Hampton Family Aquatic
                Center.</p>
            </div>
          </div>
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