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JUDGE THROWS OUT CHARGE AGAINST EX-BLACK PANTHER

A judge threw out a cocaine possession charge against former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, ruling police improperly arrested him.

Superior Court Judge Philip Sarkisian issued the ruling Monday in Oakland, Calif.Cleaver, 56, admitted he was carrying a piece of cocaine outside a suspected crack house, said Deputy District Attorney Mark Hutchins.

Police said they had only approached him to talk to him, then made the arrest after his admission.

Cleaver argued that he thought he was under arrest at the time.

In the 1960s, Cleaver was information minister for the Black Panthers. He wrote "Soul on Ice," a key work of the black power movement.