Stories from Hartford's Grassroots
The secret files on the Black Panthers in Hartford (1969-1972) reveal the extent of the FBI’s collusion with SNETCo and area TV and radio stations. On the right is a small portion of the phone calls from the Hartford Panther’s office to the FBI. On the left is the partial transcript that WDRC provided to the agency from a Panther interview. Channel 30 also provided video footage of Panther rallies. United Airlines at Bradley Airport informed the Feds about the airline flights and destinations of specific Panthers.
On the left is a floor plan of the Hartford Panthers’ headquarters. On the right is a photo from August 1, 1970 of a Hartford Police raid on their Barbour Street office. On December 4, 1969, the Chicago Police used a similar map to raid the BPP residence, killing Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in the process (Hampton was most likely still asleep, drugged by a police informant).
When the FBI transcribed a Panther speech, they would leave out the swear words. Then, they would place those words, listed as “Obscene” in an appendix page. We can only assume that these protocol allowed Director Hoover the embarrassment of reading the expletives.
The Panthers had many supporters, as well as those who might want to use their Panther relationship for private gain. Any time a donation from a public figure was given to the BPP, and all the local stores that donated to the Free Breakfast Program were all recorded by the FBI. Read the document on the left and see if you can spot the Hartford Mayor (!) who donated money to the Hartford Panthers.
If you find more documents worth posting, or have more information about the Hartford Panthers, let me know.