Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Black Panther Party in Illinois. He was assassinated by the Chicago police on December 4, 1969.
Susan Rutberg's article "Nothing but a Northern Lynching: The Death of Fred Hampton Revisited", in the Huffington Post states, Forty years ago, on December 4, 1969, 21-year-old Fred Hampton, a charismatic leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was murdered as he slept in his home on Chicago's West Side. Shortly before dawn, fourteen armed police officers, ostensibly serving a search warrant, shot nearly one hundred rounds of ammunition into his apartment, killing Hampton and twenty-two year old Mark Clark and wounding several other young members of the Black Panther Party. The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther, by Jeffrey Haas, tells the story of the 13 year legal battle that eventually uncovered a conspiracy between the FBI, the Illinois State's Attorney's office, and the police, to kill Fred Hampton and destroy the Black Panther Party.
Fred Hampton Murder Scene
Haas' story is also an indictment of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI for its covert attempts to, in words taken from COINTELPRO documents, "neutralize" the Black Panther Party and prevent the rise of an "electrifying leader." Fred Hampton, as portrayed by Haas, was just such an electrifying leader. Haas shows us the impact Hampton and the Chicago Panthers had on their community: they initiated free breakfast programs for children, organized against police brutality and worked to create cross-racial coalitions. He quotes a mother's lament, from Iberia Hampton: "People should not forget that State's Attorney Hanrahan, the Chicago police, and the FBI murdered my son . . . .Who knows what he may have become, if they hadn't killed him?"
Fred Hampton Documentary: Death of a Black Panther Party Leader