Interview with William O'Neal
QUESTION 28
INTERVIEWER:

Did you feel remorse about what you had done?

WILLIAM O'NEAL:

I didn't feel like I had done anything. I didn't walk in there with guns. I didn't shoot him. FBI didn't do it. I felt somewhat like I was betrayed. I felt like if anyone should have known it was going to be a raid that morning, I should have known, also. I felt like I could have been caught in that raid. I was there that night, and I felt like if I'd have laid down I probably would have been a victim, so I felt betrayed, I felt like, I felt like I was expendable. I felt like, like perhaps I was on the wrong side. Yeah, yeah, I had my misgivings. I'm not going to, I, no, I'm not going to sit here now and take the responsibility for the raid, you know, I'm not going to do that. I didn't pull the trigger. I didn't issue the warrant. I didn't put the guns in the apartment. So I'm not going to take the responsibility for that, but I do feel like I was betrayed. I felt like I should have known the raid was coming down. I felt like it was probably excessive. You know, I felt like it was a surgical strike, you know, and I was really angry for quite a few days. Quite a few days. I refused to have any contact with Roy Mitchell at that point. But I think he pretty much understood, too. We got together and had a few drinks, and he didn't take any responsibility for it either. He said, basically, he didn't know it was going to occur, which, at that point was hard for me to believe. I just began to understand basically how serious and deadly the game we'd all been playing for 16 months, the reality of what we were doing, just came to bare on us that morning. I think, I think the membership was, was automatically decreased by 300 members that, that never showed up again when that happened. I think that all of the, all of our enemies, all of the Black Panther Party's enemies came out of the woodwork to capitalize on the situation. Bobby Rush was angry for quite a few days about all of the national leaders that showed up to lend support to the Black Panthers who wouldn't sit down and have a conference with them early in the game, all of those people that showed up at Fred Hampton's funeral and looked over his coffin, didn't give him ten minutes of their time when he was alive.





WILLIAM O'NEAL:

My recruitment by the FBI was very efficient, very simple, really. I'd stolen a car and went joy-riding over the state limit, and they had a potential case against me, and I was looking for an opportunity to work it off. And a couple of months later that opportunity came when FBI agent Roy Mitchell asked me to go down to the local office of the Black Panther Party, and try to gain membership.** I did so and became a member of the Black Panther Party.