As Craig McPherson, a Georgia State University professor who wrote his thesis on Hampton, told The Guardian, “They were seeing his successes and it scared the establishment. It scared white America. It scared the FBI, J Edgar Hoover. It scared them. [The government] had nothing on him. They could not get anything on him…They were not going to get him through scandal, so the alternative they turned to was assassination.”
The official story from CPD was that the Panthers had opened fire first, going so far as to assert the existence of holes in the walls as evidence that bullets were flying out and not just in. The story soon unraveled, though, when said evidence was revealed to be nothing more than nail holes.
In 1971, COINTELPRO’s existence was made public, along with the FBI’s possession of the map O’Neal had drawn, linking them to the assassination. As recently as January, further documents have been made public, indicating that complicity in both planning the raid and covering it up went quite far up the ladder. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, William C. Sullivan, director of the FBI’s Domestic Intelligence Division, and George Moore, head of the Extremist Section of the Domestic Intelligence Division, are directly implicated in the documents, at least one of which was written by Hoover himself.
While the Black Panther Party Chicago chapter disbanded in 1974, O’Neal remained an FBI informant until his cover was blown in 1983. It would be years before he would publicly discuss his recruitment in a PBS civil rights movement docuseries Eyes on the Prize. When the first episode premiered in January 1990, he took his own life.
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