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Richard Aoki: Informant Turned Radical?

Documents, interviews, and public statements raise questions as to whether the ex-Black Panther pulled back from the FBI when he became a militant activist.

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It took Rosenfeld three years and a lawsuit to compel the FBI to release more than 4,000 pages. The FBI claims that it has released all known files on Aoki. It should be noted that much of the 4,000-plus pages is redacted, and we still don't know the full extent of Aoki's involvement with the FBI, what he reported, and how it may have impacted the organizations and individuals he was involved with — and therein lies the power that the FBI has in withholding critical information that would provide a fuller picture. Rosenfeld believes there are still more records and plans on pursuing them, including the information that has been redacted.

Meanwhile, many of Aoki's friends and associates continue to believe that his alliance and friendships with them were real. Aoki's story has taken an even more complex turn, showing that nothing is black and white.

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