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Black Muslims Clash with Police in Los Angeles

May 5, 1962 - Charges of violence and brutality were exchanged between Los Angeles officials and Negro leaders after the death this week of a Black Muslim. A grand jury investigation was set for May 15. Meanwhile, nine members of the Black Muslims were arraigned (pictured) on criminal charges of assault with intent to commit bodily harm. Six wounded Muslims, awaiting arraignment, were recovering in Los Angeles General Hospital. Ronald T. Stokes, 29, secretary of Los Angeles Nation of Islam Temple No. 27, was killed in the clash between the police and Muslims April 28. One policeman was wounded, and two others were severely beaten. William H. Parker, chief of police, told a preliminary grand jury committee that the Muslims were “a hate organization dedicated to the destruction of the Caucasian race.” Chief Parker placed the membership of the group in Los Angeles at 2,000 to 3,000. Nationally, the sect is believed to have 60,000 members. He said the Muslims had a trained “muscle squad” called the F.O.I., or Fruit of Islam. Chief Parker added: “I feel this sect should be exposed like any threat to the community.”

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