Interview with Flint Taylor
QUESTION 18
INTERVIEWER:

You've mentioned O'Neal, what, what are your recollections about him and how people were dealing with him at the time? Just how active and involved was he with the Panthers, and what he might have been able to inform on.

FLINT TAYLOR:

Well he was very involved with the Panthers--

INTERVIEWER:

His name.

FLINT TAYLOR:

Oh, O'Neal was ve--obviously very involved with the Panthers, he was chief of security, he was, uh, involved in, uh, being Fred Hampton's bodyguard for awhile. Ah, he seemed to always be around when things were happening, and, uh, I keep wanting to go into the floor plan. I don't know if I can handle him without getting into that.

INTERVIEWER:

Try.

FLINT TAYLOR:

Alright.

INTERVIEWER:

Talk a little bit around it.

FLINT TAYLOR:

Um, and, uh, um, he was also our client, as a Panther he was a client of our office. So, we--

INTERVIEWER:

Can you start that and say O'Neal.

FLINT TAYLOR:

O'Neal was also a client of our office from early in '69, uh, he was represented by some of my partners, particularly Dennis Cunningham. And so O'Neal was not only around the Panthers, and important in the Panthers, but he was, seemed to be around all the cases, and all, all the defense people. And he would be around the lawyers, and that kind of thing. Perfect position for someone who was an informant or a provocateur. Ah, most of his pro--provocateurism we heard second hand, but nonetheless we heard about it. And there were always rumors and feelings that he was an informant, that he wasn't, uh, playing with a full deck. But there was never enough, I think, for either the lawyers or the Panthers to, uh, decide, uh, that he should be, uh, expelled from the party and kept from coming around. So he continued to be around and be involved and be able to have, be in a position where he could do the kinds of things that, uh, he was being ordered to do under the COINTELPRO Program.

INTERVIEWER:

Okay, cut. I've covered--