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Murphy also confirmed earlier statements by Assistant Chief Jerry V. Wilson that the Department has found the use of chemical sprays a humane way to subdue unruly persons.

[From the Washington Star, Apr. 26, 1968) THREATS OF PAY-OR-BURN POSE PROBLEM TO POLICE

(By Donald Smith) District police are worried that recent attempts to solicit money from white merchants, sometimes under threats of burning down their stores if the money is not paid, may be growing.

"I'm afraid that if this trend develops further we're liable to have a Mafia type of extortion operation," Inspector Thomas I. Herlihy, head of the police Intelligence Division, said today.

The division has had numerous complaints from businessmen who report being contacted in person and by telephone by solicitors.

STORE OWNER WAVES GUN

In cases of solicitations being backed by threats of arson, Herlihy said, “Obviously there have been some who have paid off and not reported it."

A store owner in the 1800 block of 7th Street, contacted by The Star, said he had waved a pistol at one such solicitor when the man demanded $50. The man ran out of the store.

The owner, who asked that he not be identified, said a well-dressed Negro entered his store at about 11 a.m. Monday and said, “Give me $50 and I'll tell them not to burn up your building." The owner then pulled out the gun and the man fled.

“I built this store myself 37 years ago," the owner said. “But I'm not going to pay somebody not to burn it down."

Numerous merchants said they had been asked by members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to contribute smaller amounts-not, however, under threat.

"A SNCC worker came in Thursday and asked for money so they could send kids to summer camp, or something like that,” said the owner of a grocery store on 7th Street NW.

“I gave him a check for $5,” he added. “I would have been crazy not to."

POSTERS BEING SOLD

Many stores throughout the city display a framed poster commemorating the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose assassination April 4 touched off widespread arson and looting.

The posters have been sold by door-to-door solicitors for $1 each. The frame costs $3. Also being sold are Martin Luther King buttons for $1 each.

Inspector Herlihy pointed out that soliciting without a permit from the Department of Licenses and Inspection is illegal. There have been no arrests in connection with the posters and buttons, however, because of a lack of complaints.

He also pointed out that implied threats such as "I'll be back later" if a mer. chant refuses to pay extortion money are difficult to prosecute.

[From the Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Apr. 29, 1968)

D.C. LEASES 150 UNITS FOR VICTIMS OF RIOTS

(By Paul Delaney) The District government today leased 150 units of the Envoy Towers apart. ments to be used as temporary housing for persons, displaced during rioting earlier this month.

The arrangements were completed this afternoon between District officials and the Federal Housing Administration. Families and individuals will be able

to rent, "at very minimal prices," mostly efficiencies and some one- and two-bedroom units in the private apartment project, according to a city official.

FHA made the offer of financial assistance to such a program following the rioting. "The government decided to take the agency up on it," the official stated. He said most of the persons displaced already have been housed.

The arrangement with Envoy Towers, located at 2400 16th St. NW, stipulates that housing will be temporary until permanent accommodations can be found.

The official said the city would "prefer to rehouse them in permanent locations, rather than use temporary housing facilities. We'll use Envoy Towers but try to find permanent accommodations as soon as possible. FHA went along with it on that basis."

Another official, Peter T. Riemer, operations director of the District Redevelopment Land Agency, said most of the displaced persons needing emergency housing already have been taken care of.

“As of 5 p.m. last Friday we handled 237 cases, either families or individuals," Riemer said.

He said 159 have been relocated in public or private housing; four have been relocated in temporary housing; 61 have been referred to private housing but there has been no followup contact as to whether they accepted the housing. Thirteen cases are pending. "The offer by FHA is most generous for temporary housing," Riemer said.

[Reprint from The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., May 2, 1968)
PRESSURE GROUP FORMED--BUSINESSMEN ASK PROTECTION

(By Winston Groom) A group of citizens is forming an organization to press for better protection for themselves and their businesses from what they call "militant minorities,” it was announced today.

"We the People" is the organization's name, according to Abe Liss, president of the Midtown Business Association and head of the new group. Liss said the group beld its first meeting Tuesday night, with about 200 persons attending.

According to the group's statement of purpose, the organization was formed because "the government has defaulted on its obligation to protect America.” The statement adds that the group was organized "for the vast majority of citizens who are sick and tired of lawlessness," and that it will "demand the domestic tranquility guaranteed in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.”

Liss, whose television rental store was damaged during the recent civil disturbance, said the members attending Tuesday's meeting represented through their activities about 10,000 citizens of the District.

Among those present, he said, were Oscar Dodek, owner of D. J. Kaufmann's clothing store ; John Immer, president of Washington's Federation of Citizens Associations, and R. N. Horton, head of the Uptown Progress Association, a Negro business group. Also present, said Liss, were representatives of Giant and the Greater Washington Food Wholesalers, auto dealer associations and finance associations.

Liss said more than $1,500 was donated to start the organization, which he hopes will grow into a nationwide group. He also said they have hired a "nationally prominent" attorney to look into the possibilities of filing suit against the city for what he called "inadequate protection of property during the riots.” "The people of this country are afraid,” said Liss. “They want to be protected by the government. People are scared to go out of their homes at night and they are buying guns to protect themselves," he said. “We're all for social legislation,” he said, "but at the same time we have got to stop this wanton disregard for the law. The people in this country have lost faith, in the government's ability to protect them."

The group will be a non-profit organization, is strictly non-political and is not intended as a “backlash” group, Liss emphasized. It is designed only to press for protection of citizens and their property, he said.

"We intend to be a very militant organization," he said. “We will do whatever it takes, legally, to restore law and order-even if it means marching on the Capitol."

Liss emphasized that the group would seek the support of all citizens and hopes eventually to enlist such people as Walter E. Fauntroy and other city council members into its ranks.

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[From the Evening Star, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1968)

AN ANSWER TO THREATS

Some time ago Mayor Washington asked Congress for a law to give District citizens more protection against threats of bodily harm, with stiff penalties provided for intimidation and extortion.

The initial need for such a District statute arose from the fact that Washing. tonians must rely largely for such protection upon federal laws dealing with extortion and intimidation only in terms of interstate offenses. In the absence of the interstate element, therefore, effective law enforcement in such matters here has been severely curtailed. In essence, the proposed legislation would apply the general protective measures of the federal law to the District in cases of purely local origin.

In the aftermath of the April riots, however, another problem arose. A considerable number of businessmen whose properties were destroyed, according to Mayor Washington, have been receiving threats "to the effect that if they should replace or repair their property and continue their business, the property will again be damaged or destroyed.” The problem, the mayor added, is "assuming serious proportions."

Accordingly, in a letter the other day, the city government asked the House District Committee to broaden the extortion bill submitted earlier, and to declare such threats against either the person or the property of District citizens by any means of communication to be felony offenses, with commensurate penalties. Such threats, even in the absence of intent to extort money, would be punishable by fines up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

These and other related types of intimidation are difficult to reach. Indeed, as Public Safety Director Murphy has noted, it is almost impossible for law enforcement officials to attack them without the full and complete cooperation of the victims. The proposed legislation, however, would provide the District with a much-needed legal weapon. We trust that it will be passed by the House and Senate as swiftly as possible.

[From the Washington Star, May 4, 1968)

PRIDE WORKER CHARGED IN LIQUOR STORE SLAYING A 29-year-old man identified by police as a Pride, Inc., worker was arrested last night and charged with the fatal shooting on Tuesday of a Northwest Washington liquor store owner.

Ernest M. Greely, who lives in the 300 block of T Street NIT, was arrested at his home about 7 p.m. by homicide Squad detectives. Police said he offered no resistance.

He was arrested under a U.S. commissioner's warrant charging him with first degree murder in the shooting late Tuesday afternoon of Benjamin Brown, 58, owner of the Service Liquor Store at 1100 9th St. NW.

Brown, who had reopened his business several days earlier, after it was looted during the rioting last month, was killed by a single shot. The gunman had burst into the store with a group of about 15 people.

Witnesses told police the crowd, mostly youths, first ordered soft drinks and then began grabbing bottles from the store's shelves.

Suddenly, one man reached over the cash register and began banging its keys in an attempt to open it. When Brown ordered him to move away, the man drew a gun, witnesses said.

Seeing the gun, Brown reached for the pistol he kept under the counter. He was shot in the chest as he grasped the pistol. Brown got off two wild shots.

The slain liquor store owner, who lived at 1900 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, had waited about three weeks after the riot before reopening his store, and then had only partially restocked it.

LOOTERS STRIPPED STORE Looters had broken all the windows in the store and left only a few bottles of cheap wine. Friends said Brown, who had run the store for more than 25 years, had not decided whether to keep it open permanently.

His elder brother, Louis, died in 1964 after being shot by a gunman in the liquor store he operated at 1432 New Jersey Ave. NW, about a half a mile from Benjamin Brown's store. The gunman was later convicted of murder.

Greely was being held last night without bond in the central cellblock at police headquarters.

A Pride official confirmed that Greely worked for the pioneering work-training program for youth.

He said a check was being made of Greely's work record to see “if he was on the job during the time and day in question.”

[From the Washington Star, May 10, 1968)

35 PEBCENT OF COUNTIES' FIRE FORCES SENT INTO D.C. DURING RIOTS

(By Donald Smith) As much as 35 percent of Montgomery County firefighting forces were active in the District at the height of last month's eruption of looting and arson, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

In the latest statistics concerning the civil disturbances. Public Safety Director Richard C. Wertz of the council said yesterday that other suburban jurisdictions had committed similar percentages under a reciprocal agreement reached before the outbreak.

Council member John Ingram, who is Deputy Mayor Thomas E. Fletcher's executive assistant, told the council the response by suburban firemen was a "great show of help," and that "without it, we obviously would have been in bad trouble."

Ingram expressed the “personal appreciation and gratitude of (Mayor Walter E.) Washington, (City Council Chairman John) Hechinger and all the citizens of the District of Columbia for the help rendered us."

He added that the District “also stands ready to reciprocate" if called on by suburban officials.

Wertz reported that Alexandria and Arlington provided aid from public fire departments, and other jurisdictions offered both public and volunteer forces. The quality of the services, he said, was the "highest possible.”

During the period between 10:50 p.m. April 5 and midnight April 7, suburban forces responded to 268 fires, Wertz said.

Montgomery County answered the highest number of calls106. Prince Georges County followed with 102; Arlington County, 34; Fairfax County, 22, and Alexandria, four.

A total of 47 companies sent engines : 17 from Prince Georges, 14 from Montgomery, 12 from Fairfax, three from Arlington and one from Alexandria.

Communications between jurisdictions was handled by the council's civil defense committee through a "hot-line” telephone system established by the Depart. ment of Defense for use in case of civil emergencies, Wertz said.

Also during the meeting Wertz announced the completion of about 80 percent of a computerized regional police communications system. Installations are in place in Fairfax, Arlington and Montgomery Counties, and three others are due to be installed within the next month. The three already installed are in various stages of operation, he said.

When completed, the Washington Area Law Enforcement System (WALES) will enable local police to gather information on stolen cars and other matters almost instantaneously.

Of 28 terminals planned for the District, 17 are ready to start operating, Wertz said. These are expected to be put into use by next week.

The council yesterday also approved a request for a $15,000 grant from the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of using helicopters as ambulances in Washington's urban areas.

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(An editorial broadcast by WMAL, during the week of May 12, 1968)

TROOPS IN WASHINGTON

By working policemen overtime to create more street patrols, the District government tacitly admits that order has not been restored since the riot in early April. The extra patrols are a step in the right direction, but we doubt they will be enough to control the average of 894 major crimes being committed here each week. The desirable long-range solution is an increase in the authorized strength of the police department. But as a short-range expedient, we reluctantly endorse Senator Robert Byrd's proposal to station troops throughout

(From the Evening Star, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1968]

AN ANSWER TO THREATS

Some time ago Mayor Washington asked Congress for a law to give District citizens more protection against threats of bodily harm, with stiff penalties provided for intimidation and extortion.

The initial need for such a District statute arose from the fact that Washing. tonians must rely largely for such protection upon federal laws dealing with extortion and intimidation only in terms of interstate offenses. In the absence of the interstate element, therefore, effective law enforcement in such matters here has been severely curtailed. In essence, the proposed legislation would apply the general protective measures of the federal law to the District in cases of purely local origin.

In the aftermath of the April riots, however, another problem arose. A considerable number of businessmen whose properties were destroyed, according to Mayor Washington, have been receiving threats “to the effect that if they should replace or repair their property and continue their business, the property will again be damaged or destroyed.” The problem, the mayor added, is "assuming serious proportions.

Accordingly, in a letter the other day, the city government asked the House District Committee to broaden the extortion bill submitted earlier, and to declare such threats against either the person or the property of District citizens by any means of communication to be felony offenses, with commensurate penalties. Such threats, even in the absence of intent to extort money, would be punishable by fines up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

These and other related types of intimidation are difficult to reach. Indeed, as Public Safety Director Murphy has noted, it is almost impossible for law enforcement officials to attack them without the full and complete cooperation of the victims. The proposed legislation, however, would provide the District with a much-needed legal weapon. We trust that it will be passed by the House and Senate as swiftly as possible.

[From the Washington Star, May 4, 1968)

PRIDE WORKER CHARGED IN LIQUOR STORE SLAYING A 29-year-old man identified by police as a Pride, Inc., worker was arrested last night and charged with the fatal shooting on Tuesday of a Northwest Washington liquor store owner.

Ernest M. Greely, who lives in the 300 block of T Street NW, was arrested at his home about 7 p.m. by homicide squad detectives. Police said he offered no resistance.

He was arrested under a U.S. commissioner's warrant charging him with first degree murder in the shooting late Tuesday afternoon of Benjamin Brown, 58, owner of the Service Liquor Store at 1100 9th St. NW.

Brown, who had reopened his business several days earlier, after it was looted during the rioting last month, was killed by a single shot. The gunman had burst into the store with a group of about 15 people,

Witnesses told police the crowd, mostly youths, first ordered soft drinks and then began grabbing bottles from the store's shelves.

Suddenly, one man reached over the cash register and began banging its keys in an attempt to open it. When Brown ordered him to move away, the man drew a gun, witnesses said.

Seeing the gun, Brown reached for the pistol he kept under the counter, He was shot in the chest as he grasped the pistol. Brown got off two wild shots.

The slain liquor store owner, who lived at 1900 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, bad waited about three weeks after the riot before reopening his store, and then had only partially restocked it.

LOOTERS STRIPPED STORE Looters had broken all the windows in the store and left only a few bott of cheap wine. Friends said Brown, who had run the store for more this years, had not decided whether to keen it non permane

His elder brother, Louis, died liquor store he operated at 1420 Benjamin Brown's store

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