Michael Zinzun


Michael Zinzun, a community organizer, is a former member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, a founding member of the National Black United Front, co-founder of the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA), and a founding member of the organization-Community in Support of the Gang Truce- that achieved a truce between the Crips and the Bloods in Watts. He also a founding member of the Police Watch and has supported the organization as a board member, a community advisor and friend.

Michael is the father of six children and husband of Florence Zinzun a former member of the Black Panther party. He is the son of an Apache father and an Africans-American mother. He graduated from Blair High School in Pasadena and still resides there.

Michael is the moving force behind CAPA. Under Michael's direction and guidance, CAPA has accumulated massive documentation concerning officer's involved shootings and other police related issues. Among many other projects, the organization provides counseling and support for victims of police crime. CAPA's offices are at 2824 South Western Avenue in Los Angles where the doors although screened with steel meshing, are always open to the community.

CAPA was the leading plaintiff in a lawsuit which exposed the unlawful police spying against the law abiding community organizations and which culminated in the disbanding of the infamous spy unit of the Los Angeles Police Department-the Public Disorder and Intelligence Division. (That unit has been resurrected as the LAPD's Anti-Terrorist Division), because of the lawsuit, the City was also required pay substantial damages to the victims of the spying.

Michael has led several voter initiatives to establish a civilian review board to require the LAPD to replace what has been historically an ineffective review process under the auspices of the Los Angeles Police Commission. In 1992, he appeared before the Christopher Commission and attempted to persuade the Chairman to include in its plans for reforming the LAPD, the commission rejected his recommendation to include a civilian review board.

Michael has also been the host and producer of the cable TV show" Message to the Grassroots" which began airing in 1988 and has produced over 45 videos, including "The L.A. Uprising, Police Abuse, The Life and Times of Paul Robeson, Crisis of Cocaine. Michael has donated his own resources and time to inform and mobilize the grassroots.

Michael has spoken in many cities across the United States and Europe, South America and Africa on the issues of racism, police abuse, and the need to link local, national, and international struggles against all forms of economic and social oppression. Michaelís efforts against police misconduct have been selfless and courageous, as a result of his protests, he has been arrested more than a dozen times and has suffered server physical the loss of sight in one eye when he objected to the beating of a homeless man by two Pasadena police officers who then turned on him.

When Michael ran for a seat as a council member in Pasadena, statements from the LAPD officials libeled him. He then sued to redress the conspiracy to obstruct his right to engage in the electoral process. He won a judgment from a jury for $3.8 million, which the trial judge took away. Michael also has worked on many other programs to help and serve the community of Southern Calif.

By the Staff of CAPA

*Note: Michael has implemented the Free Pest control program in LA as well as Pasadena and have worked in over 3,000 homes to help kill pest that carry disease and germs, his program is now being adopted as a pilot program by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Michael has a collection of videos about the historical struggle for liberation in Southern California.