January 29, 2007

The Return of Frank and Ed

Check out this bizzare twist on the recent re-arrest of the former Black Panther members. Skim down to the interview with JR.

Update I:

Here's an article, by Claude Marks, that goes into some history on Frank McCoy and Ed Erdelatz.

Here's another article dated August 23, 2005, by Marks, which reports on efforts to resist a California State Grand Jury process.

It seems that Erdelatz was working for the Alameda County D.A.'s Office, and might have been on special assignment to the FBI. A.C. Thompson Article from San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Update II:

The story on Frank and Ed seems to be revealed in this November 15, 2006 article in the San Francisco Weekly, "Echoes of the Revolution: The struggle between Bay Area law enforcement and the Black Panthers is still going on after 35 years," by Martin Kuz.

In early 2003, three men appeared on the doorstep of John Bowman's house in Oklahoma City. Two of them he had never seen before. The third he had hoped to never see again.

"Do you remember me?" Frank McCoy asked.

Bowman stared in disbelief. He recognized McCoy as one of two SFPD detectives who grilled him all those years ago about Sgt. John Young's murder. There could be no forgetting.

McCoy wanted to discuss the Ingleside shooting and Bowman's days with the Black Panthers. Recovering from his initial shock, Bowman declined to answer questions and invited the trio to leave.

A social program developer and father of two, Bowman, 58, speaks in a slow baritone deepened by his barrel-chested build. The sight of McCoy reminded him that his past devotion to the Panthers shades the present. "Because of that commitment that I made in 1967, I'm still being persecuted and punished," Bowman said in a radio interview last year.

Within a few weeks of McCoy accosting him, he received a summons to appear at a federal grand jury hearing in San Francisco. Authorities delivered subpoenas to more than 20 people in all, including at least four of Bowman's ex-Panther cohorts: Richard Brown, Ray Boudreaux, Hank Jones, and Harold Taylor. Each endured drop-ins from McCoy or his old police partner, Ed Erdelatz, the detectives who originally probed Young's killing.

FBI officials tapped Erdelatz and McCoy to resume digging into the Young case. Since neither still held a police badge, the agency in effect deputized them for the job. At the time, Erdelatz worked as an investigator for the District Attorney's Office in Alameda County, a job he quit last year. McCoy apparently had settled into retirement. (Erdelatz did not respond to SF Weekly's interview requests; McCoy could not be reached for comment.) Their surprise visits exhumed dark memories for Bowman and his one-time Panther brethren.

[Harold] Taylor, 58, admitted the trauma of New Orleans lingers, afflicting body and psyche alike. He blames the jailhouse beatings for the chronic neck and back pain that forced him to retire early, and his ears still ring from the head blows he absorbed. A sense of peace eludes him. Early last year [2005], he received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in San Francisco. Erdelatz and McCoy delivered it.

No comments: