Suspects in 1971 killing arrested 

On Aug. 29, 1971, two men stormed the Ingleside Police Station, shoved a shotgun through an opening in the bulletproof partition in the lobby and blasted Sgt. John V. Young to his death, injuring a civilian clerk.

On Tuesday, more than 35 years later, the San Francisco Police Department announced that seven arrests have been made in connection with that murder. One additional suspect was arrested for conspiracy and one remains at large. Police and prosecutors claim the defendants were members of a group called the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panthers whose mission was to kill police officers.

According to an SFPD statement, the Black Liberation Army operated from October 1968 through 1973, during which time the group allegedly conducted bombings at a police station and a police officer’s funeral in San Francisco, murdered two New York City police officers and conducted three armed bank robberies to fund its efforts.

On Tuesday, police in San Francisco, Los Angeles County, Florida and New York arrested seven men for Young’s murder and for conspiracy to murder police officers. Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco; Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, and Henry Watson Jones, 71, of Altadena; Herman Bell, 59, and Anthony Bottom, 55, both currently incarcerated in New York; Francisco Torres, 58, of Queens, N.Y.; and Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City, Fla., were all taken into custody. Police did not identify the suspected shooter Tuesday.

San Francisco police also arrested Richard O’Neal, 57, of San Francisco, on charges of conspiracy to murder police officers, but stated that he is not a suspect in Young’s killing. Police identified Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62, as a suspect in Young’s death. He remains at large.

Young, 51, was killed when Bell and Torres, armed with guns and dynamite, raided a neighborhood police station, firing a shotgun through a hole in the lobby’s bulletproof window, as accomplices were posted outside as lookouts, according to police officials in New York. A civilian clerk was wounded. Torres is accused of trying to ignite the dynamite as the pair fled the station, but the explosives failed.

The station was nearly empty that night as most officers responded to a diversionary bombing of a bank by other conspirators, according to the New York Police Department.

After his arrest Tuesday in New York, Torres called the case "a frame-up."

Three men, including Taylor, were arrested in New Orleans in 1975 in connection with Young’s murder, said Michael Burt, Boudreaux’s lawyer. Charges against the men were dropped, however, when a judge sustained allegations that police had tortured the men to gain evidence.

John Bowman, who was arrested in 1973 with Taylor, died in December.

Bell and Bottom are serving life sentences for the killings of two New York police officers.

Burt said he would dispute the existence of the Black Liberation Army in court. Burt represented Boudreaux in 2005 when he and several of the other defendants were subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating Young’s death. Boudreaux, Brown, Jones and Taylor served nearly a month in jail for refusing to testify. No one was indicted in the case.

amartin@examiner.com

— AP contributed to this report.

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