Interview with Charles O'Brien

Again, what was the policy of this State, in particular Governor Reagan, about the Panthers? And what was your position on it?


Well, Governor Reagan was more confrontational. Ah, I think he felt he had to be and he was extremely supportive of District Attorney Cokely and the Alameda County authorities. You must understand, at this time, we had the student body in taking to the streets from the Berkeley Campus in, into Oakland on marches against the war. There were demonstrations of all kinds back and forth on this, at this time. But as the State Department of Justice, because we had some law enforcement supervisory authority, we were attempting to calm things down, to get the dialogue, the public picture of the dialogue, down to a lower decibel rating. And so, we found ourselves pragmatically following a course, sometimes that was somewhat different than the Governor's.