Panthers Charge Police Harrassment May Lead to Raid
On Tuesday morning approximately 40 armed policemen surrounded the Boston Black Panther Party headquarters, a Black Panther spokesman claimed.
Gene Jones, a local Panther, detailed the event at a news conference yesterday. The Police harassed the Roxbury headquarters with spotlights and guns for about 15 minutes and then returned to the police station, he said.
Police sources claim that they were sent to the site in response to a request by the owner of the building.
According to police, one squad car that went to the headquarters was threatened by the Panthers, and called for assistance. An uncertain number of reinforcements were dispatched. "We don't know how many were there, but we're sure it was not 40," a police department spokesman said yesterday.
The police observed the headquarters for a short time and then were called back to the station. "There was no violence or trouble of any kind," the spokesman said.
"This harassment is part of a greater plan to attack our office. We expect the pigs to wipe us out imminently. This morning's action was not a scare tactic but a dry run to check the response of the people," Jones said yesterday.
Jones also stressed that yesterday's incident has to be seen in the context of Panther harassment in other cities and in light of past Boston Police provocation. "As recently as last Monday a brother was arrested in front of the office. They're trying to get to us like they got to Fred Hampton in Chicago," he said.
Mel King, head of the United Front, was also present at yesterday's news conference. He said, "This is an attempt by the system to justify treachery. They are trying to remove young black leadership. This is a threat to the community. Black people cannot sit by and allow this kind of harassment to take place."