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01/23/07 07-008

01/23/07 07-008

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January 23, 2007


Eight Arrests In 1971 San Francisco Police Officer Death

press conference photos and notes

San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong, Special Agent in Charge Charlene B. Thornton of the San Francisco office of the F. B. I., California State Attorney General Jerry Brown, Rick Oules, Director of the Division of Law Enforcement for the Office of the Attorney General, and Kevin Ryan, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced today that eight men have been arrested in connection with the murder of San Francisco Police Sergeant John V. Young. Sergeant Young was shot to death during the August 29, 1971 military-style attack at Ingleside Station by members of the Black Liberation Army, a violence-based group formed with the intent to kill police officers throughout the United States.

Sgt John V. Young photo
Sgt John V. Young

Seven former members of the Black Liberation Army have been charged with the murder of Sergeant Young and with conspiracy to murder police officers:

Ray Michael Boudreaux, 64, of Altadena, California

Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco, California

Herman Bell, 59, currently incarcerated in New York

Anthony Bottom, 55, currently incarcerated in New York

Henry Watson Jones, 71, of Altadena, California

Francisco Torres, 58, of Queens, New York

Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City, Florida

Also arrested today was Richard O'Neal, 57, of San Francisco, on charges of conspiracy to murder police officers. He was not charged as an active participant in the murder of Sergeant Young.

Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth, 62, was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and aggravated assault on a police officer in connection with his participation in the murder of

Sergeant Young. Although Bridgeforth's whereabouts are currently unknown, California state arrest warrants, a federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and an INTERPOL Red Notice remain in effect for him.

The conspiracy to kill law enforcement officers commenced on October 21, 1968 and extended through 1973. Crimes committed in furtherance of the conspiracy include four separate attempted murders of law enforcement personnel; the bombing of a police officer's funeral at St. Brendan's church in San Francisco; the murder of two New York City police officers; the attempted bombing of Mission Police Station in San Francisco; and three armed bank robberies. The proceeds funded the Black Liberation Army's criminal activity.

The FBI-sponsored Phoenix Task Force is comprised of investigators, agents and attorneys from the SFPD, the San Francisco office of the FBI, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California, the California Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.

In 1999, the task force reopened investigations into several murders of San Francisco police officers that occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s after advances in forensic science led to the discovery of new evidence in one of the unsolved cases. In early 2005, representatives of the Office of the Attorney General met with investigators and agreed to direct the investigation and assume responsibility for any prosecution that might ensue. During the initial stages of the investigation, Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff provided invaluable resources and support to the Phoenix Task Force.

 This case is indicative of the efforts of our department and other law enforcement agencies to diligently pursue justice for all homicide victims, regardless of the passage of time, said Chief Fong.  Sergeant Young exemplified the best qualities of a community-oriented police officer, decades before the term became part of the law enforcement landscape. He worked diligently with at-risk youth and former convicts trying to turn their lives around.


Maggy Krell, Deputy Attorney General, stated,  The arrests of the eight men responsible for Sergeant Young's murder and conspiracy to kill law enforcement officers across the country has been a collaboration of united agencies and dedicated individuals. The Attorney General's Office looks forward to the opportunity to bring the gang of men who murdered Sergeant Young to justice.

U. S. Attorney Kevin Ryan announced,  Today's arrests for the murder of Sergeant John V. Young demonstrate that law enforcement will persevere in its pursuit of those who are allegedly involved in the murder of a police officer no matter how long ago the crime was committed. The U. S. Attorney's Office is glad to have offered its assistance in the investigation, and I thank the SFPD, the F. B. I. and the California Department of Justice for their diligent investigation in this case.

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs Office


Wanted for Homicide

Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth photo
Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth

850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229

Last updated: 9/28/2009 4:58:55 PM