obtaining medical help for two of their number who became seriously ill in jail. The police, apparently in response to clamors set up by the prisoners for medical help or food, sprayed MACE into the cells generously on more than two occasions. \(The total depends on whether the speaker counts the sprayings of the cells separately or together and also apparently on the time Mitchell, when questioned about the MACE spraying during a hearing, simply said that he was not informed. Those arrested say they were not properly processed, not informed they were under arrest or what the charges were or read their rights or given access to a lawyer for hours. In the women’s cell, the woman who was more than eight months pregnant was finally released at her doctor’s insistence, but another of the women whose menstrual period came while she was in jail could not get the guards to bring her a sanitary napkin. Finally, the prisoners were brought out for arraignment and told that their bonds had been set at $200, requiring $20 bail. Most of the 80 GIs were flat broke. The prisoners decided that they would all refuse bail, monied and unmonied alike, unless the GIs were granted bail on personal recognizance. More tedious, miserable hours passed as two Austin attorneys, Cam Cunningham and James Simons, went through a writ of habeus corpus proceeding before Judge Don Busby in Belton. The judge ordered all active-duty GIs released on personal recognizance but even after word of the order was received at the Killeen jail, it was more than four hours later before all the GIs wexe out. “The authorities there are so petty,” said Cunningham grimly. “That’s all I can say about them: they are so petty and small it’s almost beyond belief.” KILLEEN authorities performed an intriguing maneuver in the case of Mike Robinson, a GI who was released, like the others, without bond. The day after he was released from jail, Robinson was discharged from the Army and was no longer a GI. He was then re-arrested by the Killeen police and this time obliged to pay bail. Many of the GIs held in jail for 36 hours suffered the “double jeopardy” problem on their return to the base. According to the disposition of their respective company commanders, they were either allowed to get some sleep on returning or else charged with being AWOL because they had not reported to their posts at the assigned time. Those with unsympathetic company commanders pulled punishments ranging from Article 15 charges to K.P. Three of the men arrested, Tom Flower, the ubiquitous San Antonio pacifist, and Rick Ream and Bob Desruisseaux, both with Direct Action, decided not to cooperate. Because they refused to identify 6 The Texas Observer themselves or enter pleas when dragged in for arriagnment, they were held in contempt. Flower tells the story: “A GI I met on my way up told me that they’d gotten a permit for the march and I thought, hey, that’s great. Then I got here and found out they didn’t have a permit but they were going to march on the sidewalks and stop for traffic lights and I thought that sounded very law-abiding so I went along and then I was arrested. But, as I see it, I wasn’t arrested: I was kidnapped off the streets, for not doing anything, I wasn’t hurting anyone or anything. They never told me I was under arrest or what I was charged with or what my rights were, so I decided not to cooperate. They had to carry me off because I wouldn’t walk into their jail of my own power. I told them I wouldn’t walk anywhere in their jail unless it was out. After they kidnapped me, they held me for ransom, which they call bail.” Flower, Ream and Desruisseaux refused to eat, refused to walk, refused to plead and just generally refused. Flower again: “They took our glasses away and both Rick and I are terribly near-sighted. The place was unbelievably filthy. The mattresses stank; my jeans are stiff with grease and dirt just from sleeping on them. Actually, filth is not the word. There were no sheets, pillows or blankets, no soap, no towels. I asked again and again for cleaning materials to scrub out the cell but they refused. The cell had a cold water shower and we dried ourselves with toilet paper and we had to beg and plead to get that. The sink unit is directly over the hole they call a toilet and the smell almost made you vomit every time you went to the sink. The food .was brought in twice a day from some local cafe hamburger and fries; sometimes they cut the hamburger. It was so bad it made me glad I was fasting. The Strut offered to bring in three meals a day, free, but the city refused. There’s no nutrition in that food and they keep people in there for a couple of months at a time. One guy in there was working off a $200 fine at five bucks a day. THERE WERE some decent cops. Bobby picked up jungle rot on his feet while he was in Vietnam and it got really bad while he was in jail. For four days he asked to see a doctor. They finally let him see ‘one and the doctor prescribed a treatment, but we had no way to get it in that jail. Then one of the cops with his own money went out and bought a basin, soap, towels and some kind of soaking medication the doctor had prescribed. With his own money he did that. “There was no reading material, no writing material, no exercise period. “The worst was the night Rick started to go comatose and I yelled and banged on the bars and told the guards the guy was sick. They said, so let him be sick. I said that if he died they would have to fill out the reports and I had warned them. He became unconscious. I finally made so much noise they came and took him out on a stretcher after handcuffing him. And then, well, you know, I don’t call people pigs, but all I can say is this son of a bitch cop grabbed Rick by the handcuffs and yanked him off the stretcher so he fell and split open his forehead over his eye and then they dragged him across two parking lots to an ambulance. “They took him to a hospital and the doctors said his blood sugar level was low and gave him some treatment. And then the cops brought him back, still comatose, and dragged him across the parking lots by the handcuffs again back to the cell. “While the prisoners from the Veterans’ Day march were still in, we heard the guards say to each other to treat them real bad and that would teach them a lesson and then there won’t be anymore. trouble. “After the Vets Day people were’ released, we saw an unbelievable cross-section. Every night they hauled people in and the people screamed and banged on the bars and you couldn’t sleep. What they run there, well, it’s just the most unbelievable fine mill. They just run people in for anything and everything and nothing and keep them there overnight in that place and they’re glad to pay to get out in the morning.” Flower and friends were finally released after a week-long hunger strike when some San Antonio church friends came to plead in their behalf. The friends reported that both Mayor Lindley and City Attorney Glen Michalk were helpful in getting the contempt charges dropped and getting the three out on personal recognizance. “Probably didn’t want three dead hippies on their hands,” remarked Zeiger. The mass arrest on Veteran’s Day have had little effect on Killeen. On a recent payday Saturday night, Fellini himself couldn’t have improved much on the scene. Hookers worked the crowded streets and clubs and the drug tide was at full flood. Bob Margarucci, a GI recently back from Nam, said, “Weed is available at all times. After paydays you can get anything junk, acid, hasp, mescaline, uppers. There’s an ungodly amount of the stuff around after payday, but it kinds of dries up at the end of the month when everybody’s broke. Then just dope is available. “GIs don’t deal much. They’ll maybe bring some stuff back from Nam and share with their buddies. They got an Amnesty Program goin’ at the base where you turn yourself in to the chaplain. One guy I know kicked in Nam; it was hard, but they gave him Methadone. Here, this one guy took in his buddy to this place and he was bad, havin’ DT’s, and they give him an aspirin and let him go. The dude’s still shootin’. Most junkies who’ve kicked have done it on their own they take acid and downers. They don’t like to go on the program because the junkies who go on the program become known as junkies and are used as informers.”
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.