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Why Was Denzil Dowell Killed April First 3.50 a.m. 

The Black Panther v.1, n.1, 25apr67

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Why Was Denzil Dowell Killed April First 3.50 a.m. - The Black Panther v.1, 25apr67


Brothers and Sisters of the Richmond community, here is the view of the family's side of the death of Denzil Dowell as compiled by the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, concerned citizens, and the Dowell family. As you know, April 1st, 1967, Denzel Dowell (age 22), was shot and killed by an "officer of the Martinez Sheriff's Department", so read the newspaper.

But there are too many unanswered questions that have been raised by the Dowell family and other neighbors in the North Richmond community. Questions that don't meet the satisfaction of the killing of Denzil. The Richmond Police, the Martinez Sheriff's Department, and the Richmond Independent would have us black people believe something contrary to Mrs. Dowell's accusation. That is, her son was "unjustifiably" murdered by a racist cop.

There are too many questionable facts supporting the Dowell family's point of view.

These questionable facts are as follows.

  1. Denzil Dowell was unarmed so how can six bullet holes and shot gun blasts be considered "justifiable homocide"? 

  2. Why did the newspaper and police say only three shots were fired when the coroner's report and surrounding neighbors established the fact that six to ten shots were used and heard?
  3. The police and the newspaper stated that the time of the shooting was 4.49 A.M. to 5.01 A.M., yet Denzil Dowell's sister arid neighbors in the area testified to hearing shots at 3.50 A.M.
  4. Only Richmond police were first seen on the scene; not until later (an hour or so), around 4.50 A.M. were Martinez sheriffs seen on the scene where Denzil Dowell. was murdered.
  5. The police reported that Denzil Dowell was running and jumped a fence and ran to jump another when he was shot. The Dowell family knows that Denzil had been injured in the hip in a eel, accident some time ago and after leaving the hospital could not run much at all, let alone jump two fences with a hammer in his hand.
  6. The lot that Denzil was supposed to have rum across between the two fences is an old car junk yard loaded with grease and oil and why wasn't oil found on hie shoes?
  7. The coroner reported that Denzil Dowell bled to death. Where was the blood where Denzil Dowell lay? Denzil's sister remembers that night and says she saw very little blood. She said she never saw a pool of blood and yet the coroner said he bled to death after being shot ten times.
  8. Denzil Dowell was found by his brother and friend and they noticed that no attempt had been made by police to summon a doctor or to save his life.
  9. The family of Denzil Dowell has been denied the right to see or have the clothes that Denzil was murdered in. They want the clothes to see how many bullet holes the clothes have in them. The family was also denied the right to take pictures of his body so they could check for numerous bullet holes.

  10. The newspaper came out with a statement of "justifiable homocide" 2 hours before the jury gave its verdict. The foreman on the jury could not read. A biased jury of 10 white people and two "Negroes" protected the racist cop who murdered Denzil Dowell.

  11. The Dowell family also notes a very important fact. The cop who shot Denzil Dowell knew him by name and had stopped Denzil and hollered to him many times, "Denzil Dowell give me your identification." The cop had at other times threatened to kill him.

The Dowell family and concerned !citizens have called for a Grand July investigation and are demanding that ell law enforcement officers change their policy of killing people over property.

On April 18th a group of concerned citizens went to discuss this proposal with Sheriff Young of Martinez. The citizens enumerated the areas of doubt in 1the case of Denzil Dowell and requested that the officer who admitted doing the shooting be !removed from duty pending an investigation. The Sheriff REFUSED to hear our request and we consider his action to be a racist disregard for the reasonable request of black taxpayers and citizens concerned with the !survival of black people.


"We believe we can end police !brutality in our black community by- organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and !brutality. The second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self defense." (from the program of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Point No. 7 of "What We Believe")


These are only a few Of the murders and brutal beatings by racist cops that have happened and been reported in the news-paper and are known about in the black community.




                                NITTY GRITTY
                     POLITICAL ACTION


15 Black Brothers, most of them armed; with Magnum 12 gauge shot guns, M-1 rifles, and aide arms, held a street rally at the corner of Third and Chesley in North Richmond last Saturday afternoon about 5 P.M. The nice thing about these Bloods is that they had their arms to defend themselves selves and their Black Brothers and Sisters while they exercised their Constitutional Rights. Freedom of Speech, and the right to Peacefully Assemble. And while they exercised another Constitutional right. the right to bear arms to defend themselves,

The racist cops could only look on. The Dog Cops made no attempt to break up the meeting like they generally do when Black people get together to sound out their grievances against the white power structure. The point to get firmly into your mind is that both the Black Brothers and the racist cops had "POWER". They had righteous "GUN POWER", but the significant thing is that the Black Brothers had some of this POWER. In the past, Black People nave been at the mercy of cops who feel that their badges are a license to shoot, maim, and out-right murder any Black man, woman, or child who crosses their gun-sights. But there are now strong Black men and women on the scene who are willing to step out front and do what is necessary to bring peace, security, and justice to a people who have been denied all of these for four hundred years.

At this rally, the Brothers were uptight and knew exactly what they were doing at all times. They knew that they were acting strictly within their rights. These Brothers have become aware of something that the white racists have been trying to keep secret from Black people all the time. that a citizen has the right to protect himself. They were ready to insure that the rally went ahead as planned, without any interference from outlaw cops who wanted to suppress the. meeting so that other Black People would not get the message.

Black People must realize that the time is short and growing shorter by the day. Check it out. People talk about "Power". 'There is White Power, Black Power, Yellow Power, Green Power, etc, but all Black People want out of all these different forms of Power is BLACK POWER. Black People want and need the power to stop the white racist power structure from grinding the life out of the Black Race through the daily operation of this system which is designed to exploit and oppress Black People.

The beautiful thing about the Brothers who held the rally is that they are organized, disciplined and politically aware of all the ins and outs of the problems facing Black People throughout the Bay Area in particular. When the cops came rolling up looking, the brothers spread out all across the street waiting for some fool cop to try and start something. The brothers were organized.

So, Brothers and Sisters every-where. righteous BLACK POWER organized is where its at. The BLACK PANTHER PARTY FOR SELF DEFENSE really has something going. These brothers are the cream of Black Manhood. They are there for the protection, and defense of our Black Community. The Black Community owes it to itself, to the future of our people, to get behind these brothers and to let the world know that black people are not stupid fools who are unable to recognize when someone is acting in the best interest of Black People. These Brothers have a political perspective. Most important, they are down here on the GRASS ROOTS LEVEL where the great majority of our people are. The BLACK PANTHER PARTY FOR SELF DEFENSE moves. The PARTY takes action. everybody else Just sits back and talk. All Black People know what needs to be done, but not all of them are willing to do it. The White man has instilled fear into the very hearts of our people. We must act to remove this fear. The only way to remove this fear is to stand up and look the white man in his blue eyes. Many Black People are able nowadays to look the white man in the eyes--but the line thins out when it comes to looking the white cops in the eye. But the white cop is the instrument sent into our community by the Power Structure to keep Black People quiet and under control. So it is not surprising that the action these days centers around the conduct of these white cops who come from way across town to patrol our communities for 8 hours a day. But Black People have to live in these communities 24 hours a day. So it is time that Black People start moving in a direction that will free our communities from this form of outright brutal oppression. The BLACK PANTHER PARTY FOR SELF DEFENSE has worked out a program that is carefully designed to cope with this situation.

BLACK MEN!!! It is your duty to your women and children, to your mothers and sisters, to investigate the program of the PARTY. There is no other way. We have tried everything else. This is the moment in history when Black People have no choice but to move and move rapidly to gain their freedom, justice, and all the other ingredients of civilized living that have been denied to us. This is where it is at. Check it out, Black-Brothers and Sister! This is our Day!!!!!

The Black Panther Party


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