Petition for Abraham Bolden’s Presidential Pardon

February 4, 2012

The following petition has been started at:

Please consider signing it in support of former Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden who threatened to expose the Chicago plot to kill President Kennedy in 1963.

Abraham Bolden:Imprisoned for Following the Oath
Published February 12, 2011

To the President of These United States of America
The Honorable Barack H. Obama

The undersigned hereby petitions the President of the United States of America to expunge, pardon or take other executive action that will clear the record of conviction of Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. In support of this petition, we submit the following:

Abraham Bolden is an African American and was born to Daniel and Ophelia Bolden in East St. Louis , Illinois on January 19, 1935. He attended Lincoln High School and, upon graduation, entered Lincoln University in Jefferson City , Missouri . Later, Bolden married his long time friend and schoolmate, Barbara L. Hardy (Bolden) to whom he was married for 49 years prior to her death. To that marriage were born 3 children, Ahvia Maria Bolden (Reynolds), Abraham Bolden Jr., and Dr. Daaim Shabazz . Bolden has two grandchildren, Ismail and Cydni Bolden.

Bolden attended public schools in East St. Louis , Illinois and was graduated from Lincoln High School in June, 1952. Because of his proficiency in playing the trumpet, he received a scholarship to Lincoln University in Jefferson City , Missouri and was graduated “cum Laude” in June of 1956 with a BA in Music Composition.

After graduating from Lincoln University , Bolden decided to enter the field of law enforcement. He subsequently became the first African American Detective to be employed by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. After leaving the detective agency, he served as a State Highway Patrolman in the State of Illinois . Continuing to advance in the field of police work, Bolden became a member of the United States Secret Service in October 1960.

Bolden met President John F. Kennedy in Chicago , Illinois and, after a brief conversation with Bolden, President Kennedy was instrumental in making Bolden the first African American to be assigned to the Secret Service White House Detail in Washington , D.C. in June of 1961.

Bolden traveled with the President; but he became disenchanted with the assignment when some of his fellow agents used racial slurs in his presence and engaged in a pattern of conduct that, in Bolden’s professional opinion, endangered the life of President John F. Kennedy. Bolden was very vocal in his criticism of the protective detail first discussing the matter of the laxity and misconduct of the President’s security with the then Chief of the United States Secret Service U.E. Baughman. Bolden further complained above the unprofessional activities of the detail with his immediate superiors in Chicago , Illinois .

After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and after having previously discussed his complaints of secret service misconduct with the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service and his immediate superiors in Chicago to no avail, Bolden was intent upon bringing information concerning the President’s lack of proper security to officials of the Warren Commission who were investigating the President’s death. On May 18, 1964, while attending Secret Service School , Bolden was whisked out of Washington , D.C. under a pretext, returned to Chicago whereupon he was denied a request for representation by an attorney and hastily arrested by high administrators within the secret service who charged Bolden with the commission of a federal crime.

Bolden endured two federal criminal trials within a period of less then two months in the Federal District Court in Chicago , Illinois . At the end of the first trial, during the deliberation of the jury, the trial judge stated to the jury that in his opinion, the evidence sustained a verdict of guilty on all counts of the indictment. The trial judge then prompted the jury to continue deliberation taking the judge’s opinion into consideration. That trial ended when the jury, in spite of the judge’s prejudicial remarks, was unable to reach a verdict. (See United States vs. Bolden, 64CR324 and Fed. 2nd 453)

Bolden’s second trial was conducted before the same trial judge who denied a motion for a substitution of judge and a change of venue. At the conclusion of the second trial on August 11, 1964, at the judge’s instigation and acquiescence, Bolden and his attorney, and other non government employed spectators, were locked out of the court building during the deliberation of the jury. During the forced absence of Bolden from the trial procedures, a verdict of guilty was returned.

The case against Bolden began to fall apart when one of the witnesses, Joseph Spagnoli, who testified against Bolden, confessed that he and another witness, Frank William Jones, concocted and fabricated the criminal case against Bolden with the help of an Assistant United States Attorney. In spite of Spagnoli’s confession and documentary evidence tending to support Spagnoli’s accusation, the government refused to deny the charges levied by Spagnoli. When questioned before a three judge panel during oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals concerning Spagnoli’s assertions made under oath in open court, the accused assistant government attorney refused to answer the question of the subornation of perjury and availed himself of his fifth amendment rights against self incrimination. Notwithstanding, Bolden was sent away to the penitentiary.

Bolden was subsequently sent to the prison camp at the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. Following a disagreement with one of the psychiatric patients, Bolden was held in solitary confinement, in the psychiatric ward against his will and without the mandatory court order regarding inmate medical treatment. He was forced to ingest psychotropic drugs. The effort to declare Bolden insane was unsuccessful and Bolden was paroled in September of 1969 after serving three years and three months in federal confinement.

After being released from prison, Bolden established himself as a master at quality control administrative procedures in various machining and metal fabricating companies in Chicago . He retired after serving 35 years in quality control supervisory positions.

For his tireless efforts in the pursuit of justice and equity before the law, Bolden has been the recipient of the 2008 Scottish Hugo’s Companion Tankard Award for Courage, the 2008 African American Arts Alliance Award for Excellence, the 2008 Alpha Phi Alpha Award for Courage. He has been cited by the National Urban League as one of America ’s Outstanding Black Men.

He now lives in Chicago , Illinois where he has been a resident for the past 47 years.

The undersigned believes that the above circumstances of injustice and a lack of due process in obtaining a conviction of Bolden cry out for executive action that will remedy the sufferings of Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. He has been a model citizen since his release from federal confinement on September 25, 1969 and it is now time that his human rights as an American citizen be completely restored. Executive action by the President of These United States of America is his last resort. We pray that such action will be forthcoming.

35 Responses to Petition for Abraham Bolden’s Presidential Pardon

  1. April 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Please restore Mr. Bolden’s full rights, immediately.

  2. June 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Please free this great American caught in government conspiracy to murder our future and steal our killing J.F.K M.L.K.R.F.K.G.H.W.B.

  3. Tonya Jackson
    July 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Please assist Mr.Bolden who took stand for this country.

  4. John Daley
    July 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    It is obvious from listening to Abraham Bolden that he is a man of the highest integrity. Metaphorically, as often happens, they have shot the messenger and the government is culpable. If the government has a fraction of the integrity that Mr. Bolden has exhibited a Presidential pardon would be provided forthwith.

  5. July 26, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Abraham Bolden is a man of courage and integrity.
    He was punished for his veracity and decency.
    He deserves the highest commendation and honors.
    I am proud of Abraham Bolden and ashamed of how he has been treated in our country.

    Herbert Kuhner

  6. Michael Dunn
    August 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Abraham Bolden is a true patriot of this country who was treated worse than any 9/11 terrorist because he stood up to tell the truth about the Secret Service. He absolutely deserves to have his conviction thrown out and all his rights restored immediately.

  7. Brenda J. Cammon
    August 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    When you read Mr. Bolden’s book, you will be convince that he is innocent. Please pardon him.

    Thank you.

  8. barbara jones
    August 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Mr. Bolden was unjustly accused and punished with a 6 year jail sentence because he dared speak out about improprieties he witnessed first hand by other Secret Service agents. He missed out on the companionship of his family during those dark years he was incarcerated, he experienced verbal and physical racism throughout his short tenure with the agency, not to mention the character assassination he endured as a convicted criminal.

  9. Eric Fredenburgh
    October 21, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I think this pardon should be granted.

  10. Cheryl Barker
    November 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I tried to sign the petition but got this error:

    MySQL Problem There appears to be an error with the database.
    You can try to refresh the page by clicking here.

    I tried refreshing but the same thing happened. I tried starting all over twice, but the problem continued. I’m afraid other people are running into this also. Can somebody fix it?

  11. Robert Stiles
    December 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Please pardon this man Mr. President. If anyone can do it – it’s you. Thank you for your courage Abraham.

  12. Edward F.X. McCarthy III
    December 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Abraham W. Bolden is a true American Hero. Had he been listened to it is possible President Kennedy would not have been asssassinated. What would the world have been if that had not happened.It is my opinion that Abraham be awarded The Presidential Medal of Fredom as well as The Congressional Medal of Freedom.

  13. Nelson R Downend Sr
    December 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    It is time that justice be done and that Abraham Bolden be pardoned. Had be been on duty in the car with JFK, history would probably read differently.

  14. Wes Gillespie
    December 11, 2012 at 4:04 am

    This man deserves a pardon and an apology plus large compensation. He is clearly a man of courage and integrity. Please, do the right thing for this good man.

  15. Linda Weston
    December 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Please pardon this man he did no wrong it is only fair that he be pardoned he tried to protect the president that is no crime

  16. John Mason
    December 25, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Please restore this brave gentlemen’s rights as a citizen of these United States of America. I know the plight, as I have gone through the same evil events as a Black young man then from Laurens SC in a “Jim Crow” controlled small town and being the first black to integrate and captain an “ALL WHITE” football team. I know the bad and evil things that can come to a black first situation. God brought him through this evil and let us President Obama restore this brave gentlemen’s revolve.

  17. Doug Moore
    January 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Please pardon Mr. Bolden, his conviction should be overturned. We all should be proud of the job Mr. Bolden attempted to perform.

  18. Roosevelt Wilson
    January 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Abraham Bolden is a true American, with impeccable character and virtues that defines what we all should profess to become. Here you have a man, hired to protect The President of The United States, who did his job without reservation and then was framed, imprisoned and dehumanized. This is the primary reason why there’s such a disconnect in the black community to disseminate information to law enforcement agents. When someone of Mr. Bolden’s stature is diminished, what chances do the average citizen have? I strongly endorse and support the complete pardon of Mr. Abraham S. Bolden.

  19. Donald White
    March 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I strongly encourage President Obama to expunge Mr. Bolden’s records. President Obama goes all over the world supposedly bringing democracy and justice. He should do the same thing, here. It would be hypocritical to not do it.

  20. Marta Engels
    April 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago’s South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.”

    Most current content article on our blog site

  21. John Onesti
    May 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Mr. Bolden is in his late 70s. It is time for this man to receive a pardon. He was framed and convicted of a crime he did not commit, all as a result of doing his job and trying to save the life of the President, JFK. Not only should he receive a pardon, he should be honored as a hero. Not to pardon the man would be to continue an injustice, further proving a conspiracy did indeed transpire and is yet enduring.

  22. Stephen S. Langa
    June 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Abraham Bolden was a victim of the assassination cover up. Eugene B. Dinkin and others were also framed for telling the truth, others ended up dead. Kennedy was killed for among other reasons for trying to bring back silver dollar certificates since the founding fathers defined the dollar as 70% of a troy ounce of silver. Ronald Reagan had the new dollar minted in 1986 as one troy ounce of silver-one dollar. This makes no difference. Using silver money takes the Federal Reserve from controlling our money and our country. On December 23,1913 the U S Senate passed a bill called Report of the Committee of Conference. A Federal Reserve Act Was Never Passed. The Federal Reserve criminals and enslavers are not what America fought for in the American Revolution. American patriots like Abraham Bolden are the true Americans. His record needs to be cleared and he needs to be given the honor he deserves.

  23. July 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm


  24. Phyllis Sims-Roy
    September 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I believe that Mr. Bolden should be pardoned and honored as a patriotic American. As a proud graduate of Lincoln High and Lincoln University he is a shinning “star” for his courage and conviction to do the right thing and now the United States should do the right thing for him.

  25. Anita Anton, Ph.D
    September 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    A great travesty has taken place involving our court system and at risk the reputation and freedom of this honorable gentleman. Please review the documents and right the wrong which has been done to this decorated and valued member of our United States.

    Please Do The Right Thing!

  26. Danielle Furci
    November 14, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I think Mr. Bolden is a brave and good citizen.

  27. Kathleen Carey
    November 25, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Please consider taking executive action that will clear the record of conviction of Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. I consider Mr. Bolden the ideal US Citizen.

  28. December 5, 2013 at 10:07 am

    TO:Whom it may concern,
    Please grant a full, unconditional pardon to Mr. Abraham Bolden, a truly honorable citizen who has committed no crime, and done honorably by his country and his fellow citizens. Our nation needs many more with his standard of integrity, especially in government service!

    robert grady

  29. December 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

    My signing has also been met with ‘MySQL Problem! What’s up with that!

  30. larry wheeler
    December 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I call them the “good old boys” with their private club who decided Mr. Bolden would never get in the club. JFK made him the Jackie Robinson of the secret service consistent with his push for civil rights. The racism Bolden endured reflected what these secret service agents really felt for Kennedy’s liberal policies. Bolden recognized these agents attitudes toward him and JFK transferred over to compromised security in Dallas. Kennedy’s security detail went to the Cellar nightclub owned by Kirkwood an associate of Jack Ruby. They drank alcohol until late morning on 11-22-1963 and no disciplinary action was taken. Bolden tried to point this out and the fact another assassination attempt in Chicago 3 weeks earlier was broken up made the lax security appalling. Bolden was framed and he deserves a full pardon.

  31. Kenneth Allen
    February 11, 2014 at 11:14 am

    please restore Mr. Bolden’s asap he deserves to have his name cleared

  32. Christina M Cole
    March 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    This man was railroaded and deserves to have his name cleared. What kind of country allows these despicable acts to happen to someone who was trying to do his job to the best of his abilities. Give him a full pardon.

  33. Karin Ralph
    March 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Please pardon Mr. Bolden. He certainly deserves it.

  34. james j. ahern
    March 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Mr. President,

    It is time to apply the golden….please pardon Mr. Bolden

  35. christopher rust
    March 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

    President Obama,

    Pardon this great man now!

    Christopher B. Rust
    Lt Colonel USMCR(Ret)

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