The Black Panthers of Los Angeles

Who is Danny Bakewell, the Black L.A. power broker named in the Nury Martinez audio?

Let me take you back to the mid-’80s when the two most powerful and notorious leaders of the L.A. community in a single year were black, from the mayor down to street corner kids, who happened to be gay.

One of the most memorable incidents on those tumultuous days was the case of L.A. City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, a rising political star who was a woman in a male-dominated profession.

Her lover, Black Los Angeles City Councilman Danny Bakewell, was her colleague.

The two met only once, in a bar where Danny was drinking and, at the time, was known as the leader of the Black Panthers of Los Angeles. Nury was his guest and they met a second time that night after the Black Panthers held a huge party at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Danny’s party was to benefit a local AIDS charity. Nury’s guest list was the same as hers. She was a close friend of former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, who was the city’s second-ranking black official and whose daughter was among the young women who had been sexually abused during the 1980s as they sought to join the Black Panther Party. Nury helped raise a substantial amount of money for the Black Panthers through her leadership at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center.

At the party, Nury also met and began dating a young African-American actor named Ron Stoppable who was known to some as “the black Mr. Rogers.” They were in his bedroom together, in what was to be the last sexual encounter of Ron’s life.

When Nury and Danny found out about the affair, they confronted and publicly criticized Danny and, to this day, the two remain bitter rivals. Danny, in a subsequent interview on CNN in 2001, said, “The whole thing was crazy. We were not in love and never were. It was just a love affair.” He added, “She [Ron] was

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