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the decision-making process. Mr. McGiffert will understand that more clearly than I do.
We communicated our reports, our situation reports, directly to Military authorities. How the Attorney General came into the picture is something I am not thoroughly clear on. I am sorry, I can't help you with that.
Mr. NELSEN. Now, the theory behind the flexible response is that it would save lives; property would be secondary. But isn't it also true that the flexible response policy may be directly responsible for the crime and arson that has followed in the wake of the riots? I understand we have had many incidents of arson, extortion and thievery almost every day and every night since the riots.
So perhaps the flexible response policy seems to have accelerated the loss of life and limb more than it has prevented it. I think this should be taken into account. I might mention the Army. When troops are carrying guns, and not even loaded guns-it seems to me this is rather a joke. Why have a gun at all? This I can't understand.
Why send them down there with an empty gun? It seems to me this is rather amusing.
Mr. McGIFFERT. They carry ammunition, Mr. Nelsen, and they can load and fire on the instructions of an officer.
Mr. NELSEN. No more questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Dowdy.
Mr. Dowdy. Mr. Murphy, I am curious about just what your views are. From what you said here this morning, you are apparently laying the blame on Chief Layton for everything that has happened around here, and you had nothing to do with it.
Just exactly what are your views?
Mr. MURPHY. Sir, as Director of Public Safety, I am responsible for the direction and control of Police Department, Fire Department, and Office of Civil Defense.
Mr. DOWDY. Chief Layton is responsible for all of this stuff. Why haven't you done something about it instead of sitting there telling us he is to blame for it?
Mr. MURPHY. I certainly never intended to imply that, Congressman. I have the highest regard for Chief Layton. I have stated publicly many times, and it is my conviction, that Chief Layton is one of the finest police administrators in this nation.
I tell you, sir, that I would not have accepted this position with Chief Layton as the incumbent Chief of Police if I did not have this great respect for him and this fine Police Department, which he deserves much of the credit for developing in the past few years.
Mr. Dowdy. Now, you state here, contrary to what has been in the newspapers, radio, and television at the time, that the police were not instructed not to arrest these looters. In other words, reporters tell me that you are giving this "the light touch," and that was while the looting was going on.
Mr. MURPHY. I am not familiar with that quotation, sir.
Mr. Dowdy. Were you misquoted?
Mr. MURPHY. I am not familiar with the quotation.
Mr. DOWDY. Were you misquoted?
Mr. MURPHY. I can't say, sir. If I could see the whole article
Mr. Dowdy. On the Thursday night that this stuff started, at about 9:30 p.m. it stated that Murphy finished his 16th news briefing by Lieutenant Fry-then it goes on down here and it says: "Murphy tells a reporter, We are giving it the light touch. There are no great numbers of men visible and he drives off in an unmarked Ford."
Now, did you tell the reporter that, "we are giving it the light touch"? Mr. MURPHY. I have no recollection of making that statement, sir. Mr. Dowdy. Was that your attitude that night?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. I don't believe in a light touch in police work. Police work is a very serious business and light touches do not accomplish submission.
Mr. DOWDY. Now, you came here in December, 1967, I believe.
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. DowDY. You said that you checked over the provisions that were made for emergencies?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Dowdy. Did you find them to be adequate?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir. We made some minor revisions and we intensified training, and we made some revisions in planning; but basically, they are adequate. All the time, they were building in, and Chief Layton had been building into his planning, knowledge gained from other cities and their experiences.
Mr. Dowdy. I won't attempt to ask you to do it now, but I want you to make a list for the record of the changes you made in the existing provisions and orders and improvements you made in them.
Mr. JAMES CLARK,
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Clerk, House District Committee, U.S. House of Representatives,
June 27, 1968.
DEAR MR. CLARK: This is to acknowledge your recent letter requesting me to enumerate any specific orders I issued or policies I established regarding the handling of civil disorders.
Following my appointment as Director of Public Safety I reviewed all existing policies and memoranda of the Department pertaining to the prevention and control of civil disorders and my overall reaction to these materials was one of approval and praise.
During the months preceding the disturbances in early April I attended many meetings with Chief Layton and other officials of the Department and participated in the planning discussions. My best recollection is that all the suggestions and comments were in the nature of minor refinements upon the existing plans and I in no way substantially modified any major policy decision. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your inquiry.
PATRICK V. MURPHY.
Mr. DOWDY. Now, somebody was responsible for these policemen being ordered not to make arrests. Do you have any idea who it was? Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. As I stated earlier, our police officers made a very large number of arrests.
Mr. Dowdy. While this looting was going on, this first night?
Mr. Dowdy. Now, maybe you don't keep up with things very well. I have here a report of the arrests that were made all during the month of April.
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. DowDY. And this looting occurred on the evening of April 4. On that day, the whole day, there were only 13 people arrested for housebreaking, and only six for larceny. That was less than was arrested the day before.
Mr. MURPHY. Sir?
Mr. Downy. It was demonstrated on television. People, hordes of people, were looting, housebreaking, stealing, and there were only 13 arrests.
Mr. MURPHY. Sir, there were other arrests that were made as well. If we could clarify some of that for you.
Mr. Dowdy. All right. There were 131 arrests made that whole day, for everything. On the day before, April the third, 154 arrests were made. Now, this day, April 4th, the day the trouble broke out, there were less arrests than there had been the day before, and for any day during the month.
Mr. MURPHY. I don't have those statistics in front of me, Congress
Mr. DOWDY. Well, we have them here from the Police Department, as well as report from the Fire Department.
(See tabulations below.)
ARRESTS BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA By Day, March 30 through April 14, 1968
Other felonies and
214 143 133 133 106 98
3 4 3 3 8
253 1,116 1,024 781 470 165 164 76
429 340 302 131 105 186 174 142 181 141 250 187 185 175 154 131 1,172 1,753 1,421 953 603 391 396 262 202 174
1 The riots and looting started during the evening of Thursday, April 4, 1968.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FIRE DEPARTMENT
Total number of fires between March 30, 1968 and April 14, 1968, both dates inclusive__
Number of BUILDING fires between March 30, 1968 and April 14, 1968, both dates inclusive..--.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FIRE DEPARTMENT
5, 6, 7
Mr. FRASER. Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman yield? The disturbances of the fourth of April started at 8:30 in the evening, or actually, at 9:30 was the first report. So those arrests occurred in 212 hours, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DOWDY. This was the time to start making arrests, right then. Mr. FRASER. They did make arrests, as shown in the Commissioner's report on the civil disturbances, which indicates the first arrest was made at 11:44 on April 4th for looting, less than an hour and a half after the first report came in.
Mr. MURPHY. Congressman, if I may explain. The booking process, taking persons arrested to a precinct and processing them and then booking, could have resulted very well in many of these cases being booked after midnight; because our people were so overwhelmed with the problem.
There was a considerable time lag in the booking process.
Mr. DowDY. The booking shows the hour they were arrested. Some of you may be satisfied. Some of the members of this Committee may
be satisfied with what happened on that day and the whole thing, but I am not.
Mr. JACOBS. Mr. Chairman, would the gentleman yield? Will you specify which member of the Committee is satisfied with these riots? Mr. Dowdy. I said maybe, I don't know.
Mr. JACOBS. I know of no member of this Committee that is satisfied. Mr. Dowdy. Well, I am not.
Mr. ADAMS. And neither am I.
POLICY IN EFFECT
Mr. Dowdy. There is one other thing. You said that you disagree with the action taken by the Miami Police Chief in ordering them to get tough down there. You don't know what the results of it were.
Mr. MURPHY. I am not sure, Congressman, that I said that, that I disagreed with "get tough." I think I said that I disagree with some of the policies that I have heard reported in the press.
Mr. Dowdy. The Chief there said, when the looting starts, he wanted the shooting to start. How do you feel about that-when looting starts, the shooting starts?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, I think I come back again to the policy of lawful use of force, especially deadly force. I think it is awfully difficult to attempt to simplify that extremely difficult situation that every police officer dreads having to use extreme and deadly force.
Mr. DowDY. Certainly, we all regret it. It becomes necessary that we are going to have to have some force used to enforce the law. People have a right of self defense, to protect their lives and their property.
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. DOWDY. Now, the Government supposedly has assumed that duty, and having assumed that duty, don't you think that the officers should pursue it and protect people and their lives and their property? Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir. Defending property or defending lives is something I think policemen are all in agreement on. There are some extremely difficult problems about fleeing, especially juveniles or women, and depending upon the value of the property and the number of innocent bystanders who may be in the vicinity; police weapons can travel-the bullets from a police revolver can travel a terrible distance. I recall when I was in New York City a few years ago, a police officer had the misfortune at firing a shot at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, and an innocent bystander was killed. So, realizing the difficulty and the inaccuracy of the police weapons, Congressman, police officers exercise that judgment most judiciously.
Unfortunately, we just don't have other means. We look forward to the day when we will have nonlethal weapons, and we will be able to bring people down without killing them. Unfortunately, we don't have them yet.
Mr. Dowdy. Now this police chief down there said that he was taking these actions in behalf of the law-abiding majority of Miami's Negro citizens, where they were having a tremendous upsurge in crime. The figures are in on the result of that first five months of that "get tough" policy that they had down there; and they show that crimes in that predominantly Negro neighborhood are down nearly two-thirds after he announced a "get tough" policy.