high school students and has cooperated in keeping the recreation facilities at many public schools open during the long summer days. While none of the programs may answer the grievances of the severely disaffected, they have helped to relieve some summer tension. The Rev. Earl Allen, president of HOPE, Inc., a private community organizing group, believes Houston is calmer this summer than it was a year ago.’ He attributes the condition partially to the existence of HOPE, which seeks to articulate the feelings and problems of the black community, and partially because of the efforts of city officials. “In all fairness to the city,” Allen said, “they [City officials] have made giant steps. They are addressing themselves to legitimate grievances, although they are not giving credit to HOPE.” Allen said the police department has improved its treatment of blacks. “They all recognize that the handling of the TSU incident was , a major blunder. It was demonstrated to them after TSU that racial tension could be channeled short of police action,” he said. For a variety of reasons, then, Houston does not seem as tense this summer as last. Dr. Blair Justice, Mayor Welch’s expert on race relations, said he is not out on the streets each night, as he was last summer answering police calls to racial hot spots. National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People has received fewer complaints concerning police brutality in . recent months, Justice told the Observer. Fort Worth Fort Worth police Chief Cato Hightower was reluctant to discuss his department’s riot precautions. “Our control plan is classified information and to talk about it would be to aggravate conditions which are already in existence,” he said. The overall philosophy in Fort Worth seems to be oriented toward prevention, according to Observer contributing editor Sue Estes. The entire Fort Worth police department recently attended special lectures on the causes of riots. Each officer spent a day listening to lectures by members of the Negro community and some social scientists. The department has a new community relations division, which has opened storefront police stations dedicated to improving the relationship between the police and the ghetto-dweller, letting Negroes come into personal contact with police. Many Negroes, however, see the storefronts as merely a sophisticated form of intelligence gathering through which the police will keep ‘tabs on possibly explosive neighborhoods. Police say they have not purchased any new equipment, but Observer sources say the force has large stocks of certain gases MACE, which police are carrying with them at all times, and CS. The Observer understands that rifles with bayonets, submachine guns, and high-powered rifles with telescopic sights also have been purchased in Fort Worth. Police there also are rumored now to have special cameras with telephoto and zoom lenses for quick identification of riot leaders. ‘ All Fort Worth police have received riot control training and a number of high-ranking officers have attended federally-sponsored riot control and use-ofgas schools. The police have increased their manpower significantly through the institution last December on a “buddy system.” A civilian companion travels with a police officer on his rounds, thus making nearly all Fort Worth cars twoman. patrols. The only weapon the buddy is allowed to carry is a night stick. Initially buddies were armed; but their guns were taken. away after public protests. The volunteer force now has 230 persons, and the police department has a total of 550 officers. A similar program his been proposed for Austin. The police have identified six key areas in Fort Worth where trouble is likely to break out. Their plans would be to seal them off from other portions of the city in case of trouble. Command posts have been set up, primarily in public schools near potential riot areas. There are small black boxes installed throughout these areas where a policeman in trouble can Hmrnm Houston During the recent investigation of the accidental shooting death of a Negro teenager here, one Houston Police Department juvenile officer was heard to remark: “Well, that’s one less to throw bricks this summer.” go to report a potential riot: The call goes to an emergency hook-up where over . 30. telephones would be manned immediately. Despite the police department’s attempts to better community relations, there seems to be a great deal of resentment of police in the black community. Many blacks feel that the police do not worry about the black community and its crime problem until it spills over into the white community. Police often refuse to answer burglary calls in Negro neighborhoods, insisting they don’t ‘have enough officers. One police officer summed up the Fort Worth department’s attitude’ this way: ‘ “We’d like to prevent any riots, because most of us feel that the majority of Negroes are law-abiding citizens, but if it starts, we’re going to stop it and it doesn’t matter how.” Dallas In Dallas the emphasis is not nearly so much on riot prevention as it is in Fort Worth or Houston. The police department has no community relations division, although it plans to establish a community services department. Four storefront police stations have been opened with the objective of recruiting Negro officers, but, as in ‘Fort Worth, many Negroes believe the stations primarily are for gathering intelligence. The department has an intensive intelligence network in . the black community. Militants are kept under constant surveillance,’ a source close to the department said. Chief Charles Batchelor, asked by the Observer about local preparations, said, “I do not discuss controversial issues in interviews with newspaper people.” The city has a special enforcement unit of 50 men who have been given riot training by a fellow officer in the army reserve. They are equipped with hardhats, riot sticks and shotguns. This unit would be the backbone of the department’s riot control efforts. The squad spends most of its time supplementing police patrols in areas with high crime rates. Dallas police have not purchased MACE, because they have reservations about its medical effects. Guards in the city’s federal buildings, however, keep cans of MACE in their holsters along with their pistols. In recent months the police seemed to have softened their treatment of Negro suspects. One black militant arrested on a minor charge said the same men who handled him roughly a few months ago . now are “super nice.” They offer him cigarettes, friendship, even tips on ‘possible jobs. One black leader in Dallas told the Observer, “My overall impression About Dallas is that the police don’t really ‘think they’ll have a riot because they believe they have the Negro community ‘buffaloed.” The Observer has found general agreement with this view among blacks in Dallasup to a point. However, as one Negro said, “This type of situation can be even more dangerous because once the people come to riot it is going to make Detroit look like ‘a campfire.” A former Dallas deputy sheriff predicted that if there ever were a riot in Dallas it would not last three hours and that there would be 30 persons killed. He, too, believes that fear is the most potent wea pon of local police. “The only time’ you’re going to have mass arrests in Dallas,” he said, “is if they run out of ammunition.” The fire department in Dallas has made more visible preparations for riots than the police. Every fire battallion has gone through a simulated riot. The Press Although the report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders recommended that city officials and representatives of the news media set up guidelines for covering riots, few Texas newspapers or radio or television sta, Lions have specific plans for riot coverage. Most newspaper, television and radio executives contacted by the Observer said guidelines are not needed. After the TSU disturbance in Houston last May, July. 12, 1968
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