Bobby Seale was the co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defence along with Huey P. Newton. After serving for three years in the US Air Force, he was court martialed and received a bad conduct discharge. He soon entered Merritt College in Oakland, California where he met Newton. It was in October 1966 when Seale and Newton created BPP and wrote the Ten Point Program. Over the course of his life, Seale was arrested multiple times, the most major charges being his involvement at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. In 1969 Seale was indicted in Chicago for conspiracy to incite riots. The court refused to allow him to have his choice of lawyer.

When Seale continually rose to speak out for his constitutional rights, specifically to choose his own counsel, the judge ordered him bound and gagged. He was convicted of 16 counts of contempt and sentenced to four years in prison, which was later reversed. In 1970-71 he and a co-defendant were tried for the 1969 murder of a Black Panther suspected of being a police informer. The six month long trial ended with a hung Jury.

The judge ordered all charges against Seale to be dropped.