Interview with Jerris Leonard

OK. To the Grand Jury, um, in the appointment of the Grand Jury, what, first off, what, what was your, your mandate, what you were, you were asked by at- Attorney General Mitchell to, to go to Chicago, what was your, your marching orders then?


Well, I, my marching orders specifically were broader than, than just Chicago. There was a good deal of, ah, unrest and riot, riotous type situations and, and police and student and police and radical involvement at the time. General Mitchell became very concerned that there was an overreaction by law enforcement to these radical groups, whether it be campus or the Panthers, ah, the Kent State situation, the Jackson State situation, he wanted to send a message that the Justice Department was going to take a very close look at situations which resulted in any death, where there was a situation like the Panthers, or, or the student and campus situation, specifically, however, ah, I think he was very concerned, in the Black Panther case, about the fact that the raid occurred at four or five o'clock in the morning, that, ah, there, there hadn't been any, ah, precedent violence by anyone from the Black Panther apartment, ah, you know, that it was a kind of a raid in the night, Aden that there was a massive amount of shooting. I don't remember the numbers but, ah, it was something like over a hundred gunshot, ah, gunshots were fired. And as I believe the Grand Jury report shows, only one of those were fired by the Panthers, and the bal- the balance of over a hundred shots were fired by the police. I think that was really deep, of deep concern to General Mitchell because he said, "How can there be that much response to one shot from the other side?" So to speak.