Interview with Frank Smith (Big Black)
QUESTION 14
SAM POLLARD:

FRANK "BIG BLACK" SMITH:

The morning that they came in on the assault. I say, the morning of the 13th when they came in to retake the prison or to come in and do the assault. We, a lot of us, when I say we, I just say myself, really, really, really, it surprised me the way that they vamped, the way that they came in that yard. They thought that we was going to be the violent one. They thought that we was going to really be the one that do all the assault, meaning that we were going to cut up some polices, we was going to kill somebody. So they came in there with excess, overly excess force, retaking the yard. That's why I said 43 people got killed on the retaking. And I say 43. They say 39. But I say 43, you know, that's our count. We knew that once Oswald went outside after talking to us and say that we wanted everything and they wasn't going to give us the 33 demand and, and, and, and, everything we were talking about except 29 demands, that he could see it. See, they didn't knew that we had a television set up in the yard and everything that we would say to him and he would go in front of the media. We would see it from the yard. That's why they cut off all the electricity and that's why we demanded they cut it back on so we can continue to see what was being said to the public or saying to our families and the community about what we were, excuse me, talking about in the yard. But we knew that they were gonna come in but we never knew that they were going to come in there that way. That was really a big surprise, the way that they came in the yard. We thought they were going to come in there and knock some heads and bust some heads open and, and, that kind of way. And once we start seeing the helicopters and they start shooting the gas pellets and we start thinking the best way to protect ourself against that, we start opening up cans of milk, you know, because we got word that if you put milk on you that the gas wouldn't stick to you. And that's what we start doing. And then when they start shooting in the yard, and then when they start vamping in the yard, I mean, there's physical beings in the yard, and I start seeing people getting opened up with shotguns, you know, then I knew they were really coming in there in a violent violent way** and it was, very barbaric man, it was very dehumanizing, you know. And it was a sad, sad, bad, bad thing to see how people could really, really, knowing that we didn't have any weapons. Yeah, he might had a shank here, I mean a butter knife or a pair of scissors that's broke. But we didn't have no weapons, no guns. Why did they have to come in there like that? Why did they have to shoot from the helicopter? Why did they have to shoot from the roofs? Why did they have to shoot when they come over the wall and be right up on a person? Why did they have to shoot him with a shotgun or the 270s?

SAM POLLARD:

That's good.

FRANK "BIG BLACK" SMITH:

You want more than that?