Man Linked to 1971 Murder Arrested in Panama City

By: Paul Matadeen Email
By: Paul Matadeen Email

A man linked in a 1971 plot to assassinate the staff at a San Francisco police precinct is behind bars.

He is one of seven arrested Tuesday morning, in a joint-effort between the San Francisco Police Department, the FBI, and local authorities.

The coordinated nationwide operation began early Tuesday morning in San Francisco, New York and in Panama City.

Authorities knocked on the door of 58-year-old Harold Taylor around 8:00AM Tuesday morning, cuffed him and took him to the Bay County Jail.

There they charged him with a murder that he and fellow members of the Black Liberation Army allegedly committed in San Francisco back in 1971.

His name is Harold Taylor and police say he's lived in Bay County for nearly 25 years.

For now, he's still in Bay County, but this time, he's behind bars.

John Van Etten with the Panama City Police said, "This morning, at about 8 AM, we went to Mr. Taylor's house and arrested him on an arrest warrant out of the San Francisco Police Department."

The arrest warrant was one of seven, issued in the 1971 death of a San Francisco Police Sergeant named John Victor Young.

Young was killed during a raid on the Inglewood Police Station on August 29th, 1971.

Authorities say Taylor, who to this day is an active member of the Black Liberation Army, planned and carried out a plot to kill everyone inside the Inglewood Police Station.

Dan Bates with the Panama City Police said, "They came in through here, came up through the back, then they came in this front door here."

Van Etten says, "Their intent was to murder everyone inside the police department there."

Bates added, "The sergeant was standing behind this desk where he was hit, and actually died right here."

Now, as you'd imagine, the arrest comes with a lot of history. In 1973, a judge dismissed charges against Taylor and other activists when attorneys argued the evidence against them was obtained using torture.

However, authorities never gave up on the case.

The Panama City Police Department was contacted by the FBI and San Francisco Police Department about four years ago. Their continued work resulted in Tuesday’s arrests.

"Today, the FBI and San Francisco Police Department, in a coordinated effort obtained a warrant for Mr. Taylor for murder and conspiracy to murder," Van Etten said.

Taylor’s charge, murder and conspiracy for murder, six others face similar charges.

Taylor will be extradited back to San Francisco soon, but Panama City Police say they don't have a specific date.


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