Though under constant police surveillance, the Chicago chapter remained active and maintained their community programs until 1974.
The history of the Black Panther Party is controversial.
Like the Community Alert Patrol in Los Angeles after the Watts Rebellion, he decided to organize patrols to follow the police around to monitor for incidents of brutality.
He had an epiphany that would distinguish the Black Panther Party from the multitude of organizations seeking to build Black Power.
Newton saw the explosive rebellious anger of the ghetto as a force, and believed that if he could stand up to the police, he could organize that force into political power. Williams' armed resistance to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and Williams' book Negroes with Guns, Newton studied gun laws in California until he knew it better than many police officers.
Newton (Defense Minister), Sherwin Forte, Bobby Seale (Chairman) Bottom: Reggie Forte and Little Bobby Hutton (Treasurer).
Newsreel in which Kathleen Cleaver spoke at Hutton Memorial Park in Alameda County, California.
the Black Panther Party's core practice was its armed citizens' patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California.
In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members.In formulating a new politics, they drew on their experiences working with a variety of Black Power organizations.Eventually dissatisfied with Warden’s accommodation-ism, they developed a revolutionary anti-imperialist perspective working with more active and militant groups like the Soul Students Advisory Council and the Revolutionary Action Movement.In the early 1960s, the insurgent Civil Rights Movement had dismantled the Jim Crow system of racial caste subordination using the tactics of non-violent civil disobedience, and demanding full citizenship rights for black people.But not much changed in the cities of the North and West.Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group's involvement in illegal activities such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants.