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a fine platitude, but I have the right to peace and a sense of security in my home and in my person this summer.

My earliest conception of a politician is one who embraces virtue and abhors sin. Certainly the condoning of lawlessness is a sin, yet who in our present crop of politicians has the guts to denounce it? Agnew and Daley are small voices in the night. Why not help them rather than do your damndest to destroy them.


("Letters to the Editor," Washington Star, May 17, 1968]


SIR: Benjamin Brown is dead, but it has taken the Retail Liquor Dealers Association with its full-page advertisement of May 7 to point out that he was a victim of the white racism infecting our society.

White racism? Yes—for where were the costly full page ads when young Emmett Till's body was dragged from a river? Where were the dire warnings when four Sunday School children were bombed in Birmingham? Where were the cries for “law enforcement" when the search began for Goodman, Schwerner and James Chaney? Where were the pleas for safety when Medgar Evers was shot down? Where were the calls for protection of black people when Martin Luther King was added to the terribly long list?

In the main, we in the white community were silent. Our silence shouted our racism as each tragically predictable outrage occurred. Now that we have birthed an angry black backlash, we are scared. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."


SIR: The D.C. Retail Liquor Dealers Association must be commended for their stand against lawlessness.

Why can't the rest of society become involved in a cause for its protection instead of its destruction.


SIR: The Liquor Dealers' ad on the laxity of law enforcement and the rampant crime here in the District of Columbia should have been put on the front page or at least its contents on the editorial page.

I imagine if the political and politically appointed heads of this city would come out from behind their heavily armed bodyguards and walk around this crime-infested city for a few days, they would immediately untie the hands of the policemen and instill fear in the criminal element instead of the policemen.


SIB: I would like to offer you my sincere congratulations for publishing an ad that said what so many of us cannot find the words to express.

We are witnessing the beginning of an era that will leave this great country of ours in ruins if we don't somehow find firm but just leaders to deal with the law. less. I've grown tired of listening to our churches and synagogues condone and find excuses for a small group of people that have adopted the idea that they can bully and push the masses of responsible citizens to bend to their wishes.

Let's join together as a group of concerned Americans to protect the interests of all people, black and white, that are sincerely interested in preserving the civil rights of all men. More ads like that could serve to unite people that uphold old-fashioned standards such as free enterprise; respect for country, and an enforcement of the law.


SIR: On May 7 I was on the scene of the holdup and shooting (Atlantic and S. Capitol SE) and watched the victim's life slip away. My spirits were lifted a little when I returned home to read The Star and turned to the back page of the front section which dealt with the shooting-death of Ben Brown.

Strange, to have one's spirits lifted when reading about a death? Not really, when I explain that I was encouraged by the fact that perhaps the citizens of

the District are finally getting fed up with the situation we have today and the manner in which the Police Department is being managed.

Last week's "rumblings-on-the-Hill” were also clearly indicative of the feelings towards Mr. Murphy. If there were ever a cause (or crusade) that needed the backing of the Fourth Estate, it is one to replace Mr. Murphy with a person of Chief Layton's ability, or better yet, return Chief Layton to the police department and let him continue to do the job he has done so well in the past


SIR: Thank the good Lord someone at least had the courage to speak out. This ad should be repeated every week until our shops, and streets, and homes and our lives are safe.!


[Advertisement from The Evening Star, May 7, 1968) BROWN, BENJAMIN

On Tuesday, April 30, 1968, BENJAMIN BROWN of 1900 Lyttonsville rd., Silver Spring, Md., beloved husband of Freda Brown; devoted father of Miss Barbara Brown of Silver Spring, Md. Also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Faye Blanken and Mrs. Mollie Cohen, both of Silver Spring, Md. Services at the C. D. Goldberg & Son Funeral Home, 4217 9th st. nw., on Thursday, May 2, at 2 p.m. interment B'nai Israel Cemetery. In mourning at 1900 Lyttonsville rd., Silver Spring, Md., Apt. 1106. Family suggests in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the Steven Jay Brown Memorial at the Jewish Foundation for Retarded Children, 6200 2d st. nw.

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Is law enforcement also dead?

Mr. Brown was shot while defending his property. Should anarchy prevail because a small segment of the population takes the law into its own hands? Should bands of hoodlums be allowed to continue preying on law-abiding citizens, Negro and white?

When hoodlums—regardless of age, sex or color-are undeterred by the prospect of effective law-enforcement, no one is safe. If criminals can loot, burn, and kill in the Inner City without fear of consequences, it is only a question of time before you, your family and your business can feel the effect. It makes no difference where you live, work or play: When law enforcement ceases, disrespect for the law is encouraged.

When you walk or drive through many areas of Washington do you feel safe-or scared? Do you encourage your friends and relatives to visit the Nation's Capital at this time?

Is the battle over? Not for the citizens whose lives are threatened. Not for the businessmen who cannot rebuild because they cannot get insurance. Not for the few who have surmounted the obstacles of arson and looting, and have reopened only to face new threats of extortion and worse. Not for the people who are out of jobs. Not for the people who were burned out of their homes.

Who is at fault? Certainly not the majority of citizens, white or Negro. Certainly not the majority of the poor, Negro or white. Certainly not the policeman on the beat, who must obey orders.

This is no revolt of youth against older generations. This is no revolt of the poor against the wealthy. This is no part of the Civil Rights movement whose real leaders know that Utopia doesn't have to be built on ashes.

It is an open attack by a few criminals against a community that lacks firm leadership and the courage to demand that its leaders exercise their authorityor resign.

We believe that law enforcement suffers when the police are handcuffed instead of the criminals. We believe that citizens are entitled to protection and safety.

Where is the safety, Mr. Murphy? Where is the protection, Mr. Murphy? Where will tragedy strike next? Today, the Inner City. Tomorrow, the residential areas, the suburbs.

Today, Ben Brown. Tomorrow???

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Published because some of us have lost our lives, many of us have lost our property, and all of us want to preserve law and order for all residents of the Washington area and for the United States we love.


[From the Washington Evening Star, May 20, 1968)


(By David Lawrence) A reign of terror prevails in the capital of the United States. Drivers of buses are afraid to work at night because one of their number was killed a few days ago by robbers. Attempts to steal the money collected from passenger fares bare produced 234 incidents thus far this year.

The police force is inadequate. Businessmen are dismayed. Tourists are reluctant to come to the national capital. Residents of the city are scared to go out on the streets at night. Theaters and movies have smaller audiences. Owners of parking lots are particularly apprehensive. Two hundred members of “the park and shop" organization unanimously signed a letter to the President and Congress which was published in a page advertisement in the newspapers Friday. It said in part:

"This nation has borne the allegedly spontaneous rape of its cities with restraint and patience beyond ordinary understanding, but the eyes of the whole country are now on Washington, and with a clear understanding that the approaching events will not be spontaneous. An aura of uncertainty and personal insecurity, a growing smog of fear hangs over this, the national capital. It is not just another city. It belongs to all Americans, and all Americans are watching.

"Will the government of the District of Columbia and the nation provide an overwhelming deterrent to violence? Will they provide visible police and troops sufficient to discourage the criminal few from acts which unfortunately and unjustly are often blamed on the innocent majority of one segment of our whole people?

"We ask for a deterrent to destruction, not only a promise of control after it has started.

"If sufficient police are patrolling this city, are seen in large enough concentrations and numbers, and are known to be authorized to enforce the law with all means necessary, serious rioting, arson and looting will never have the chance to begin. If sufficient police are unavailable, there are in the area of Washington and at the disposal of the commander-in-chief more than sufficient troops to provide the necessary show of force. It would seem preferable to show force before, rather than to have to use it afterwards."

The police in Washington are so busy watching the encampments where 3,000 "demonstrators” are to spend 30 days that there are not enough patrolmen to protect people on the streets and prevent the wave of looting and arson which has been going on.

Although the population of this city is more than 800,000, the police number only 3,000. Troops can help temporarily, but a larger force is really necessary. It cost the federal government $5,375,400 to deploy troops across the nation after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought on “demonstrations" which gave criminals a chance to start fires and rob stores. Property losses in Washington alone were $13 million and amounted to much more across the country.

When bus drivers are fearful about operating at night, and the transit company has to require passengers to carry the exact change so that the cash box can be kept locked, it certainly indicates that the governing authorities are lax and that not enough policemen have been utilized to deter acts of crime.

During such periods of disorder, “demonstrations" of any kind should not be permitted. There are enough halls and auditoriums for free speech to be exercised fully.

"Demonstrations” and mass gatherings could be forbidden by city ordinances everywhere until such time as an adequate force of troops has been provided to afford protection. It's an expensive way to assure respect for law and order, but it would cost far less in lives and property damage than bringing in soldiers after the riots and vandalism have occurred.

Disorder, meanwhile, is sweeping the nation. Members of college faculties and students who should know better are joining in the deliberate creation of condi.

tions of disorder. All this is happening because federal, state and city governments are afraid of the so-called “liberal" vote and the possibility that Negro voters will be likely to misconstrue the mobilization of police power as somehow related to the controversies over racial discrimination.

The American people, however, have again and again in a national election held the party in power responsible for unfavorable conditions.

(From the Washington Star]


(By Ronald Sarro) District Public Safety Director Patrick V. Murphy said yesterday that troops may be positioned in the city for the massive rally being planned for May 30 by leaders of the Poor People's Campaign.

Saying officials would closely watch the projected size of the crowd, which campaign leaders have predicted would be as high as a million, Murphy said close contact was being maintained with military authorities on use of troops.

"It might even be possible to have troops in the city and in position,” Murphy said in a television interview on WRC's "Dimension Washington." Police Chief John B. Layton also appeared on the program.

Earlier in the program, Murphy said "Obviously, many disorders could be prevented if we had troops in advance.” He reiterated that during last month's disturbances in the District it took many hours for the miliary to deliver soldiers that had been requested because of the normal problems involved in movement of troops.

In a separate television interview, two area congressmen charged the Poor
People's Campaign with trying to "intimidate" and "blackmail" Congress.

The charges were leveled by Rep. Joel T. Broyhill, R-Va., and Rep. Hervey
Machen, D-Md., on WTOP's "Report from Capitol Hill."

Broyhill said the campaign "cannot result in their ebjective. Congress will not be intimidated.”

"I don't see anyone actually benefiting from this type of demonstration," he said, adding that "under no conditions whatsoever can Congress ever respond to these kinds of threats.”

Machen predicted that an overwhelming majority of Congress would not sup-
port a guaranteed minimum wage sought by march leaders.

"I just can't see anything but triggering more violence,” Machen said.
He said that "blackmail” is a precedent that “we just can't tolerate."

Rep. Gilbert Gude, R-Md., who also participated in the program, took a different view, saying that many of the goals of the campaign have already been urged by the Kerner Commission and other responsible groups during the last five years.

"Congress ought to get down and roll up its sleeves and get to work on these
problems,” Gude said.

But Gude also expressed "concern about the security of the metropolitan

And he said "I simply do not understand" why "the leaders” of last
month's disturbance here have not been arrested and prosecuted under anti-riot
legislation adopted by Congress earlier this year.

(By Miriam Ottenberg, the Washington Star) While District officials try to knock down criticism of police handling of last month's rioters, top police are quietly establishing machinery to deal swiftly with any new civil disorders.

A field command post has been set up at a secret location where men can be quickly assembled, equipped and dispatched to trouble areas.

A communications network will spread out from the field command post. A new radio station already has been licensed and direct lines have been strung from the post to all key agencies.


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If it ever becomes necessary, emergency squads can be fed and can even sleep at the command post. This would prevent a repetition of the situation on April 5, when police, many of whom already had worked two shifts, went off duty at 5 a.m. and headed home. All had to be called back to duty at 2 p.m. as disorders spread. Police planners say that if the men could be kept at one place, they could return to duty faster.

This is only one of many lessons police learned from dealing with the riots and their aftermath.

Principal stress is being placed on licking the twin problems of processing persons accused of looting and other suspects at the scene of the trouble and transporting them to cellblocks and court.


Meanwhile, over the last three weeks, the District government has been beefing up the number of police on patrol in the city in response to pressure from fearful citizens.

The latest step, over the weekend, came in response to demands from bus drivers after one was slain early Friday during a night of seven bus holdups.

This buildup, involving the shifting of 200 traffic and desk men to street duty and increased authorization of overtime pay means “one-third of the total police manpower is working a six-day week,” according to Mayor Walter E. Washington.

In response to the criticism that the police were "soft" on rioters and under orders to let them alone, officials explained :

“You can't arrest more than you can process and transport."


Here are the new measures being taken to cope with that dilemma:

Each policeman will be given field arrest sheets in quadruplicate. When he makes an arrest, he can do all his paperwork at the scene-swiftly writing out who the suspect is and what prompted his arrest.

The courts have agreed to accept what he writes as an "information" and he can stay on the scene to make more arrests.

The policeman keeps one copy of the arrest sheet, sends the second to court, uses the third to accompany any seized evidence and sends a copy to his precinct.

The four-part "instant” record is aimed at meeting some of the criticisms voiced by Ronald Goldfarb, a Washington attorney and former Justice Department prosecutor who was commissioned by a foundation to study "The Administration of Justice in Washington During The Disorder of April, 1968."

Goldfarb found that the mountain of paperwork needed to process defendants during the riot caused the biggest tieup, that some prisoners became "lost or unnecessarily detained" for days and that police were kept from their principal duties by having to sign their name 27 times while processing a single arrest.


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Another new step being taken by police is in answer to another of Goldfarb's criticisms—the often faulty identification of prisoners. Goldfarb recommended photographing prisoners as soon as possible. Police are going to make that "soonest."

Transport drivers who go to the scene of a riot to pick up prisoners will carry Polaroid cameras. As the policeman brings his prisoner to the car, the driver will snap a picture of the policeman with his prisoner. The picture will go to court with the prisoner and the policeman's signed information.

Hauling the prisoners away to courts and stationhouses was another major problem last month.

In the future, police won't have to rely solely on "black marias" and similar prisoner vans. When necessary, they will be able to carry prisoners in regular scout cars now being ordered equipped with a plexiglass and wire-screened security area behind the front seat.

All the driver will have to do is take off the back door handles, and handcuff his prisoners. The prisoners will be as securely sealed in as they were in regular police vans.

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