Chip Fitzgerald was a member of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1969 when he was shot and wounded by police.—This was the year the FBI pledged to wipe out the Party, the year the Party's L.A. office was assaulted for over five hours by several hundred members of the LAPD's new SWAT Team, the year so many Party members were killed by police, including Walter Touré Pope and Fred Hampton.—Over a week later, Chip was arrested and charged with assault on police and the murder of a security guard (with no real evidence, lets remember the racial and political climate of the 60s and 70s). He was sentenced to death. When the death penalty was outlawed in California, his sentence was commuted to life with the possibility of parole.
Chip continues to believe in the struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people, and, despite the hardship of all these years of incarceration, heroically recognizes that his captivity is the result of his dedication and commitment to that struggle, a result we welcomed when we dedicated our lives to the Party and the Struggle.
Chip Fitzgerald, the longest held Black Panther political prisoner.