In December 1969, the Chicago police raided the apartment of Fred Hampton, the young leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. Hampton was shot to death; the police claimed he and other Panthers opened fire first. Subsequent investigation by the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, however, proved that the police, using FBI intelligence, killed Hampton without warning. It was also revealed that the FBI’s targeting of Hampton and the Black Panthers grew out of a shadowy project called COINTELPRO: the Counter Intelligence Program. COINTELPRO was quite active in Chicago, monitoring and, at many points, disrupting the Black Panthers, the Students for a Democratic Society, and other organizations. In this one-day seminar, we will assess the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities in Chicago, with special attention to the murder of Fred Hampton.
Seminar led by David Krugler, University of Wisconsin at Platteville