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Friday, June 3, 2011

Former Black Panther Elmer 'Geronimo' Pratt dies

Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt spent 27 years in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit. His conviction was later overturned.
Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt (September 13, 1947 – June 2, 2011), also known as Geronimo ji-Jaga, was a former high ranking member of the Black Panther Party. He was targeted by the FBI programCOINTELPRO, which aimed to "neutralize Pratt as an effective BPP functionary."Pratt was tried and convicted of the kidnap and murder of Caroline Olsen in 1972, and spent 27 years in prison, eight of which were in solitary confinement. Pratt was freed in 1997 when his conviction was vacated. He was working as a human rights activist up until the time of his death. Pratt was also the godfather of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. He died of a heart attack in his adopted country, Tanzania, on June 2, 2011. Many people in the African-American community, as well as those involved in grassroots and human and civil rights struggles considered Pratt a warrior and hero of their movements.
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