Alex Rackley was a member of the New York chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. In May 1969, Rackley was suspected by other Panthers of being a police informant. He was brought to Panther headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, held captive and tortured there for several days, then "tried," condemned to death, taken to the wetlands of Middlefield, Connecticut and murdered there. He was nineteen. His killing was the crime at the center of the 1970 New Haven Black Panther trials. By the late 1960s, the Black Panther Party was riddled with suspicion and paranoia. The Panthers knew that they were a primary target of local and federal law enforcement officials, who sought to seed the movement with informants. In September 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panthers as "The greatest threat to the internal security of the country." By 1969, the Black Panthers were the primary target of the FBI's COINTELPRO, and the target of 233 of 295 authorized "Black Nationalist" COINTELPRO actions. In 1968 Alex Rackley left his home state of Florida and moved to New York City.
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