Dixie asked. “I can’t answer your questions,” Allee said. “What did you mean by that?” Dixie asked again. “I said I didn’t want to kill him,” Allee said. “That man had threatened Mr. Jim Rochester . . . and I went to looking for [Dimas], knowing that Mr. Jim Rochester thought that Magdaleno Dimas came up there to La Casita packing shed to kill him . . And so when I saw him with that gun . . . ‘Drop that gun.’ If I had been scared of him I’d probably shot him. I’d probably shot him right there, I’ll be frank with you. I could have killed him. I could have shot him after he dropped the gun three times before he got in that house if I wanted to kill the man . . I didn’t want to kill him.” “And you certainly were not afraid of him, were you?” Dixie asked. “No, I’m not afraid of him. If I wanted to kill him, probably take a little Bee Brand insect powder and kill him. Hell, it won’t take’ much to kill him.” A LLEE TESTIFIED that when Dimas and Rodriguez, inside the house, did not come out when hollered at to do so, Allee kicked the door down and he, Dawson, and the two local lawmen went inside. “Did you have any fear when you kicked the door of the house in?” Dixie asked. “I didn’t have no fear,” Allee, the Ranger Captain in the South Texas district, replied. “No use me to lie to you. No, I wasn’t scared of him. If I was I wouldn’t kicked that dern door down. . . . But I had a whole lot if anybody going to get killed, it wasn’t going to be me. I’ll be perfectly frank with you.” Inside the lawmen found the two Mexican-Americans sitting at a table. “Had their hands under the table like this,” Allee said. “I said, ‘Put your hands on the table and get up, you are under arrest.’ They didn’t move. . . . I didn’t know whether they had a gun under there or what they had under there but I wasn’t going to take any chances. . . . I had the shotgun at that time. . . . And I just rapped it up the side of the head, that shotgun barrel, lightly. I didn’t hit too hard. I could have broke his neck if I wanted to or I could have shot him. Might have been better. I didn’t know, just to be truthful, but I told him he was under arrest, and I hit him with that shotgun.” Allee and Dawson both testified the two arrested men then got up and, hurrying to get out of the room, hit the door over each other. No one hit them further or kicked them when they were down, the Rangers testified. As the Observer reported last summer, Dimas said he was knocked down at least three times, hit with rifle butts, and kicked; Rodriguez said he got hit with a shotgun on the back of the neck, and the Observer saw a lengthwise discoloration thereon. Dr. Ramiro Casso said Dimas had a concussion and many bruises; a doctor who examined him five days later said he found no evidence of a concussion. Jim McKeithan of Mission, the farm Nv or kers’ lawyer who drowned in South America this year, took pictures of the two arrested men in jail. These were in evidence in Brownsville last month, and Judge Brown asked Allee, “Do you have any explanation, Captain, as to how these things which appear so plainly on the pictures and as to which all the doctors are in complete agreement, how they occurred?” “I don’t know how they occurred, Your Honor,” Allee replied. “They might have got them before this happened. I don’t know.” M UCH OF THE hearing in Brownsville, which occupies four tomes of transcript, rehashes episodes reported from the scene in the Observer last summer. However, some new light is shed on events in the strike against the Starr county melon growers a strike that failed. From the growers’ side, mexicano farm hands who stayed in the field testified about abusive language and threats against them by picketers. Juan Vela testified that picketers, while berating him for crossing their lines, used the word cabron, which, in common parlance in Spanish, means a husband who consents to his ‘wife cuckolding him. Lorenzo Aleman said picketers threatened to beat him up and burn up his truck; one, Aleman said, threatened him with a rock and called him a son of a bitch. W o m en strikers “used some bad words;” Vela said. The transcript records that Judge Garza anticipated Vela’s testimony, to wit: Vela: “One of them said that the melons on that year should become Judge Garza: “Shit.” Vela: “shit.” Once about eleven of the strikers gathered around the courthouse; two were arrested for illegal assembly. Union testimony said they were just standing together, praying. Offering his explanation of the incident, Chief Deputy Sheriff Raul Pena testified: “So I told what they are doing there? They say, ‘We are praying, you son of a bitch.’ That’s what they said . . . And they were calling the jailer names, too . . . all the way from son of a bitch to motherfuckers.” Pena said he arrested two of them who refused to disperse. DIXIE established that copies of La Verdad, a paper which he said carried propaganda against the union, were picked up at the bus station by Sheriff Pena and were given out by Pena and others in the sheriff’s office. The president of the farm workers’ local of the AFL-CIO, Domingo Arrendondo, testified that after he had said “Viva la huelga” courthouse, Deputy Sheriff Federico Ellert told him not to say that again in the courthouse and put his cocked pistol up to Arrendondo’s head. Ellert contended Arrendondo had shouted the slogan into his ear as loud as he could. “Did you pull your gun out?” Dixie asked. “Not much, just little bit,” Ellert replied. He never took it completely out of its holster, said the deputy sheriff. There was testimony Allee told persons in the strike to quit striking; he denied it. What he did say, the captain testified, was, ” ‘I don’t know anything about this situation, but if any of you people want to work, I can get you a job to work for a dollar and a quarter an hour the next ten minutes.” . Ellert and a constable \(who worked Allee that Eugene Nelson, a leader of the strike in its early phases, had stormed into the courthouse and asked where “that son of a bitch” Allee was and said to tell him that if he didn’t leave the strikers alone, he would get some of his Rangers killed. Nelson denied he said this Allee said, about this, “I tell you frankly if I believed it, he’d been a hell of a shape. I’ll tell you that.” Allee also said that as for someone calling him a son of a bitch to his face, “They wouldn’t call me that, Your Honor. It might upset me a little. I’ll be frank with you . . . . He’d probably get knocked down. Now I’m not going to lie to you. Yes sir.” Nelson had counter-charged that Ranger Jack Van Cleve said to him, “You better not go too near the river or the Texas Rangers will see to it that you end up floating down the Rio Grande.” Van Cleve denied saying this. Nelson said that one night Van Cleve was drunk. Allee and his wife and others testified he, Allee, never drinksis a dry; Van Cleve also testified that he does not drink. Dixie accepted the truth of the testimony that the men were not drinkers. There was testimony that before “the Dimas incident,” Allee slapped Dimas and slapped a hamburger out of his hand. Allee said he hadn’t slapped Dimas, but that when Dimas was “spitting” mustard and food scraps out of his mouth onto Allee while talking excitedly, Allee had indeed slapped a hamburger out of his hand. “I think you would do the same thing,” he told Dixie. “If you had any pride about you at all. I think anybody else would.” “Well, of course,” said Dixie. “You can’t blame me for slapping a hamburger out ” Allee went on, but Dixie said he was not arguing about it, he was “just trying to find out.” Pancho Medrano, a national staff member of the United Auto Workers, who was taking movies of Rangers making arrests, testified that Ranger Dawson shoved his camera hard into his face, bruising him, and then opened the camera and ruined the film. Dawson testified, “He had [the camera] up in the air like he wouldwas going to hit me or could have. So I grabbed the movie camera. I took it away from him.” Dixie asked him why he opened it. “I wanted to see if it was a movie July 26, 1968
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.