Rep. Bobby Rush files bill to force FBI to release secret files about Fred Hampton’s death
The Illinois Democrat introduced a bill that would force the FBI to disclose its files from COINTELPRO, which targeted the Black Panther Party.
Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush has filed a bill that would force the FBI to disclose all of its files from its counterintelligence programs, including those related to Chairman Fred Hampton and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rush, who co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and was a close friend of Hampton’s, submitted the bill to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 4).
“It is high time that the American people know about the odious and inhumane legacy of [Former FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO operation and its assault on our nation’s civil liberties,” he wrote in a statement. “COINTELPRO was spying on American citizens. Anyone who took a political position against the status quo, anyone who wanted to make America better was subject to being penalized, investigated — and in the case of my friend Fred Hampton, assassinated — by the official legal arm of the federal government.”
In the 1960s, the counterintelligence program COINTELPRO illegally targeted members of the Black Panther Party and other political activists, including Rev. King, Hampton, Mark Clark and more. The stories of Hampton and Clark’s assassinations were recently told in the Oscar-winning film, Judas and the Black Messiah.
Prior to filing his bill, Rep. Rush sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and asked him to “release unclassified and unredacted versions of any files or papers in the possession of the U.S. Department of Justice or the FBI pertaining to this assassination.”
“We believe that it is past time that our country fully knows and understands its dark past, and the release and study of this information is an important step on this journey,” he added in the letter.
If it’s voted into law, the bill would “require the public disclosure of COINTELPRO records, establish a COINTELPRO Records Collection… and establish the COINTELPRO Records Review Board.”
The legislation also seeks to rid the name of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who launched COINTELPRO, from the Washington D.C. FBI headquarters building.
“As a victim of COINTELPRO, I want to know — with honesty, with clarity and with no redactions — the full extent of the FBI’s nefarious operations. I want to know the breadth and depth of the conspiracy to assassinate Fred Hampton and how taxpayer dollars were spent on his assassination,” Rush wrote in his statement. “I want to know why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a focus of the FBI; why Billie Holiday was a focus of the FBI. I want to know why so many young activists were harassed by the FBI. What was the justification for the impact that it had on their lives?”
Rush added that “it is beyond time for J. Edgar Hoover, who has a clear legacy as the number one assailant on America’s constitutional guarantees for its citizens,” to have his name removed from the FBI headquarters.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Check out our gift guide that highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds in time for Black Friday.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.
“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.
Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money
At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money.
Black media leaders stress the space's importance because we're always antagonists in mainstream's storytelling
“I definitely feel those ‘heavier is the crown’ moments. But I also believe that Black entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to be successful in the future,” Detavio Samuels said at AfroTech.
From Master P to Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, Damian Lillard and more, these athletes got bars. Check out our list here!
In an exclusive interview with REVOLT, Machel Montano dove into his musical journey, childhood stardom, and an exciting new chapter in business.
“I have those conversations with my son about abundance,” Lauren London said at REVOLT WORLD.