Interview with Howard Saffold

Now what did you do?


Well, basically what, what had happened, they had taken a group of us and, uh, uh, prepared us to serve what they call some John Doe warrants, um, that evening on, on, on certain Panther, known Panther members and several aliases and etcetera. And they had targeted, um, um, some suburban communities, some Chicago communities, and specifically the, uh, Panther headquarters there on, uh, Madison and Western. And, uh, although I wasn't part of the group that went to the Panther headquarters on Madison, obviously there was much discussion about it after it aborted. It, it, it fell through. Ah, it seems that they had planned to, the police had planned to follow um, um, one of the cooks, one of the ladies that volunteered for the Panther breakfast program, um, um, into the headquarters as she, as they allowed her in that morning to start preparing breakfast. They were to go in behind her rather than try to beat down this barricaded, um, fortress that they, uh, described as being the headquarters. And, and subsequently they, they went into this, this building. They were very selective about who was going to be allowed to be at that site, and who wasn't going to be at that sight, in terms of police personnel. Um, they expected to, uh, to catch certain people there. And, uh, it seems as though they were disappointed because the intelligence information that they had received gave them some, some names that weren't physically on the, on the site there. And out of frustration, they ended up destroying, uh, several pounds of food, uh, you know, they took some files, they threw some stuff in the streets. It was a typical police response of frustration back in those days. I mean, it was not uncommon, uh, for the police to behave in a, in a, in a fashion like that when they got disappointed, or when, when, uh, when they felt as though they had been made fools of. And which they had. Because their, the person who was coordinating that, uh, had made several notifications, and he had a lot of people standing by waiting for the, for the big show. And it never came about.