Interview with Howard Saffold

Now, down Monroe street, what was the sense of the response of the community?


People who normally, and we did a lot of talking. A lot of young people around there were students at Malcolm X. Um, um, several police brutality complaints had come from that area. Ah, I didn't live that far from that area. Um, people were like saying, uh, "They didn't have to murder them". A lot of the people that didn't even sympathize with the Panthers originally, who said, you know, they kind of looked at them with a jaundiced eye. "What is this?", I mean, "Who are these guys? I don't want to be a part of that. It's too militant, etc., etc." They found a lot of sympathy for them at that point. Because it was rather obvious that, um, we, Chicago was known for unexplained police killings anyway. And, and so it wasn't like this was something that never happened. But when they said, "This particular incident is out and out murder." And I think that was the sentiment. People were saying, "What can we do to prevent this from happening again? Um, what safeguards do we have, um, um, that, that, that preclude the police from, from being in the position to police themselves?" Because that's essentially what they were doing at that point. Um, White people who, um, considered themselves part of, of, of, of America's, um, um, true patriotic, you know, "We are, we are all one cloth," even those people who would normally be considered right-wing supporters of, of, of law and order couldn't stand it. They couldn't stand for it. And subsequently I think the, uh, the kind of, uh, public scrutiny that came as a result of that, um, was the beginning of the end of, of, of, just open and notorious vicious conduct on the part of police officers, um, um, being perpetrated because of, of a person's ideology.