December 4, 1969: Fred Hampton murdered in his bed by Chicago Police

In the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 1969, a team of police officers organized by Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan stormed an apartment ostensibly in search of illegal weapons. The apartment was the residence of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and it served as the chapter’s headquarters. Nearly 100 shots were fired. When the haze of gun smoke cleared, Fred Hampton and another Panther, Mark Clark, lay dead. The raiding officers had riddled them with bullets.

Many viewed Hampton’s death as an assassination, but Hanrahan steadfastly defended the raid and the actions of his officers. He cited alleged bullet holes in a doorjamb as evidence that his officers had been fired upon by the Panthers. These holes were later revealed to be merely exposed nail heads.

A federal investigation found that of the dozens of shell casings collected at the site of the raid, only one could have come from a Panther’s gun. The rest had been from guns used by the raiding officers.

Hanrahan was eventually indicted on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the raid. He was acquitted of all charges, but public anger surrounding the raid cost him the support of his political allies as well as his 1972 re-election bid. He would never again serve elected office.

The Murder of Fred Hampton was a landmark 1971 documentary by The Film Group, directed by Howard Alk and produced by Mike Gray, that played a major role in exposing this crime to the public.

You can watch the full version of The Murder of Fred Hampton on Media Burn here and here.

On the 20th anniversary of Hampton’s death, filmmaker Peter Kuttner created two followup films: Power to the People and Right On: A Friend Remembers Fred Hampton.


NYC folks! On December 14 at Anthology Film Archives at 7pm

Media Burn is pleased to have provided footage for:
REPRESENTATIONS of LEAVING | QUEER DEATH and heavens

Joan Jett Blakk Announces her Candidacy for President by Bill Stamets
Mom’s Clothesby Jordan Wong

These works approach loss and lineages through experimental visual strategies that document rebirths and Queer utopic visions. Calling out a shared invitation to a then and there, leaving behind and moving towards a Queer sublime, these works employ diverse strategies to weave together something fuller, vaster, and more beautiful, beyond harm and endings.

From Brazil, filmmaker Ana Galizia in attendance!
16mm print of Barbara Hammers Dyketactics!
Programmer Finn Paul in attendance!


Dyketactics by Barbara Hammer (US, 1974) 
Unconfessions by Ana Galizia (Brazil, 2018)
Mom’s Clothes by Jordan Wong (US, 2018)
Pirate Boys by Pol Merchan (Spain and Germany, 2017)
CultureTrauma by Jodi Darby (US, 2017)
Forever Bottom! by Nguyen Tan Hoang (US, 1999)
Joan Jett Blakk Announces her Candidacy for President by Bill Stamets (US, 1992)
Printed Sunset by Andres Baron (Columbia and France, 2017)

 

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