“Bolden became a member of the United States Secret Service in October 1960.
Bolden met President John F. Kennedy in Chicago, Illinois and, after a brief conversation with Bolden, President Kennedy was instrumental in making Bolden the first African American to be assigned to the Secret Service White House Detail in Washington, D.C.
Bolden traveled with the President; but he became disenchanted with the assignment when a few of his fellow agents used racial slurs in his presence and engaged in a pattern of conduct that, in Bolden's professional opinion, endangered the life of the President. Bolden's warnings to higher government officials concerning the probability that the president would be assassinated due to his firm stand for equal opportunity for all Americans and the dislike for the president because of his policies went unheeded.
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and after having previously discussed his complaints of secret service misconduct with the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service and his immediate superiors to no avail, Bolden threatened to divulge information concerning the President’s lack of proper security to officials who were investigating the President’s death. Bolden was whisked out of Washington, D.C. under a pretext, returned to Chicago whereupon he was hastily arrested by high administrators within the secret service who charged Bolden with the commission of a federal crime.
After federal trial judge told the deliberating jury that they should find Bolden guilty during the first trial, during a second trial before the same trial judge Bolden and his attorney were locked out of the court building, during jury deliberation, by order of the trial judge. Bolden was convicted at the end of the second trial; however, the case against Bolden began to fall apart when one of the witnesses, Joseph Spagnoli, who testified against Bolden, confessed that he and another witness, Frank William Jones, concocted and fabricated the criminal case against Bolden with the help of an Assistant United States Attorney. In spite of Spagnoli’s confession and the government’s refusal to deny the charges levied by Spagnoli, Bolden was sent away to the penitentiary. Bolden feared that in order to further discredit him, at some point during his confinement, the government would attempt to have him declared insane.
Bolden was subsequently sent to the prison camp at the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. During his imprisonment, Bolden was held in solitary confinement in the psychiatric ward where he was forced to ingest a psychotropic drug. The scheme to declare Bolden insane was unsuccessful and Bolden was paroled in September of 1969 after serving three years and three months in federal confinement.
After being released from prison, Bolden established himself as a master at quality control administrative procedures in various machining and metal fabricating companies in Chicago. He retired after serving 35 years in quality control supervisory positions.
For his tireless efforts in the pursuit of justice and equity before the law, Bolden has been the recipient of the 2008 Scottish Hugo’s Companion Tankard Award for Courage, the 2008 African American Arts Alliance Award for Excellence, the 2008 Alpha Phi Alpha Award for Courage. He has been cited by the National Urban League as one of America’s Outstanding Black Men.
He seeks to have his conviction vacated and the expunging of the unlawfully obtained criminal record. Please support this petition. "
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