(AND THE OSCAR GOES TO) Jamie Foxx will play wrongfully convicted Black Panther Party leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt in the upcoming Johnnie Cochran Biopic Signal Hill. The film centers around the death of Ron Settles a California State University, Long Beach and Banning High School football player who was arrested by the Signal Hill Police Department in 1981.
The morning after his arrest, he was found severely beaten and hanging in his jail cell. A furor erupted afterwards over the nature of his death, as the police said the death was a suicide. No one was prosecuted for Settles’ death but the city of Signal Hill did pay a large settlement to the family The case had long-term impacts on the reputation of Signal Hill, although a new police chief took steps to reform the police department. The case was an early high-profile case handled by attorney Johnnie Cochran, who represented the family.