"It took over 4 1/2 years to win this case!" said Cisco Torres.
Judge Philip Moscone signed and filed an order dismissing charges against Francisco Torres late Thursday, August 18, 2011. Cisco was the last of the San Francisco 8 facing charges in this 1971 case about the killing of a San Francisco police sergeant. In 1973 several of the men were brutally tortured by police in Louisiana to elicit false confessions. The case was dismissed in the 1970s, but charges were filed again in January of 2007 against eight former Black Panther Party members and associates.
They all resisted this renewed repression. Charges against Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones, Richard O'Neal and Harold Taylor were previously dismissed for insufficient evidence. Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim plead to greatly reduced charges receiving time served and probation.
Cisco Torres, speaking for himself and on behalf of the San Francisco 8, was elated, giving "Our thanks to all of our supporters for battling with us for so long – our victory is shared!"
Kiilu Nyasha, who has supported the SF8 from the beginning, has written "This is great news and we should all celebrate! This people's victory will boost our morale and reenergize us to continue our fight to free all our political prisoners, especially Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim, 2 of the 8 who remain in prison."
A more detailed statement and story will follow.