DEAD: Huey P. Newton

(age 47)
Co-founder of the Black Panther Party

Huey Percy Newton (February 17, 1942 – August 22, 1989) was a revolutionary African-American political activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. In 1967, he was involved in a shootout which led to the death of a police officer and in 1974 was accused of shooting a woman, leading to her death. During this time, he continued to pursue graduate studies, eventually earning a Ph.D. in social philosophy. In 1989 he was murdered in Oakland, California by Tyrone Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.

DEATH: On August 22, 1989, Newton was murdered in the neighborhood of Lower Bottoms, in West Oakland, California. Within days, Tyrone Robinson was arrested as a suspect; he was on parole and admitted the murder to police, claiming self-defense. Police found no evidence that Newton was carrying a gun. Robinson was convicted of first-degree murder in 1991 and sentenced to a prison term of 32 years to life. Robinson’s motive was to advance in the Black Guerrilla Family, a narcotics prison gang, in order to get a crack franchise. Newton’s funeral was held at Allen Temple Baptist Church, where he was a member. Some 1300 mourners were accommodated inside, and another 500–600 listened to the service from outside. Newton’s achievements in civil rights and work on behalf of black children and families with the Black Panther Party were celebrated. Newton’s body was cremated, and his ashes were interred at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland.

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