Thursday, Jun. 23, 2011

H. Rap Brown and Angela Davis

In the 1960s and '70s, various political radicals were placed on the FBI's most-wanted list. Angela Davis, a radical and supporter of the Black Panther party, was hunted by the FBI for almost two months on murder and kidnapping charges related to a 1970 shootout in Marin County, California, that led to the death of a judge and several others. The guns used in the shootout were registered under Davis' name, so she was charged under a California law that deems accomplices equally guilty for purchasing guns used in a crime. Davis was acquitted of all charges in 1972 and went on to become a professor and political activist.

Another prominent radical was Black Panther H. Rap Brown, who was wanted by the FBI for two years. The charges came following a 1967 rally in which Brown told a crowd of hundreds to get guns and "burn America down"; the rally resulted in riots and a shooting. Brown was charged with unlawful interstate flight, arson, inciting to riot and failure to appear in court. Brown, who has since changed his name to Jamil Abdullah al-Amin after converting to Islam, is currently serving a life sentence for the 2000 fatal shooting of a law-enforcement officer.