Interview with Howard Saffold

How does that kind of behavior from the police make you feel?


Well, again, the frustration comes in, then as it does now, when the police cannot make a distinction between the criminal element and a, and, uh, a social movement. Um, I was, I, I, I suspect that there was some Panthers that, under the guise of the Panthers, were committing criminal acts. I know that. Because the records will show that. Some of them were actual, uh, double agents. Some of them were people with known criminal records and etcetera. And I'm not, um, naive enough to think that some of those people had not infiltrated that particular organization. But the fact that the police felt, um, comfortable about lumping everybody with a Black tam and everybody with combat boots was a Panther. And even that was a fad in those days. Some kids just wore them because they thought it looked macho. Um, every kid that had a tam on was a gangbanger. A member of a gang. Every, every, every bit of information that they could gather, that identified a particular group, than they would just forcefully, uh, uh, cause people to, to, to react as if they were part of the group because they treated them that way. Um, our, our attitude back then was the police department was the ga--greatest gang recruiting tool in Chicago because they treated everybody as if they were gangbangers anyway. So the kids were...