Interview with Flint Taylor

Now, in the immediate wake of the raid, Hanrahan starts putting out his story, and it really turns into something of a media war. What are your recollections of that struggle?


Well, I, the, the two major papers, uh, were the Sun-Times and The Tribune. And they each had other, one other that I think were owned. There was The Chicago Today that was owned by The Tribune, and there was The Daily News, which was the afternoon paper for the Sun-Times. And they both, as I said, started out, uh, covering it the way, you know, the company line from Hanrahan. After Brian Boyer and the, uh, editor of the Sun-Times went down there, then the Sun-Times started to, and The Daily News started to look at it a little bit. And The Tribune continued to be Hanrahan's voice. So within days, Hanrahan, uh, set up a phony exclusive, at which time he went to The Tribune and told them, gave them the police officer's version of, of the raid. And it was of course banner headlines, "Exclusive, police tell about shoot-out". Ah, and, but he made the mistake again of taking some pictures. And on the front page of The Tribune it said, "Here's the evidence of how the Panthers fired all these shots." And it was one picture that showed a bunch of bullet holes, a series of bullet holes, and said, "That's where the people were firing out of the middle bedroom". And there was a, another door that had some bullet holes supposedly, circled, and it said, "These, this is the evidence of where Fred Hampton was shooting, this is the back door." Well, again, we went and took those pictures, and saw they weren't what they appeared to be. The back door, the circles around the bullet holes, they turned out to be nail heads. We went and we saw that they were nail heads because we had possession of the apartment. As far as the door that the Panthers were really supposedly firing into, that turned out to be the bedroom door, and it was a door that the police had made into Swiss cheese with their machine gun** bullets. So we again got th--I think we got The Sun-Times people back there and showed them. So the next day The Sun-Times then said, "Exclusive", exposed this exclusive for what it was, which was, uh, a pack of lies. And--