Fred Hampton was a 21-year old African-American activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. In a short time he managed to broker a truce between Chicago’s most powerful street gangs. He worked closely with the BPP’s local People’s Clinic, taught political education classes every morning at 6am, and launched a project for community supervision of the police. Hampton was also instrumental in the BPP’s Free Breakfast Program.
Hampton impressed many people whom he came in contact with. The FBI and the Chicago Police, however, were not some of those people.
On Dec. 4, 1969, at 4:45am a heavily armed police team stormed Fred Hampton’s apartment. All but one of the 99 shots that followed were fired by the police. Fred was hit and wounded in the shoulder. Fellow Black Panther Harold Bell later testified hearing the following exchange between Chicago police officers:
“That’s Fred Hampton.”
“Is he dead?… Bring him out.”
“He’s barely alive; he’ll make it.”
Two shots were heard, which it was later discovered were fired point blank into Hampton’s head. One officer then said:
“He’s good and dead now.”
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