The testimony of Sams, Kimbro, and McLucas
was consistent with physical evidence that has not been
contested in various legal proceedings having to do with
the case: a .45-caliber pistol that the police found in
Panther headquarters on the night of the raid ballistically
matched the bullet and the bullet casing found at the scene
of the murder, and fingerprints found on the car that McLucas
borrowed that night matched those of Sams and Rackley and
also with the statements of other Panthers who were present
in the apartment on the night of the killing.
For example, Loretta Luckes, who had
stood guard over Rackley while he was tied to a bed in the
Panther headquarters for two days, described, in testimony
during bail hearings, having helped to dress Rackley on
the night of the murder while Sams and Kimbro stood over
him with a pistol and rifle because, one Panther said, "he
might go crazy"; then, she said, "Lonnie McLucas, Warren
Kimbro, and George Sams" went out the door" with Rackley.
If so, Rackley was shot not by the police but by two officers
of the Black Panther Party, and since both have refused
to implicate Seale, the suggestion that they might be "police
agents" seems shaky at best. From what evidence has been
established, police did not murder Rackley.
THE CASE OF NATHANIEL CLARK
Nathaniel Clark, Jr., a nineteen year-old
Black Panther, is listed by Garry as having been "killed
by a police agent."
He was in fact killed by his wife, who
told investigating officers that she had shot her husband
in self-defense with his revolver after he had, in her words,
“shot up with heroin and beat me.”
Because of her age, seventeen at the
time, the case was remanded to a juvenile court, which adjudged
the death to have resulted from involuntary manslaughter.
THE CASE OF ARTHUR MORRIS
On March 13, 1968, while out bail on
a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, Arthur Glenn Morris
(also known as Arthur Coltrale) was killed by a blast from
a 12-gauge shotgun in a friend's back yard. According to
the friend's wife, Mrs. Henry Daily, Morris and a companion,
Donald Campbell, were in the back yard talking with her
husband, who had taken his 12-gauge shotgun out there with
him. She heard the men arguing, then heard a volley of shots.
Rushing out, she found all three men fatally shot. Apparently,
there had been a shootout, in which either Morris or Campbell
had shot Daily with a .32-caliber automatic (the gun found
at the scene) and he had shot both men with his shotgun.
None survived to tell their stories. And there was no police
involved prior to the shooting.
THE CASES OF JOHN HUGGINS, ALPRENTICE
CARTER, SYLVESTER BELL, AND JOHN SAVAGE
Of the fifteen remaining "homicides"
on Garry's list, four Panthers. John Jerome Huggins, Jr.,
Alprentice Carter, Sylvester Bell, and John Savage were
actually shot to death, according to both the Black Panther
Party and California authorities, by members of the US,
a rival black militant organization, headed by Ron Karenga,
with which the Panthers had once temporarily allied themselves
in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department.
The dispute began at the University
of California at Los Angeles in the fall of 1968, when Ron
Karenga attempted to select the director of the Black Studies
program through the Community Advisory Board, of which he
was a director. A number of Black Panthers, including Huggins
and Carter, who were at that time enrolled in the black
section of the "high potential" program, vigorously opposed
Karenga's attempt, despite the warning of a Karenga spokesman,
who said, that “this is not a decision that anybody is going
to take out of our hands.... Anybody that is involved in
this is going to have to come back to the community after
On January 17,1969, some hundred and
fifty members of the U.C.L.A. Black Students Union met in
Campbell Hall on the U.C.L.A. campus to resolve the dispute
over the directorship. Five members of the elite guard of
the US -- known as Simbas, shortly after noon, in the student
cafeteria, Huggins and Carter cornered a young Simba named
Harold Jones, who had been accused of manhandling a female
Panther earlier in the day, and began pummeling him. Suddenly
another Simba, dressed in a dashiki, stepped up behind Huggins
and fatally shot him in the back. A gun battle ensued, in
which Carter was also shot to death before the Simbas fled.
Black Panthers who had been present
at the meeting were reluctant to supply information at first,
but they cooperated fully with the police and the prosecutor
in identifying the assailants and finding witnesses after
the prosecutor spoke to Garry, who, the prosecutor later
reported, "instructed the local Panthers to help us in our
investigation." Two of the Simbas, George Phillip Stiner
and Larry Joseph Stiner, were brought to trial on charges
of conspiracy to commit murder, were convicted, largely
on the basis of the testimony of five Black Panther witnesses,
and sentenced to life imprisonment. A third Simba, Donald
Hawkins, was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder,
and was sentenced to an indefinite term in the detention
program of the California Youth Authority.
In the aftermath of the gun battle in
Campbell Hall, two more Black Panthers were killed by members
of the same US organization, according to both the Black
Panther Party and the police. "At about 3:30 p.m. on May
23rd in San Diego, California, Lt. John Savage, Black Panther
Party, was murdered by a white-washed Karangatang, a member
of the US organization led by Ron (Everett) Karenga," the
Black Panther newspaper reported, and it went on, "Mr. Karenga,
better known as pork chop, is leading his culturalized pork
chops in a futile attempt to destroy the Black Panther Party."
The US member who shot Savage was eventually arraigned and
pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter.
A few weeks after Savage's death, another
Panther, Sylvester Bell, who was selling the Black Panther
newspaper in Otto Square in San Diego, was approached by
three members of US, who, according to the Black Panther
account of the incident, asked him, "Are you talking about
us this week?" A fight broke out, during which Bell was
joined by two fellow-Panthers, and one of the three members
of US drew a gun and fatally shot Bell. The San Diego police
arrested three members of US and indicted them for murder.
One was convicted of murder, and the two others were convicted
as accessories. Since Garry himself and the Panthers assisted
the authorities in the identification and prosecution of
some of those involved in the killings, his subsequent inclusion
of these four names in his list of Panthers murdered by
the police is, at best, erroneous.
THE CASE OF FRANKO DIGGS
Franko Diggs, forty, who was a captain
in the Black Panther Party, was found fatally shot in the
Watts section of Los Angeles on December 19, 1968. No witnesses
to the shooting could be found, but the police identified
the murder weapon from the bullets as a foreign-made 9-mm.
automatic pistol. Almost a year later, when the Los Angeles
police crime laboratory was doing routine ballistics tests
on eighteen weapons seized in a raid on Black Panther headquarters
early in 1969, it was found that one of the confiscated
Panther automatics ballistically matched the bullet that
had killed Diggs. The chain of ownership could not be established,
however, so the owner at the time Diggs was shot could not
be identified. According to the police, the crime remains
unsolved, but Garry, almost a year after Diggs' death, added
his name to the list of Black Panthers killed by police.
So 18 panthers on Garry’s list were not, according to evidence
so far discovered, killed by the police.
The ten remaining Black Panthers on
Garry's list were in fact killed by the police: five in
1968 and five in 1969. Whether these deaths were deliberate
murders carried out as part of what Garry called a "national
scheme" to wipe out the Panthers depends, of course, on
the circumstances under which each of the deaths occurred.