Interview with Jerris Leonard
QUESTION 17
LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, in, in, in the s- in the program that, that has been sort of called COINTELPRO, there seemed to be this sense of, of danger, ah, ah, about the Panthers. Could you talk a little bit about that perceived danger and why a program like COINTELPRO--

JERRIS LEONARD:

Again, I think, as we look back at the times, ah, the, the, no question the Panthers were caching weapons around the country, they had a paramilitary organization and a camp going in California and possibly other places, but, my own perspective is that the First Marine Division would have wiped the Panthers out in 24 hours. Ah, that's, that's my view of it. Ah, that being the case, I think we overreacted at the time that the Panthers were somehow, some kind of a threat to the, to the whole United States and I think in, in retrospect that was simply not the case.