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John Huggins
BornFebruary 11, 1945
DiedJanuary 17, 1969(1969-01-17) (aged 23)
Cause of deathMurder
EducationLincoln University
Years active1967–1969
Known forLeader of the Los Angeles chapter Black Panther Party
Political partyBlack Panther Party
(m. 1968)

John Jerome Huggins Jr.[1] (February 11, 1945 – January 17, 1969) was an American activist. He was the leader in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party who was killed by black nationalist US Organization members at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus in January 1969. As part of COINTELPRO, the FBI sent forged letters to Black Nationalists to inflame tensions between the Panthers and US organisation. Lary 'Watani' Stiner and his brother, were accused and charged for Huggins' assassination.[2]

Early life

John Huggins was born February 11, 1945, in New Haven, Connecticut, where he attended Hopkins School, although ultimately left and graduated from James Hillhouse High School. He was briefly enlisted in the United States Navy before attending Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he met his wife Ericka Huggins. They moved together to Los Angeles and both became deeply involved in the Black Panther Party. They had one child, Mai Huggins.


On January 17, 1969, Huggins and fellow Party leader Bunchy Carter were gunned down by Claude "Chuchessa" Hubert, a 21–year old member of the black nationalist US Organization during a meeting at UCLA. According to a witness, Huggins got into a scuffle with another man; 19-year old member Harold "Tuwala" Jones when he was shot by Hubert.[3]

The FBI had infiltrated the Black Panther Party and the US Organization and created divisions that likely contributed to the murders.[4] An FBI memo dated November 29, 1968, described a letter that the Los Angeles FBI office intended to mail to the Black Panther Party office. The letter, which was made to appear as if it had come from the US Organization, described fictitious plans by US to ambush BPP members. The FBI memo stated, "It is hoped this counterintelligence measure will result in an 'US' and BPP vendetta."[5]

Lary 'Watani' Stiner and his brother were accused and convicted of the murders of Huggins and Carter though neither of them fired a weapon. Stiner is out on parole and has steadfastly maintained his innocence.[6]

One consequence of Huggins' death was that it contributed to his cousin, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, leaving Swarthmore College.[4]


  1. ^ Gordon, Larry, UCLA students memorialize 1969 Black Panther slayings, Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2010
  2. ^ Republican Party in the United States Government. FBI Secret COINTEPLRO Documents Against the Black Communist.
  3. ^ Pool, Bob, Witness to 1969 UCLA shootings speaks at rally, "Los Angeles Times", January 18, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Kushner, Rachel (April 17, 2019). "Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  5. ^ "Counterintelligence Program, Black Nationalist – Hate Groups, Racial Intelligence, Re Los Angeles letter to Bureau dated 9/25/68", Federal Bureau of Investigation memo, November 29, 1968. Archived at, retrieved September 7, 2007.
  6. ^ "Drummond: Legendary black revolutionary freed 46 years after UCLA murders". Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2018.