The FBI’s entire case relied on testimony from an informant and the victim’s husband – though the husband later identified a different man as the culprit, and Pratt’s team demonstrated that he was 350 miles away during the robbery.
Despite this, Pratt was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
In 1997, a judge finally freed Pratt, overturning the conviction because the informant had lied. Pratt ended up winning a $4.5 million civil rights settlement against the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Although Pratt was freed and paid, his 3-decade prison stint was a huge blow to the momentum of the Black Panther movement.
The long white supremacist history of the FBI shows the priorities of the U.S. government – and reveals how a large-scale transformation of our entire system is necessary if we’re ever going to truly get justice.