Interview with William O'Neal

Tell me a little bit about how you felt about working for the FBI. What motivated you and what you thought you were, what ends you thought you were serving?


Well, in my community, the policemen were, I mean, it was the quickest way to gain respect. I mean, I think I grew up wanting to be a policeman, admiring and respecting policemen, although I always thought it was outside of my reach. I, my neighborhood was not unlike most people that grew up in Chicago, most young people, we were very mischievous and did a lot of juvenile-type, petty, criminal-type things, but stealing a car and all of a sudden having the FBI, having a case with the FBI, the thought of be--having, really going to jail got my attention. And, so when he asked me to join the Black Panther Party, and he used terms, he never used the word informant. He always said, "You're working for me," and I associated him as the FBI. So all of a sudden I was working for the FBI, which, in my mind, at that point, I associated with being an FBI agent. So I felt good about it. I felt like I was working undercover for the FBI doing something good for the finest police organization in America. And so I was pretty proud.


Yeah, great, OK.


The camera had--