Conflicts between Black Panthers and police in the late 1960's and early 1970's led to shoot-outs in California, New York, and Chicago, one of which resulted in Newton's going to prison for the murder of a patrolman. While some members of the party were guilty of criminal acts, the group was subjected to police harassment that sometimes took the form of violent attacks, prompting congressional investigations of police activities in dealing with the Panthers. By the mid-1970's, having lost many members and having fallen out of favor with many American black leaders, who objected to the party's methods, the Panthers turned from violence to concentrate on conventional politics and on providing social services in black neighborhoods. The party had a powerful influence on the political consciousness of American society, particularly for young urban blacks. Its decline, presided over by Huey Newton, may be attributed to external... [continues]
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