After the hostage situation had been resolved, Juliette Whittaker felt the shooting of Melvin Burch was a “great waste.”

She had known Burch for two years and considered him “a young man with a great deal of potential,” upset with what he felt was the systematic police harassment of black men. As she recalled from their conversation during the hostage stand-off just a day before, “he said he was tired of getting pushed around.”

Whittaker said that Burch, who had been involved with the Black Panther Party, had dropped out of college last fall because it was “too slow and there were people out on the streets who needed him.”