- The Washington Times - Monday, March 6, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) — A politician’s proposal to erect a street sign in tribute to a Black Panther killed in a 1969 police raid has angered members of the police force.

Chicago has nearly 1,300 honorary street signs — paying tribute to such Windy City celebrities as Hugh Hefner and Michael Jordan — most of which were approved easily by city aldermen at the request of their colleagues.

But anger recently erupted after Alderwoman Madeline Haithcock proposed a sign honoring Fred Hampton, who was Illinois chairman of the Black Panther Party. He was killed with another Black Panther when Chicago police raided Mr. Hampton’s apartment in search of guns.

“It’s a disgrace that someone be honored who promoted violence against police officers,” said Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Rep. Bobby L. Rush, a former Black Panther and friend of Mr. Hampton’s, defended the street name proposal, saying that as a result of Mr. Hampton’s effort to bring attention to police brutality in Chicago, “the police department is a better police department.”

The proposal could come before the City Council later this month.

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