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The Assassination of Fred Hampton

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Uncovering a cold-blooded execution at the hands of a conspiring police force, this engaging account relentlessly pursues the murderers of Black Panther Fred Hampton. Documenting the entire 14-year process of bringing the killers to justice, this chronicle also depicts the 18-month court trial in detail. Revealing Hampton himself in a new light, this examination presents h ...more
ebook, 424 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Feb 04, 2014 Ricky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether it's by reading this book, seeing a film, whatever, learning about Fred Hampton is mandatory in our struggle for justice, especially those of us who are Chicago-based.

I had no idea how many ways the "legal" system has and continues to incubate and perpetuate racism and classism until I read this book.

The scariest part is that I have ZERO doubts that the legacy of COINTELPRO is being continued through the Patriot Act, etc. There are still informants, there are still death threats, there i
Ernesto Aguilar
Nov 28, 2009 Ernesto Aguilar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among some circles, Fred Hampton is a luminary without peers. Though new generations may only catch his reference in a song, his legacy in Chicago and to the Black liberation movement is without question. The charismatic Black Panther Party chapter leader demonstrated a natural gift for reaching people, and marshaled young people into political action for the first time. His brutal murder — in which Chicago police, after wounding him as he slept, delivered two rounds to the head, killing him — h ...more
Dan Sirotkin
Jul 13, 2012 Dan Sirotkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fact that you know who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were but likely have little idea who Fred Hampton was is damn near a disgrace.

This is far and away the most thorough and powerful autobiographical account of life during the fight for African-American Civil Rights since The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The author, Jeffery Haas, was one of the lead prosecutors in the case against the government after Hampton's assassination in 1969, a moment that in many ways ended the black nati
May 01, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Fred Hampton's execution is infinitely compelling, mandatory reading. This book becomes very bogged down in the legal wrangling for the civil case and the lives of his lawyers (and their dispute over fees) to such an extent that the reality is sometimes obscured; that a civil case is secondary compared to the criminal charges that should have been laid and the convictions that should have followed for shooting a drugged defenceless man in his bed and shooting others in his apartment ...more
Pat James
Dec 18, 2015 Pat James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2010 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very valuable first-hand account of some of the legal aftermath of Fred Hampton's assassination. The author was a lawyer for the Black Panthers, and explains in detail the appalling miscarriages of justice that occurred every step of the way in the lawsuit brought by the survivors of the police raid during which Fred Hampton was killed. For example, he describes how, after he (the author) frustratedly stated in court that all they want is a fair trial but it looks like they're not ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fred Haas, grandson of Leo Frank's attorney, was an attorney for the Black Panther Party (BPP) in Illinois. Fred Hampton, the Chair of the IL BPP, was killed in his bed by Chicago Police, who claimed that they were fired at by the people inside the apartment. Evidence showed gunshots coming into the apartment, not going out. Fred Haas represented the survivors of the police raid and the parents of the two panthers who were killed, first charging the police department, then in a lengthy civil law ...more
Jan 21, 2013 J.C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
3 1/2 stars. The writing was surprisingly good seeing as how it was written by a full time lawyer who never wrote a book before. There were a few tangents that made the book feel a bit longer than it was, but overall it was good. I guess when you are involved in an event for 40+ years you have a pretty good grasp of the subject matter.

Be forewarned: This book is not really a biography about Fred Hampton. It is more of a autobiography, true crime, conspiracy theory book about the Fred Hampton mur
Jose Palafox

"Today [12/4/09:] marks the fortieth anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. On December 4th, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed. He was just twenty-one years old. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid. While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a v
Mar 19, 2015 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring, depressing and sometimes horrifying, it's an essential, rewarding read. About much more than the killing of Fred Hampton, it's also about Haas' shift toward radicalism, about American law enforcement and our legal system -- its horrible failures and its occasional moments of reassurance. The early material about Hampton's life is often thrilling and, while the tale of the long court battles that followed his death can't help but drag, the biases and coverups it reveals make it worth p ...more
May 05, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important stories of the 1960's was the program developed by the FBI to target and "neutralize" charismatic Black leaders. This is not a story that has gotten sufficient attention, and is never mentioned in the seemingly endless nostalgia stories of the Sixties.

Fred Hampton fit the FBI profile, was targeted and after an unsuccessful attempt at getting a Black gang leader to kill Hampton, the FBI assisted the Chicago police department in assassinating Hampton on December 4, 1969.

Feb 11, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times the author's style can be a bit off-putting, he tends to sensationalize things, particularly dialogue, in a style that conflicts with the presentation of impartial evidence and facts. The evidence is strong enough to stand on its own without his qualifications, but otherwise the book provides great insight into Fred Hampton's murder. The peak of my annoyance with his style came with the pun "testilied" but overall the truth of the story is compelling enough to keep the pages turning. An ...more
Apr 01, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every American should read this book.
Jan 24, 2013 kripsoo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman Chicago, Illinois B.P.P. Chapter from 1968 thru 1969. Murdered, along with Mark Clark in a pre dawn fascist police attack by State's Attorney Hannerhand's Special Police Squad, December 4th, 1969 The FBI's "COINTELPRO" was complicit in this murder of Fred and Mark Clark and the vicious shooting of several party members while they were asleep at 5:00 a.m. After ten years the families ultimately won a suite against the state
Panashe M.
Aug 01, 2016 Panashe M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart wrenching account of Jeffrey Haas' and many others' quest for justice following the brutal murder of Fred Hampton, the precocious Black Panther leader. Reading this will rob you of any illusion that America's justice system is just, or that the police are meant to serve and protect all of us. On the other hand, the book shows that justice is not impossible, even if only partial justice can be achieved in our current political framework.
Crystal Belle
Mar 19, 2010 Crystal Belle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a great investigation into the death of fred hampton. everything is exposed, including COINTELPRO goverment documents to interviews with members of the black panther party during fred's death. fred hampton did so much before he died at the young age of 21. if you are interested in learning more about the law and the corruption behind the US government when it came to black organizations during the civil rights era, READ THIS!
Apr 15, 2013 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading about how corrupt our government has been and always be. Being a young humanitarian and activist and from chicago myself I felt I could connect to Fred Hampton. This story gave me chills and tears, it's always awful seeing young adults fighting for good causes, getting imprisoned and or murdered by the tyrannical governments.
True story that chronicles the murder of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark by the FBI and Chicago police. The book is written by a U of C law alum whose work has inspired a generation of lawyers dedicated to working for social change. - Craig Futterman
Jan 27, 2013 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read the blurb, so I wasn't prepared for so much of the author's personal life nor for such a detailed account of the trial. But, I really got into it. Definitely worth reading about this dark part of Chicago history.
This book was absolutely touching and inspiring. It portrays who the real pigs are and why they wanted to silence a young and up-and-coming revolutionary leader.
Sep 18, 2014 Eboni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good to read this story from a legal standpoint. Lots of facts and evidence that is often overlooked when this moment in history is revisited...
El Espada
Nov 19, 2013 El Espada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A horrowing and oppressive tale and memoir of the abuse of legal lethal force.
Mar 27, 2010 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a back cover blurb from Bill Ayers -- alert Glenn Beck!
Aug 03, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Free The Carbondale Six!
And Our Defense Minister from Peoria!"
Jul 25, 2010 Chet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As good a read as a Grisham novel, but based on a real event.
Mar 15, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so proud of the author, his partners, and the victims and family members who never gave up the fight to uncover the truth. I think it's important to note that the government never seems to take note of anyone unless s/he turns out to be a charismatic leader bringing up the subject of class inequity. In this case, the FBI had a man killed for feeding breakfast to kids who couldn't afford it otherwise. We have to remember Fred's assertion that you can kill the revolutionary, but you can't kill ...more
Apr 15, 2011 Rai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biograph
really good so far.
Spencer marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2016
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Sep 23, 2016
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Attorney Jeff Haas has spent his career working for justice. In 1969 he and three other lawyers set up the Peoples Law Office, whose clients included the Black Panthers, SDS, and other political activists. Haas went on to handle cases involving prisoners rights, police torture, and the wrongfully accused. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife and children and continues to represent victi ...more
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