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California: Police and the Black Community in Oakland

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Huey Newton is handcuffed to a table as a nurse at Kaiser Emergency Hospital in Oakland, California, treats his wound after a gun battle with police, October 28, 1967.

In the 1960s, many African Americans in Oakland, CA felt that the city's police officers were quick to take violent measures against black suspects and very slow to respond to any complaints. The Black Panther Party, formed in the city in 1966, had as point seven in their Ten-Point Program a demand for the end of police brutality. One of the Panthers' activities was to serve as witnesses to police action as a disincentive to abuse. Huey Newton, leader of the Black Panthers, was later involved in a shootout with two police officers that left all three men with bullet wounds, and one policeman dead. A jury later convicted Newton of manslaughter, but the California State Court of Appeals reversed the conviction.

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