Newly released FBI records reveal that activist Richard Masato Aoki, celebrated as a radical hero in the San Francisco Bay Area, covertly filed more than 500 reports with the bureau between 1961 and 1971 on a variety of activists and political groups.
Seth Rosenfeld is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. He was an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle and has won the George Polk Award and other journalism honors. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Released under court order, a 221-page file shows Richard Aoki’s long career as a radical activist and an FBI source of “extreme value.”
The man who helped arm the Black Panthers in the 1960s turns out to have been an FBI informant, according to FBI files uncovered by journalist Seth Rosenfeld. A mysterious character who sported sunglasses even at night, Richard Aoki was a militant leader of the Third World strike and an activist with the Asian American
For a decade, Richard Aoki filed covert reports on a range of political groups, according to the FBI agent who recruited him. At the same time, he was providing the Panthers with weapons.
Video: Ariane Wu Read full transcript The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training – which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s – was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report. One of the
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