Just Another Day In SouthLA
Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, former Black Panther Party leader, died early last Friday, June 3rd, from a medical ailment, an associate said. He was 63. Geronimo, whose murder conviction was overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he maintained he did not commit.
Pratt died just after midnight at his home in Imbaseni village, 15 miles fromArusha,Tanzania, where he had lived for at least half a decade, friend and former Black Panther member Pete O’Neal said. O’Neal said he suspects Pratt died of a heart attack or stroke. Pratt was taken to the hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday with high blood pressure.
Pratt was convicted in 1972 of being one of two men who robbed and fatally shot schoolteacher Caroline Olsen on aSanta Monica,Calif., tennis court in December 1968. No one else was arrested, however Pratt claimed he was inOaklandfor Black Panther Party meetings the day of the murder, and that FBI agents and police somehow lost/misplaced/never picked it up from the evidence locker the evidence that may proved this.
The Black Panther Party was an African-American revolutionary leftist organization, active in theUnited Statesfrom 1966 until 1982. It achieved notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement and inU.S.politics of the 1960s and 70s.