updated 1/23/2007 11:43:18 AM ET 2007-01-23T16:43:18

At least two people with ties to the Black Panthers were arrested Tuesday in the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer, authorities said.

Sgt. John V. Young, 51, was killed in the attack, which also injured a civilian clerk at a city police station.

The suspects were members of the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party that was active in the Bay Area in the 1970s and early 1980s, authorities said.

The names of the suspects weren't immediately released, but San Francisco police planned a news conference later in the day, Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Three men were charged in the attack in early 1975. However, those charges were dismissed by a San Francisco judge because of an earlier ruling that evidence was obtained by torture after the suspects were arrested in New Orleans.

The arrests follow a report last week in a legal newspaper that said arrests of up to nine people were imminent in California and three other states, according to a document, now sealed, in an Oklahoma City courthouse.

New evidence?
Special Assistant Attorney General David Druliner asked the Oklahoma County District Court on Dec. 14 to seal documents related to a search warrant seeking DNA samples from John Bowman, according to the San Francisco Daily Journal.

The newspaper said it got a copy of the motion before it was sealed by Oklahoma City Judge Susan Caswell. Bowman died Dec. 28.

Defense attorney John Philipsborn, who represented a man jailed two years ago for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the case, said he did not know of any new evidence uncovered in the case.

"The case has been looked at several different times by several different agencies, by at least two courts," he said. "Our consensus is that there is no case to bring."

Gittens would not say if Philipsborn's client, Hank Jones, was among those arrested. Philipsborn did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Philipsborn said Jones, now living in the Los Angeles area, worked with the Black Panthers on breakfast and lunch programs, but was not a party member.

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