UCLA students memorialize 1969 Black Panther slayings

A UCLA history class studying the 1960s was stunned to learn recently that a violent incident in the black power movement had occurred on the Westwood campus and that there was nothing to mark it.

So they and their instructor set out to memorialize two UCLA students, both Black Panther Party members, who were shot to death in Campbell Hall on Jan. 17, 1969, in an alleged dispute over leadership in a fledgling black studies program.

On Tuesday, two plaques honoring Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John J. Huggins Jr. as social justice advocates were unveiled in a Campbell Hall ceremony attended by relatives of the slain men, among others.

The deaths continue to generate debate about Black Panther power struggles and the motives of those involved. The alleged gunman, Claude "Chuchessa" Hubert, was never apprehended. Two brothers, George and Larry Stiner, were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and second-degree murder for their involvement; both received life sentences. They escaped from prison in 1974. Larry Stiner lived as a fugitive in Suriname for 20 years and then surrendered. His brother remains a fugitive.

One plaque will be displayed in a glass case inside the classroom and office building; students have asked that the other be affixed to the exterior of the building. Campus officials, however, said that longstanding rules forbid exterior mounting except on buildings named after donors and that the ban has nothing to do with the Black Panthers' controversial politics.

History lecturer Mary Corey said she and others will appeal that decision.


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