The Twenty-Seven Panthers

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Some in the government felt threatened by the BPP. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was especially concerned about groups like the Panthers because of their aggressiveness and potential for violence. He introduced the then-secret COINTELPRO to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence or civil disorder.” COINTELPRO activities included wiretaps, raids, anonymous letters, media infiltration, even murder. The main target was the BPP. In 1969 alone, twenty-seven Panthers were murdered in police raids, and seven hundred forty-nine were jailed. One of

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