Eight are arrested in 1971 killing of San Francisco police officer


January 24, 2007|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight men were arrested yesterday in the 1971 shotgun killing of a San Francisco police officer in a case that authorities said involved a five-year conspiracy to kill police officers across the United States.

A joint state and federal task force identified seven of the arrested as former members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent arm of the Black Panthers.

The arrests, made in California, New York and Florida, were the culmination of an investigation into the activities of the BLA.

The group, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was "bent on creating terror and chaos by assassinating police officers," said Morris Tabak, deputy chief of investigations for the San Francisco Police Department.

The men have been charged with the murder of Sgt. John V. Young, who was gunned down Aug. 29, 1971, at a police station here. They also are charged with conspiracy to murder police officers, authorities said.

Arrested yesterday were Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, and Henry Watson Jones, 71, both of Altadena; Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco; Francisco Torres, 58, of Queens, N.Y.; Herman Bell, 59, and Anthony Bottom, 55, both in prison in New York state; and Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City, Fla.

Another man, Richard O'Neal, 57, of San Francisco, was arrested on conspiracy to murder police officers. He was not charged "as an active participant" in the Young killing, authorities said.

A ninth suspect, Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62, was charged with murder, conspiracy and aggravated assault in connection with the killing of Young. Bridgeforth was still at large.

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