Walter E. Fauntroy

Walter E. Fauntroy

Walter Edward Fauntroy was born in Washington on 6th February, 1933. After attending Yale University Divinity School he became the pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church. An active member of the civil rights movement Fauntroy was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization led by Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy, Fred Shutterworth, and Bayard Rustin.

In 1961, Fauntroy was appointed by Martin Luther King as director of the Washington Bureau of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He then worked as the Washington coordinator of the 1963 March on Washington and two years later directed the Selma March.

In 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Fauntroy vice chairman of the White House's "To Fulfill These Rights" conference. The following year Johnson appointed him vice chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia. In 1969 Fauntroy became national coordinator of the Poor People's Campaign.

A member of the Democratic Party in 1971 Fauntroy was elected to Congress. In 1975, Frank Church became the chairman of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. In its final report, issued in April 1976, the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities concluded: “Domestic intelligence activity has threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and privacy. It has done so primarily because the Constitutional system for checking abuse of power has not been applied.”

The committee also reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had withheld from the Warren Commission, during its investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, information about plots by the Government of the United States against Fidel Castro of Cuba; and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had conducted a counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) against Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

As a result of Church's report Congress established the House Select Committee on Assassinations in September 1976. The resolution authorized a 12-member select committee to conduct an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Louis Stokes was named chairman of the committee. Two subcommittees were created - a subcommittee on the assassination of President Kennedy, with Richardson Preyer of North Carolina as its chairman, and a subcommittee on the assassination of Dr. King, with Fauntroy as its chairman.

In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that there was "a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy" in Dallas.

Walter Fauntroy retired from Congress in 1990.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979)

Findings of the Select Committee on Assassinations in the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.

Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President.

President Kennedy was struck by two rifle shots fired from behind him.

The shots that struck President Kennedy from behind him were fired from the sixth floor window of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Lee Harvey Oswald owned the rifle that was used to fire the shots from the sixth floor window of the southeast comer of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the assassination, had access to and was present on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.

Lee Harvey Oswald's other actions tend to support the conclusion that he assassinated President Kennedy.

Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations.

The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy.

The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Soviet Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Cuban Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.

The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.

The Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Agencies and departments of the U.S. Government performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of their duties. President John F. Kennedy did not receive adequate protection. A thorough and reliable investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was conducted. The investigation into the possibility of conspiracy in the assassination was inadequate. The conclusions of the investigations were arrived at in good faith, but presented in a fashion that was too definitive.

The Secret Service was deficient in the performance of its duties.

The Secret Service possessed information that was not properly analyzed, investigated or used by the Secret Service in connection with the President's trip to Dallas; in addition, Secret Service agents in the motorcade were inadequately prepared to protect the President from a sniper.

The responsibility of the Secret Service to investigate the assassination was terminated when the Federal Bureau of Investigation assumed primary investigative responsibility.

The Department of Justice failed to exercise initiative in supervising and directing the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the assassination.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of its duties.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation adequately investigated Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination and properly evaluated the evidence it possessed to assess his potential to endanger the public safety in a national emergency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a thorough and professional investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was deficient in its sharing of information with other agencies and departments.

The Central Intelligence Agency was deficient in its collection and sharing of information both prior to and subsequent to the assassination.

The Warren Commission performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of its duties.

The Warren Commission conducted a thorough and professional investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination.

The Warren Commission failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.

This deficiency was attributable in part to the failure of the Commission to receive all the relevant information that was in the possession of other agencies and departments of the Government.

The Warren Commission arrived at its conclusions, based on the evidence available to it, in good faith.

The Warren Commission presented the conclusions in its report in a fashion that was too definitive.