01/23/07 07-008

01/23/07 07-008

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January 23, 2007


Eight Arrests In 1971 San Francisco Police Officer Death

press conference photos and notes

San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong, Special Agent in Charge Charlene B. Thornton of the San Francisco office of the F. B. I., California State Attorney General Jerry Brown, Rick Oules, Director of the Division of Law Enforcement for the Office of the Attorney General, and Kevin Ryan, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced today that eight men have been arrested in connection with the murder of San Francisco Police Sergeant John V. Young. Sergeant Young was shot to death during the August 29, 1971 military-style attack at Ingleside Station by members of the Black Liberation Army, a violence-based group formed with the intent to kill police officers throughout the United States.

Sgt John V. Young photo
Sgt John V. Young

Seven former members of the Black Liberation Army have been charged with the murder of Sergeant Young and with conspiracy to murder police officers:

Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, of Altadena, California

Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco, California

Herman Bell, 59, currently incarcerated in New York

Anthony Bottom, 55, currently incarcerated in New York

Henry Watson Jones, 71, of Altadena, California

Francisco Torres, 58, of Queens, New York

Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City, Florida

Also arrested today was Richard O'Neal, 57, of San Francisco, on charges of conspiracy to murder police officers. He was not charged as an active participant in the murder of Sergeant Young.

Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62, was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and aggravated assault on a police officer in connection with his participation in the murder of

Sergeant Young. Although Bridgeforth's whereabouts are currently unknown, California state arrest warrants, a federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and an INTERPOL Red Notice remain in effect for him.

The conspiracy to kill law enforcement officers commenced on October 21, 1968 and extended through 1973. Crimes committed in furtherance of the conspiracy include four separate attempted murders of law enforcement personnel; the bombing of a police officer's funeral at St. Brendan's church in San Francisco; the murder of two New York City police officers; the attempted bombing of Mission Police Station in San Francisco; and three armed bank robberies. The proceeds funded the Black Liberation Army's criminal activity.

The FBI-sponsored Phoenix Task Force is comprised of investigators, agents and attorneys from the SFPD, the San Francisco office of the FBI, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California, the California Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.

In 1999, the task force reopened investigations into several murders of San Francisco police officers that occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s after advances in forensic science led to the discovery of new evidence in one of the unsolved cases. In early 2005, representatives of the Office of the Attorney General met with investigators and agreed to direct the investigation and assume responsibility for any prosecution that might ensue. During the initial stages of the investigation, Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff provided invaluable resources and support to the Phoenix Task Force.