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November 17, 1970 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-11-17

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Special To The Daily
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The se-
lection of the jury which will de-
cide the fate of Black Panther
Party national chairman Bobby
Seale and Connecticut party lead-
er Ericka Huggins will begin here
this morning in New Haven Coun-
ty Superior Court.
Seale and Huggins are charged
with murder, kidnaping resulting
in murder and conspiracy to coin-
mit both these crimes in the May,
1969 shooting death of Alex Rack-
Police charge' that Rackley, who
was working with the Panthers in
New York, was executed )n orders
from Seale because Rackley was
believed to be a police :nfornmer.
Fourteen persons were arrested in
connection with the incident and
11 of these were subsequently

U convicted on the murder
charge, Seale and Huggins could
face death in the electric chair.
Lawyers on both sides say they
feel the jury selection may take
four to six weeks. Adding on de-
lays for Thanksgiving and a two-
week Christmas adjournment, it
is unlikely that the prosecution
will begin presenting its case be-
fore January.
In a pre-trial motion,' defense
attorneys challenged the manner
of jury selection on constitutional
grounds. They charged that juror
qualifications discriminate against
poor people and black people, mak-
ing it impossible for Seale to, get
a trial before a jury of his "peers."
Presiding Judge Harold M. Mul-
vey denied the motion.
No organized demonstrations
are expected today, but security
precautions are tight at the for-
midable marble-pillared Superior


Court Bldg. which faces out on
the "green" in central New Haven.
On May 1, thousands gathered
on the green in a show of solidari-
ty with the defendants, and ;tate
police officials feared they might
try to storm the building. Radical
leaders from across the country
have called on "the people" to
"free Bobby by any means. nec-
Since May, state police have
continued a two-man, 24 hour
watch on the building. Demonstra-
tions have been banned within 500
yards of the building, unless they
are confined to the green.
Since being arrested in Cali-
fornia on the charges in August,
1969, Seale has been in prison, his
bail denied. During that time, he
also faced federal riot charges
and conspiracy charges as a mem-
ber of the "Chicagd 8." These
charges'have since been dropped.

seale murder
During his 15 months of in- stantial agreement on the details
carceration, one of the other of those two days with one strik-
Panthers arrested for the Rackley ing, all-important exception-who
murder underwent a two-month was responsible for the decision to
trial on substantially the same kill Rackley, and what was the ex-
charges that Seale faces. Lonnie tent of Seale's involvement in the
McLucas was found guilty on only incident?
one of the charges-conspiracy to The principle witness for the
commit murder. He was sentenced state, P a n t h e r George Sams,
to 12-15 years in state prison and charges that Seale gave him orders
is currently appealing that con- to have Rackley executed. Sams,
viction. by his own admission, was a prin-
During that trial, McLucas and cipal figure in the Rackley's kill-
another Panther, Warren Kim- ing. In return for testifying for
bro, admitted firing the shots the state Sams has been allowed
which killed Rackley. In addition, to plead guilty to the lesser charge
through testimony from a number of second degree murder.
of witnesses and other evidence, Other witnesses, however, say
the prosecution built up a picture that Sams was in charge of the
of the events leading up to the Rackley incident and that Seale
killing-two days of - kidnaping, had no direct connection with the
torture, and beating, culminating crime.
in the decision to execute the sus- Seale took the stand himself
pected informer. during the McLucas trial, against'
All of the witnesses are in sub- the advice of his lawyer. He ad-



mitted meeting on two separate
occasions the day before Rackley's
death with several of the Panthers
who were subsequently indicted in
the killing. But he denied knowing
that Rackley was being held pris-
oner in New Haven in Panther
headquarters, and denied giving
any execution order.
Thus the task of the prosecution
in the Seale trial will be to in-
troduce concrete evidence to im-
plicate Seale in the Rackley's
From the evidence which
emerged during the McLucas trial,
here is a picture of what trans-
pired during the period of May
19-21, 1969: ,
George Sams, Landon Williams,
and Rory Hithe joined the New.
Haven Panthers from the "nation-
al" on the West Coast with orders
to "purge" East Coast chapters.
Sams, through information from

a number of sources, says he sus-
pected Alex Rackley was an in-
former who had exposed to the
New York police an alleged Pan-
ther plot to dynamite a number
of Manhattan department stores.
Sams and a group of the Pan-
thers kidnaped R a c k 1 e y and
brought him to New Haven, to
Panther headquarters in New
Haven. There, Rackley admitted
that he could read-apparently a
direct contradiction of what he
had previously told the Panthers.
Rackley was bound to a chair-
a coathanger wrapped around his
neck-and was slapped around.
Ericka Huggins, George Sams,
Warren Kimbro and Lonnie Mc-
Lucas were among those present.
The Panthers made their own
tape recording of Rackley's sub-
sequent torture and the interroga-
tion. The tape, Sams said later,
See SEALE, page 10


See Editorial Page


, tr


Cloudy, warmer,
chance of showers

Vol. LXXXI, No. 65

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Tuesday, November 17, 1970

Ten Cents

Ten Pages

Te -a e

-Daily-Denny Gainer
Fraser speaks at forum
S pe ers disuss
repression in U'S.
Philadelphia Labor Committee leader Steve Fraser and
local attorney Don Koster spoke to some 25 persons at the
Michigan League last night on repression in the United
Koster listed the police raid on the Sunnygood Commune
last year and Sunday's alleged raid on the Ypsilanti Cross
Street Collective as examples of local repression.
He claimed that "police across the nation are using the
storm'trooper tactics of the Nazi's to attempt to gain control."
,Koster claimed that "what's

dead in
Tidal wave toll
among highest
in world history
DACCA, East Pakistan (M -
The confirmed count of dead
reached 32,871 yesterday in
the cyclone and tidal flooding
that smashed the Bay of Ben-
gal coast, one of the world's
most densely populated areas.
But Pakistani officials still
spoke of a final toll of around
300,00.0-making this one of the
world's w o r s t natural catastro-
One official mentioned 500,000.
Here in Ann Arbor, the Pakistan
Students Association has appealed
to University students and city
residents for funds to be used for
relief programs in Pakistan.
Donations should be addressed
to Pakistan Relief Fund, Ann Ar-
bor Bank South University
Branch. All funds will be forward-
ed from the bank to the president
of Pakistan's cyclone relief fund
through the Pakistani embassy in
The world's worst natural disas-
ter on record is the 1887 flood that
took 900,000 lives in China's
Honan Province.
Historians say 300,000 persons
perished in the Bay of Bengal
area in a storm and tidal waves
in 1737. The area is a cyclone alley
that is frequently hit, with heavy
death tolls.
A flight over the stricken south-
ern zone yesterday gave this oic-
Devastation is virtually com-
plete in the southern half of
Bhola Island. The island's rice
crops and those on neighboring
Hatia Island and the mainland
are destroyed.
Most bodies have been buried in
mass graves. Survivors, spotted
from the air in the 800-square-
mile area hardest hit, wandered
on high ground above the water
still covering much of the flat land;
which provided paddy rice for sur-
rival and then became a grave-
yard for those who lived on it.
Blood from crushed cattle stain-
ed the fields where their carcasses;
were flung by the winds and
Nearly two million people live in1
the area. I:


open despite
pro ble m~s
Student Government Council elections begin today, but
with a revised schedule of polling places due to administra-
tive problems, it was announced last night.
SGC President Marty Scott made the announcement af-
ter a special SGC meeting called to discuss problems result-
ing from what Scott called "incompetence" on the hart of
the elections directors. There had been speculation before
the meeting that the elections might be postponed.
Polling will now take place today at the Undergraduate
Library, the Michigan Union and the Fishbowl from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., the medical school from noon to 1 am., the engi?
neering school from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at Bursley Hall,
South Quad and East Quad at
meal times.
The action taken in reducing the New ton to
number of voting places came af-
ter the two election directors, Johnp g
Gislisson and Jennifer Brand fail- speal at
ed to enlist enough pollworkers to
staff the voting stations, accord-
ing to both Scott and SGC Vice Huey P. Newton, Black Panther
President Jerry De Griek. party minister of defense, will


Cross St. collective after search
Collective members claim ,Ypsi
police illegally searched house

Brief Sit-in
at church
i' Members of the Washtenaw
County Black ;Economic Develop-
ment League and Welfare Rights
Organization (BEDL-WRO) brief-
ly occupied the Memorial Christ-
ian Church on 730 Tappan yes-
terday afternoon in their contin-
' uing drive to obtain funds for
local poor people.
BEDL Vice-President Hany Bry-
ant, and Vicki Price, the two pro-
testers at the Memorial Christian
Church, were demanding financ-
4 ial reparations for black people
and recognition of BEDL-WRO by
the church as legitimately repre-
senting the county's poor black
and disenfranchised.

going on in our backyard" is
indicative of the situation
across the country.
Fraser, indicted Nov. 4 for pos-
session of explosives with intent
to use, began his speech with a
condemnation of Philadelphia Po-
lice Chief Frank Rizzo, claiming
that Rizzo has a "long and variPd
history in organizing political
Fraser then reviewed the activi-
ties of his organization, the Labor
Committee, a former faction of
the Students for a Democratic
Society and a member of the Na-
tional Caucus of Labor Commit-
tees. He stated that the major
actions of the committee involved
organizing blacks, students in high
schools and colleges, and workers
in Philadelphia. Fraser claimed
that there was a "deliberate plan
on the part of the city of Phila-
delphia to discredit our organiza-
tion" because its goals involve a
radical change in the operation of.

Members of a collective house
in Ypsilanti charged yesterday
that police acted illegally in
searching their home Sunday
David Cahill, an occupant of the
dwelling at 605 W. Cross said po-
lice made the search without
proper warrants and unneces-
sarily ransacked the upper floor
of the house.
The police were searching for
watches stolen from an Ypsilanti
store. The watches were not found.
Events leading to the search be-
gan early Sunday morning. Ac-
cording to Cahill, who works for
an Ann Arbor lawyer, police enter-
ed the building at 1:45 a.m., claim-
ing they were in "hot pursuit" of
a person who had robbed the
Purple Haze, a nearby boutique.
Police seized property alleged to
be stolen and a person, who was
not a collective member but had

1 apprently just entered the build- course of a search," he said in the
ing, said Cahill. News article.
The law enables police to enter When the police departed, phot-
a building without a search war- ographs were taken and nearly a
rant if they were in "hot pursuit" dozen faculty members from Eas-
of a criminal. tern Michigan University and

Cahill said, however, that "other
witnesses in the neighborhood"
had convinced him the police were
not actually in "hot pursuit" of
the person they apprehended. If
this was true, he added, the police
acted illegally by entering without
a search warrant.
In a statement yesterday, Cahill
said, "Illegal procedures were fol-
lowed, but the police were on their
good behavior and no destruction
was committed."
According to Cahill, "vandal-
ism" occurred when the police re-
turned Sunday evening around
7:00 p.m. "There were about 15
men," he said, "With machine
guns, carbines, riot gear-looking
for watches."
District Court Judge Edward
Deake had issued a warrant for
goods stolen from the Clothes
Horse, another Ypsilanti store
which had been broken into about
the same time as the Purple Haze.
On the main floor of the house,
the police "did not disturb proper-
ty too greatly," Cahill's statement
"On the upper floor, containing
the living quarters, however, the
police did not even make a pre-
tense of searching," the statement
"Two rooms dividers were kicked
down, contents of drawers-and
the drawers themselves - were
strewn on floors, personal belong-
ings including financial records
were littered about, and the bed-
rooms were rendered uinlivable." it

other schools were called in to
witness the condition of the house.
The county prosecutor's office
indicated yesterday they had re-
ceived word that some people in
the house had complained about
the way the search was con-
A formal complaint can be made
to the Ypsilanti Police Depart-
ment, the Ypsilanti City Council
or to the prosecutor's office.
Several collective members have
indicated their willingness to file
criminal and civil charges against
officers responsible for illegal acts.
"Appropriate action in court will
be taken soon," Cahill said.

Brand, the assistant elections
director, is in the center of the
controversy. John Koza, who runs
the computer operations of the
election accused Brand last night;
of attempting to take control of
that task.
Koza claimed that Brand had
attempted, to get the computer
"password" and account number
of SGC from the secretary at the
computing center.
The other discrepancy discussed
last night was that there were
three mistakes on the ballot sheet.
Koza claimed that Brand and
Gislisson were both requested by
him to provide a sample ballot for
his inspection but that they did
not comply.
Neither Gislisson nor Brand
were available for comment last
night on either of Koza's charges.
Scott said last night there
would probably be an investigation
of the circumstances before the
election but that "everyone ex-
pects the election to run smooth-

speak at 8 p.m. tonight in H ill
Auditorium. The appearance is be-
ing sponsored by the Black Stu-
dent Union (BSU).
BSU announced yesterday that
persons entering the auditorium
will be searched, for security rea-
sons. BSU spokesman Dave Wes-
ley said that this was necessary
for Newton's protection, and urg-
ed those coming to hear Newton
to arrive by 7:30 p.m.
In a s t a t e m e n t yesterday,
President Robben W. Fleming said,
"That it should be necessary to
search people attending a lecture
on University premises is some-
thing which we find repugnant to
the kind of climate which ought
to prevail on a campus."
"Attendance at the lecture is, of
course, voluntary, and it is our
understanding that anyone who
has purchased a ticket and now
wishes a refund will have such a
request honored," he added.
A BSU statement yesterday said,
"we are in solidarity with the par-
ty and their quest for liberation
and self-determination for all op-
pressed people."



The creation of a student-faculty legis-
lature in the literary college appears to be
the top priority of every candidate seek-
ing a seat on the executive council of the
LSA student government in this week's
Thirteen students are running for eight
vacancies on the eight-month old body.
Currently, the executive council is com-

vie forL
studying literary college governance. In a
preliminary draft report last month, the
committee called for the creation of the
student-faculty legislature, although it is
unclear whether the proposal will be re-
tained in the committee's final report.
The candidates for the executive coun-
cil are also nearly unanimous in t h e i r
support of broad changes in the literary
college's degree requirements, g r a d i n g
system, and counselling program.
With the terms of three incumbents

FSA sea ts
them during the interviews, can be sum-
marized as follows:
" Pete Prahar, '72, is sharply critical of
the present members of the executive coun-
cil, charging them with failing to ac-
complish anything important during the
first eight months of their tenure.
He places great emphasis on establish-
ing better communications with the LSA
faculty in an attempt to gather support
for reforms he supports, including:
-a pass-fail option for all courses,

11101 --------------- - i MM INI

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