Was John Clifford Floyd a Black Panther? All about Fani Willis father in wake of court testimony

Fani Willis Father Testifying on Stand (Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)
Fani Willis Father Testifying on Stand (Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

The father of Fani Willis, John Clifford Floyd, was called to testify on Friday, February 16, 2024, about his daughter’s relationship with a special prosecutor on the Trump case, Nathan Wade, in the misconduct hearing. The hearing is being held to determine if Fani Willis should be removed from the case against the former president over misconduct allegations.

In the wake of the testimony, reports surfaced alleging John Clifford Floyd was a Black Panther. The New York Post alleged he was a “prominent” Black Panther who started a black nationalist political party called "Black Panther" in his native LA in 1966 after becoming disillusioned with the Democratic party.


The New York Post’s assertion was based on Floyd's interview with the Black Power Archives history project last year, where he spoke about forming the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) - LA chapter.

In the interview, John Clifford Floyd, a civil rights activist, did admit he was a Black Panther for a brief time when they soft-launched the Black Panther political party in LA. In the interview, Floyd mentioned he was close with the original Black Panther Party founders, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

However, Floyd dropped the political party after the original Black Panther party asked them to join their organization or change the name of their faction over a conflict of interest.

Fani Willis's father, John Clifford Floyd, was a Black Panther


In the interview with the Black Power Archives history project, John Clifford Floyd said shortly before forming the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in LA, they briefly started the Black Panther political party in LA, which was only a central committee with 12 to 15 members in 1966.

Floyd said he had a spoken agreement with one of the founders of the original Black Panther party, Huey P. Newton, over using the party's name for their political organization in Los Angeles. However, after Huey P. Newton went to jail, Eldridge Cleaver, who took over the party, reportedly told Floyd they had to join them or change the name of the party as there would be a conflict with the names since the original Black Panthers had planned to move into LA.

Floyd, who said he had no intention of creating an alliance with the Black Panther party, then reportedly met with members of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and started a chapter in California.


Floyd told the Bradley Center interviewer that he dated the civil rights activist Angela Davis when he briefly formed the Black Panther Nationalist Party in 1967. Floyd also mentioned meeting Malcolm X for the first time when he was 15.

“I know that the CIA was extremely concerned about Malcolm having been in Africa and having done the Hajj [Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca]. I wonder about Malcolm’s assassination — how somebody could kill Malcolm and it would seem like it was a setup, and the escape car was the same car that Malcolm had driven to the Audubon Ballroom.”

In the 1970s, Floyd became a defense attorney after enrolling at UCLA to study law. Floyd decided to back away from the Panthers movement after two Panthers, Bunchy Carter, and John Huggins, were shot and killed in an altercation at a Black Student Union meeting.

Fani Willis's father says his daughter received constant death threats

In a gripping testimony, John Clifford Floyd, who remains very close to his daughter, Fani Willis, took the stand on Friday and corroborated his daughter's statement that her relationship with Wade did not begin until he was hired as a prosecutor in the Trump Georgia election case in 2021. On Thursday, Trump’s lawyers tried to tear into Fani Willis’s testimony about the timeline of the relationship they contend started in 2019.

However, Willis’s former criminal defense lawyer father said his daughter dated a disc jockey named “Deuce” from 2019 to 2020 and only recently learned about her relationship with the special prosecutor.

Floyd, who moved in with his daughter in 2019, said he urged his daughter to move out of their home after receiving numerous threats when Willis announced she would be investigating Trump’s election interference.

“There’d been so many death threats. They said they were going to blow up the house, they were going to kill her, they were going to kill me, they were going to kill my grandchildren — I mean, on and on and on.”

Floyd also testified that from a young age, he told his daughter always to have hard currency on hand, corroborating what Wade and Willis have maintained: Willis allegedly paid Nathan Wade back in cash for travel purchases while they were dating.

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Edited by Pradyot Hegde
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