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rF Photo by Alan Pogue From the Texas Capitol front, a trooper and his colleague observe an impeachment rally in 1974. uals were investigated under that, and then about 1974 the department revamped of the department? No. Pat Speir would have been. . . . So in ’74, all of this was revamped, and they got away from investigating individuals and organizations in the domestic security area and reverted to what I would have to classify as pretty much a criminal standard; although criminal standards vary. The files at that time were shredded, the old files on the communist party members, the Students for a Democratic Society which was I’m not too sure was active here in Austin it was everywhere It was The Vietnam groups that grew up that from time to time had been placed under investigation: all those files were shredded, and at the present time there are no such dossiers, as some people refer to ’em in law enforcement we simply call them investigative files, it [dossiers] had a different meaning to different people. So that was done away with. That has not been resumed, except with a criminal standard. That has not been resumed No except with a criminal standard. What is that operatively? Basically what our standard is that we open an investigation when we have a reasonable basis to believe that a crimioccur, in other words, that more or less Destruction of property or something of that kind? That’s right. Now we get into it a little bit with the KKK. I guess that would be the only offense, wouldn’t it, destruction of property? Well, no, destruction of property, but as such if it’s a criminal violation we can get into it. If somebody’s makin’ a threat, or if they were destroyin’ property, aspects like that. But the department in the last few years has taken a very narrow view in that area of what they can or cannot inple and from a member of Congress, what are we doing about the KKK in Texas? They’re out engaged in armed training, you know. And I have no fear in writing back and saying we do not have the KKK under investigation, that no one has reported to me a violation of the law on the part of the KKK. I think we have to be very careful in 12 APRIL 3, 1981 this area because of First Amendment considerations. And there’s a body of law built up now, too. Oh, it is, tremendous. We have a little flexibility under the law, as I see it, that when somebody’s planning a demonstration, like the KKK, or if we’re called upon by the local authorities to back ’em up if this thing gets outa hand, we don’t want another North Carolina incident. But the law there is there to protect the rights of the citizens who are demonstrating as well as everyone else, right? That’s right. But what you have to do is, you have to have a certain amount of intelligence, before that meeting, to know, one, is there a likelihood of violence, because that affects your determination as to how many people you assign. Like we had a meeting here not too long ago. I was asked to send a coupla that may have broken out, the local authorities wanted some back-up. I had to decide, well, are two Rangers gonna be enough? And will 20 cause the very thing you’re trying to avoid? Right. So I had to decide to arrange that the Highway Patrol would have extra units on duty that we could call if needed. Well, I have to have some intelligence to know, is there a likelihood? By intelligence you mean, gathered intelligence? Right. Yes sir. But we don’t investigate ’em. We don’t penetrate the Klan with informants. We don’t have a file open on the Klan, per se, to investigate. And I assume that’s all true of the left-wing organizations too? Absolutely. Like we had a group up there in Dallas, you know, the Comanche Peak group, you know, they were protesting the nuclear thing: Well, I told ’em to go out and talk to them, we’re not gonna open up an investigation. Find out what they have in mind. Talk to the local police. How many people are up there to determine how many people should we assign as a back-up. In other words the First Amendment is now in the forefront. I must say I don’t think it used to be. Well, I don’t think it was in law enforcement in general. I think there was a very vague line of demarcation on collecting information which might impact on the First Amendment rights versus the need to have basic intelligence necessary to perform your police duties. We need to know the likelihood violence will erupt, we need to know the likelihood it will not erupt so we don’t waste a lotta manpower havin’ a policeman on every corner. But you can do it with a lot less coverage. You don’t have to have investigations goin’ on year after year. you can talk to the people that are involved and generally come out with a pretty reasonable solution. In a situation some that I’ve covered