Interview with Bobby Rush
QUESTION 17
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Were there suspicions about him?

BOBBY RUSH:

Ah, yeah. Fred had suspicions about him. It's very ironic. Fred had some strong suspicions about him. Because of the fact that he would disappear for days without anyone--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Always use names.

BOBBY RUSH:

Because O'Neal, because O'Neal would--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Start over again.

BOBBY RUSH:

Yeah. Fred had strong suspicions about him because O'Neal would disappear for, for days without anybody knowing exactly where he was at. Ah, he was, he had al--there was a side of him that was never revealed. And Fred was always suspicious of that side. Ah, I, I, have a liberal attitude that we took on O'Neal at the time allowed him to get away with a lot of things that, uh, probably uh, in hindsight we should not have allowed him to get away with. We should not have allowed him to get as close. But it was human frailties uh, that allowed him to, to, to, to get to that point. He even emerged or was able to become the Chief of Security for the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther party, and he was, he had access to sensitive, or people of authority, people in positions of power. As a matter of fact, on the day that Fred was, was murdered, on the, the night before Fred was murdered, he was in fact in the apartment at 2337 West Monroe. And O'Neal certainly, certainly was one who was not ideologically or programmatically in tune with us. He accepted the, the philosophy of the Panther Party in, in, in, in, in words but he was always, he always acted differently then say the rank and file Panther or the, the leadership of the Panther Party of the Illinois chapter here. He was always trying to get Panthers to invo--get, involve themselves in uh, petty crimes like robbing gas stations and, and doing that kind of stuff, okay? Which we, which we, most of us rejected, okay? And there might be the one or two who went along with him. But he was always advocating moves that would put us into direct conflict with law enforcement agencies in an immediate way.