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As soon as he left the stand, Green was questioned by other reporters concerning his startling and damaging testimony. He said he had misunderstood Bennet’s question. Green and this reporter went immediately to the Pacifica studios to listen to the tape. The recording was made by former Pacifica manager Larry Lee while Haile was still hospitalized. Haile says: “I didn’t know whether Carl had been left alone or whether he was shot. I knew I had to find out what kind of shape he was in. I had to take a position behind a car. Other Peoples Party and other people with guns moved up behind me. There were exchanges of gunfire and that was when I was hit. The sniper on the roof, the sniper who hit Carl, hit me.” Haile says on the recording that he thought the “sniper” on the church was aiming at his heart and missed. “I scrambled back to the office. They tried to get me but I kept dodging.” The next morning the defense put Green on the stand to correct his testimony. He said that he had meant that Haile “was involved in the exchange to the extent that he was wounded.” THE MOST important witness foi the defense was Dr. C. W. Thompson, a physician, whose office is on Dowling Street. He, his wife and daughter were on the street July 26 in their car. He said his daughter wanted a poster and a PP II member, who had been collecting donations, went into the office to get one. Dr. Thompson said the young black man kept looking nervously up the street. “The guy said it had been rumored that the cops were going to wipe them out that night, that they were on the church.” Thompson said that about 15 minutes later they were in their car at the intersection across the street from the church. He testified that an unarmed black man crossed in front of the automobile and walked toward the alley. “Shots rang out from the church. I could see bullets hit the dirt,” Thompson said. He testified that these were the first shots of the evening and that they had come from the top of the church. Thompson said he proceeded to the closest hospital because that’s where he figured the wounded man would be taken. At the hospital, he treated Fred Sparkman, the man he said he had seen cut down. Sparkman had been wounded in the left elbow and the right thigh. He had been shot in the back, the bullets entering on a downward angle. With Thompson’s testimony, the defense rested. During closing arguments, Cunningham reminded the jurors that they had promised him during voir dire that they would not let the fact that people were on 6 The Texas Observer the street with loaded guns interfere with their ability to render a fair verdict. He reminded them that in a criminal case the defendant does not have to take the stand. Coleman calmly and quietly told the jury, “The evidence is totally non-existent, or at best pitifully weak, that my client fired at anyone.” He reminded the jurors of the discrepancies in Officer Norris’ testimony the red shirt vs. the plaid shirt, the right arm vs. the left arm. He pointed out that the length of a football field separated the car behind which Haile was shot and the church where the undercover agents were crouched. “Granted, the police could hit from that distance. They had the weaponry and the position,” but the people pinned behind the car did not, Coleman argued. He reminded the jury that Norris testified he had never heard bullets whizzing over his head. “From a football field away,” he said, ” ‘They appeared to be shooting at me.’ ” The defense lawyer hammered away at the fact that the men on the church room were wearing ordinary clothing and that they had not identified themselves as police officers. “They could have been the Klan.They could have been anyone.” He pointed out that the state’s chief witness, Morrell, said Carl Hampton never fired, that he was shot and killed without ever firing. “The tragedy is that this didn’t have to happen,” Coleman said. “The traffic problem on Dowling Street did not justify helicopters and plainclothes officers on the church. “They went up there to neutralize snipers. The only thing that means to me is `eliminate.’ ” The prosecution’s wind-up was given in a more dramatic style. Stu Stuart insisted that Haile knew that police were on the church and that he opened up on them from behind the car. Bennett said there had been no police harassment. “If you had people with guns getting on busses and ‘soliciting’ donations, what would you expect the police to do? You’ve got to have hard, aggressive individuals in the police department. It takes a special kind of individual to devote his life to this. “Are you going to send two or four or six or ten policemen out there where you have a powder keg?” Bennett asked. “Would you send a traffic cop into that sort of situation to be pot shot at?” Of the allegation that the police set out to kill members of PP II, Bennett said emotionally, “I defy anybody to prove that kind of allegation.” “It was common knowledge among the community,” Bennett said, “that ‘the pigs’ were on top of the church. It was ‘the pigs were on the church.’ Not the cops, not the fuzz, not the heat and not the po-lice-man. It was the pigs. . . . Alan Morrell wouldn’t let a gun-toting revolutionary come into his establishment. He [Haile] knew for what purpose he had come. He knew what he had to do.” The prosecutor questioned the “rearrangement of Mitch Green’s testimony” and Mickey Leeland’s inability to articulate what he meant by police harassment. Bennett concluded by saying that the jury didn’t have to consider any kind of politics. “You don’t have to consider the nonexistent free breakfast program, the nonexistent medical clinic, the armed solicitation of contributions, the boarding of busses.. . . This defendant is guilty because the evidence says he is guilty.” He didn’t talk much about what that evidence might be. ATHOUGH BENNETT is saying he will try Haile’s case again, he may well choose not to, unless he can come up with some new evidence. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from a hung jury. Upon hearing the jurors were deadlocked, Haile told reporters, “I can only say seven people kept me on the street today. The system of justice didn’t do-a thing for me. I can only hope that the powers that be in Houston realize that every time they try something like this, we’ll beat them.” Straight lawyers who wandered into the courtroom during the trial criticized Cunningham and Coleman for “grandstanding to the kids in the audience,” rather than appealing to the jury. There is little doubt that Haile was toying dangerously with his future by putting on a political defense. What did it accomplish? If the point of a -political trial is publicity, Haile’s was a failure. The Houston papers and radio and television stations gave the trial only cursory treatment. The Observer and Space City! are probably the only two periodicals that will treat the case in detail. Did the failure to get a conviction convey a message to the Houston establishment? Apparently not. On the first day of the proceedings, Mayor Louie Welch came close to causing a mistrial by saying that all revolutionaries in Houston and he singled out PP II will be under surveillance until “we get them in jail or they cease to be revolutionaries.” The mayor said he “would not tolerate revolution in Houston, at least violent revolution. They can have all the nonviolent revolution they want,” he said. Haile was asked by a newsman whether he thought that the outcome of the trial would affect the police’s treatment of radicals. “Oh,” Haile said with a look of resignation, “it will make them step back about two steps.” K.N. In light of the Legislature’s accomplishments, says he may run on a platform next time of having legislative sessions “two days every 140 years instead of having 140-day sessions every two years.”