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and sometimes kicking in doors, ordering the students out with hands on heads, ordering them to lie down on the grass outside, ordering them into wagons and out again at the jail. But ordering, not hitting, shoving, or even gesturing in any manner that would seem to express anger. Certainly a 250-watt flood light on a television movie camera would put the cops on their best behavior, but Wolfe is not the kind of man to miss a shot of anything out of the ordinary, and his almost 30 minutes of raw film show more than a hundred students being treated with something less than courtesy, but nothing resembling brutality. The films, and Wolfe’s detailed narration of them, plus interviews with both policemen and a Negro student who had obviously suffered from a police billy club, leave one with a strong feeling about what happened that night. No student who followed orders quickly and precisely could complain much about his treatment, but God help any of them who decided to be contrary. The Sheriff’s Department, where most of the 488 arrested students were taken to jail, was reported in the A young Houstonian Photo by John Scarborough 4 The Texas Observer papers to have treated 16 for “minor injuries, mostly cuts and bruises.” JIMMIE LAZARE, a TSU sophomore architecture major, was contrary. He now has his right arm in a sling, and a story to tell that would still be shocking if it proved to be only half true, which is about what it seems to be. He roomed in Lanier Hall, but happened to be in the Junior-Senior dorm when some of the early police shooting began. Later, says, while making a dash for Lanier, he was shot in the forearm. A friend helped him wrap the wound with a torn T-shirt. When the police stormed into the west end of Lanier, he and some others raced out the east end, back to the Junior-Senior dorm, where he was arrested in the recreation room. Lazare says the police shoved the students around and beat them with clubs and gun butts. At the jail the he says he was beaten when the students refused to make their own head-count, and he refused to answer police questions. Later his wounded arm was broken twice, once about 4 p.m. when he refused to give a written statement and threw his arm up to ward off a blow to the head, and again that night about 9 when he again refused to answer questions. He says he was finally released about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, without having eaten or received medical treatment. He says that at one point a police officer asked him, “Nigger, ‘what’s wrong with your arm?” and he answered “I got shot.” “That’s good. You ought to bleed to death.” Lazare says he had the wound treated at the county hospital Thursday. Friday afternoon he joined a number of other students in spreading the word from house to house of a meeting scheduled for that evening at a local church. About 3 p.m. he collapsed on the street from fatigue and weakness and from the bad cold he had caught in jail, and was noticed by a passing policeman. He says the officer asked a student helping him, “Is that nigger drunk?” and took him back to jail. “That time they didn’t beat me so badly.” Jimmie Lazare did not volunteer his story; he had to be asked. In fact, he had to be encouraged to discuss his experiences, though he soon warmed to the subject. The foregoing paraphrase of his story reports the word “beating” several times, because that was the only word he would use. “You mean that this time they pushed you around and roughed you up?” “No, they beat me.” To Lazare, some beatings are just not as bad as others. Nor, it seems, are some broken arms. Upon closer questioning Lazare’s arm turned out not to be quite “broken,” but rather “fractured,” a distinction that laymen often make, but not doctors, to whom a bone is either fractured or it isn’t. Moreover, a fractured forearm normally requires more than a sling and a bandage. At the Observer’s request Bob Wolfe did some further checking. His telephone report was that the county hospital had admitted a Jimmie Lazare in May, 1966, but no one by that name since then. Nor had, either the city police or the Sheriff’s Department received a report of Jimmie Lazare’s gunshot wound; which the law requires a doctor or hospital to submit. Lazare was the victim of Houston police brutality. He probably invited it, and the Houston cops apparently succumbed to the temptation to oblige him, unjustifiably. In doing so they have given the Negro community another truth that can be stretched, just a little, then accepted at face value, and then forever used against them. AN AFTERNOON in the inner sanctum of Houston’s police headquarters is an interesting experience one made possible on this occasion by Bob Wolfe who, as a trusted insider, broke some of the ice between police officials and the Observer. For Houston’s police have a local white press so pampered and so loyal that it is practically their public relations department, and they need no out-of-town reporters nosing around who might not play the game. Which is not to say that Houston’s police and police reporters collaborate in deception or in covering up embarrassing incidents. But the police, by all accounts, treat the press royally enough to command, without asking, a certain amount of loyalty, and to receive in any controwrsy the benefit of any doubt. At TSU that night, it was much easier for local reporters to understand the actions of their police friends than the actions of the strangers, the students. To Houston police and to Houston newsmen, the Negro is a stranger. One that is both criticized and , complimented in ways that reveal how little he is understood. Says Inspector 0. H. Vahldiek \(a tough, gruff, somewhat profane cop with a heart of gold, “once you get to know_ the students for that; like always, a bunch of goddam rabble-rousers got things go and then up and cleared out.” He related the case of the parents of one TSU student who complained to him that the school’s dean never called to tell them their son was “turning radical, getting up on a damn soapbox.” They would not have put up with such nonsense. It is Inspector Vahldiek’s view and apparently the general view at police headquarters that the Negro community as a whole is content, and race relations would be good but for a few goddam rabble-rousers. Nor is the inspector’s view altogether inaccurate. From Negro civil rights “moderates,” at least, one gets a picture of a Negro community divided by time a complacent older generation which sired a new generation that includes activists frustrated by the apathy around them and willing “to make people mad just to get them to listen.” Consequently, Houston has mostly “good niggers” and a few “black agitators” who,