There were differing opinions about the Black Panthers. Some people felt that they were a good organization, and others believed they were not. A positive description of the Black Panthers would be:
"The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. The party was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority and working class emancipation — a party whose agenda was the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines."
Those who opposed the Black Panthers would say:
"The language of the Black Panthers was violent as was their public stance. The two founders of the Black Panther Party were Huey Percy Newton and Bobby Seale. They preached for a "revolutionary war" but though they considered themselves an African-American party, they were willing to speak out for all those who were oppressed from whatever minority group. They were willing to use violence to get what they wanted."
The Black Panthers were known for criminal activity and intimidation tactics. In 1967, they marched through the California State Capitol building fully armed (photo above). They killed at least three policemen and the two of their founders, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, both spent a significant amount of time in jail.