Interview with Bobby Seale

Could you talk about community control and how that became a policy in programs that the Panther Party dictated with the police? Community control--


Well, community control was in a vague way from the n--initial point of, uh, that was all related to the function, the definition of power. But we initiated a program where we got some research teams out of the University of California and some other places, and put together a real referendum to the ballot for community control of police really to decentralize the police and have five commissioners duly elected by the people, a form of more participatory democracy here. And we finally did get it on the ballot in the city of Berkeley. It lost by one percentage point. But that was one aspect, along with selling the Black Panther party newspaper and dealing with a lot of other problems in the community, that was one of the key political electoral aspects in 1968 that we attempted to initiate.