This morning I discovered Frank Coakley prosecuted the Black Mutineers at Port Chicago when he was Judge Advocate Commander for the Navy. He would later prosecute Black Panthers – and Mario Savio! I and my family were very good friends with his daughter, Kay Coakley. Kay wanted to adopt my youngest sister. This goes with my discovery that Richard Rosenberg was a founder of Naval societies and interests. I am going to contact him about The Marin Shipmates. I would like him and the Marin-Buck Foundation to fund this museum and gallery.
I discovered this museum after posting.
The radical dynamics created back in the seventies is back for an encore, and is having a great affect on our American society and culture – and thus the World’s. I am sure more black radical art is being rendered as I type. I would like to see a college dedicated to this art. The Oakland Museum had a show on Black Power. This history can no longer be marginalized. It can be shown that Coakley launched a crusade against black people. The paranoia the Newton’s experienced was very deserved.
Kamala Harris was a District Attorney of Oakland before she went to San Francisco. If she is elected Vice President, then there will be a great interest n Oakland Culture and political history. Trump is going – The Law and Order approach to being elected. Black Lives Matter, and rioting in several cities, may bring about the defeat of Biden and Harris. This too will deserve a study. Art and Literature has always played a huge role in how we record history. The BPMG will gather all pertinent images so they can be viewed on-line, or at the BP Gallery that will have a home in Marin County.
I am investigating who owns the Black Panther trademark. Any information will be appreciated. It looks like Fredricka Newton does.
Whenever Kay Coakley needed to go to the store, she called her father and he sent a squad car. Kay was the old crone up the street who had a bad car accident when she was young. Her father was the District Attorney. We were impressed.
President: Royal Rosamond Press
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was formed in 1853 with the appointment of its first District Attorney, William H. Combs. For many years, most of Alameda County’s District Attorneys came to the position from private practice and, after relatively short periods in the office, became judges or returned to private practice.
In the modern era, the best-known DA was Earl Warren who joined the office in 1920 as a deputy district attorney and was appointed DA in 1925. In 1939, he was elected Attorney General of California, and in 1946 he was elected Governor. Warren served as governor until 1953 when President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. As Chief Justice, Earl Warren is probably best remembered as the author of the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona.
Warren’s successor as DA was his Chief Assistant, Ralph E. Hoyt. Hoyt was DA until 1947 when he was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Warren. Hoyt was succeeded as DA by J. Frank Coakley who served as District Attorney until 1969.
As DA, Coakley returned to the trial courts in 1955 to prosecute Burton Abbott in one of the most highly-publicized cases in the history of California. Abbott was charged with abducting and murdering 14-year old Stephanie Bryan as she was walking home from school in Berkeley. Abbott was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed in San Quentin’s gas chamber in 1957. For Coakley and the DA’s Office, the 1960’s were a particularly difficult time because of civil unrest and criminal acts associated with the free speech movement, Vietnam War demonstrations, and the emergence of the Black Panther Party in Oakland.
In this interview Robert Treuhaft, local attorney and ally to The Flatlands, gives an update on the latest developments in the case of Luther Smith. Police had executed a no-knock warrant against Smith and, in a case of mistaken identity, had severely beaten him and traumatized his family. Smith had enlisted Treuhaft and fellow Flatlands ally John George to fight back in the legal arena.
On the day of interview, Treuhaft and George had filed charges on behalf of all seven members of the Smith family, as a preliminary measure on the way to seeking damages from the Oakland Police Department, the City of Oakland, and the 30 police officers involved in the raid.
On September 14, 1944 the trial opened. Coakley argued that a strike was mutinous in time of war. He dismissed the defendants’ claims, stating, “What kind of discipline, what kind of morale would we have if men in the United States Navy could refuse to obey an order and then get off on the grounds of fear?”
The questioning of the defendants was loaded with racial language, and the prosecutors often disparaged the men’s honesty, especially when their spoken statements contradicted their earlier statements—although the men had complained from the beginning that the transcriptions were inaccurate. One defendant had refused to load ammunition because he’d broken his wrist the day before the work stoppage and was wearing a cast. Coakley replied that “there were plenty of things a one-armed man could do on the ammunition dock.”
“Rear Admiral Carlton H. Wright later added: “I am gratified to learn that, as was expected, Negro personnel performed bravely and efficiently in the emergency.”
“Jim Crow, abuse and ill-treatment. Long hours of work, little recreation, arrogant officers, and constant danger have put most of the Negro sailors here on edge.”
“Earlier, defense attorney Veltmann had shot holes into the conspiracy case built up by Judge Advocate Lt. Commander Frank Coakley.”
“Boyer said he had never heard his division officer give the men an order to load ammunition. “The cooperation of my men was always wonderful, their discipline excellent,” he said.”
“…certainly the men, involved, deserve not public condemnation, but, rather, public sympathy.”
Uncover the history of the Black Power movements in California with a compelling addition to the Gallery of California History. In response to the widely-popular 2016 exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, this new installation will illustrate the creative ways black anti-racist activists in California supported their communities and challenged the U.S. government. Focusing on the example of the Black Panther Party, Black Power will bring to light the tensions between a culturally and socially progressive California and examples of economic racism and oppression in the state. This moment in California history will be represented through historic photographs, provocative objects, iconic posters, paintings and interactive prompts that encourage visitors to take action out in the world. Learn more about the Bay Area role in this national story, and the impacts this history continues to have today.
Black Power is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.