Arrest Made in 35-Year-Old Murder of San Francisco Police Officer

A suspected member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) wanted for the murder of a San Francisco police officer 35 years ago was arrested in New York today, police sources said, as part of a national roundup of eight alleged members of the domestic terror group.

Francisco Torres, who authorities say is a member of the BLA, was arrested in South Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., on a San Francisco warrant for the shotgun murder of Sgt. John Young of the San Francisco Police Department on Aug. 29, 1971, police sources said.

Young was a desk officer in the Ingleside, San Francisco police station when the station was emptied by a report of a bomb threat at a bank. 

At that point, two gunmen entered with a 12-gauge shotgun, stuck it through an opening in a bulletproof partition and fired between five and 10 rounds at the sergeant and at an armored door in an apparent attempt to gain entrance.

Torres and seven other BLA members were arrested across the United States in a sweep involving the Port Authority Police, FBI, NYPD and other police agencies, authorities say.  Those arrested included two other alleged members of the Black Liberation Army in connection with the 1971 shotgun murder of Sgt. John Young. Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

"Obviously, Sgt. Young's murder and the murders of NYPD Officers Jones and Piagentini were linked," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said of the arrests. "No one rested until their killers were brought to justice.  Nothing restores the lives of those young police officers and all that might have been for them and their families.  Nonetheless, today is a good day for police officers in New York and San Francisco and everywhere."

The BLA, a violent splinter group associated with the Black Panthers, was responsible and took credit for a dozen cop killings in the U.S. between 1968 and 1973.

Torres will be charged with homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide and bank robbery.

The BLA funded its activities through bank robberies.

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