|Known for||New Haven Black Panther trials|
In 1972, she moved to California and became an elected member of the Berkeley Community Development Council. Huggins is presently a Professor of Sociology at Laney College in Oakland and at Berkeley City College. In addition, she has lectured at Stanford, Cornell, and UCLA.
Black Panther Party
In a battle between the Black Panther Party and rival black nationalist group "US Organization" her husband John Huggins was murdered. She attended the burial of her husband in his birthplace of New Haven. During that time, she became the founder and started the New Haven chapter of the Black Panther Party.
New Haven Black Panthers Trials
Huggins was charged with participating in the torture-murder of Alex Rackley, who the Black Panther chapter suspected of being an informant. Rackley was tied to a bed and questioned under torture. The principal methods of torture were beatings and pouring boiling water over his torso, shoulders and thighs. According to testimony, Huggins boiled water to torture Rackley with. Finally, after two days of this treatment, according to witnesses, Rackley confessed to the accusations. Rackley was removed, still alive, from the apartment by three Panthers, George Sams, Warren Kimbro, Lonnie McLucas. The men drove Rackley to the marshy wetlands of nearby Middlefield. On Sams's orders, Kimbro shot Rackley in the head, and McLucas shot him again, in the chest. They dumped the body in the Coginchaug River and left.
Huggins was charged as an accessory. Huggins' voice is heard on an audio tape played at her trial that placed her at the scene of Rackley's interrogation and torture. Huggins was heard saying: "So then the brother [Rackley] got some discipline in the area of the nose and mouth [...] and the brother began to show cowardly tendencies, began to whimper and moan. We began to realize how phony he was and that he was either an extreme fool or a pig. So we began to ask questions with a little coercive force and the answers came after a few buckets of hot water. We found out that he was an informer."
Jurors listened to the tape of Rackley's whimpering, tortured voice during his two days of agony. Huggins' attorney argued that she was afraid of George Sams, not acting of her own accord when participating in Rackley's interrogation, and not a participant in the murder itself. The jury deadlocked 10 to 2 for Huggins' acquittal, and she was not retried.
- "Former Black Panther Visits UK | UK College of Arts & Sciences". As.uky.edu. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "bio cont'd". Erickahuggins.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Are We Better Off? | The Two Nations Of Black America | FRONTLINE". PBS. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- The Consequences of Panthermania, Gail Sheehy, November 23, 1970, New York Magazine
- Black Panther Torture “Trial” Tape Surfaces, by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Feb 21, 2013
- Murder in the Model City: The Black Panthers, Yale, And the Redemption of a Killer, by Paul Bass and Douglas W. Rae, 2006, Basic Books
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