Box 3, Folder 13, Document 1

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Box 3, Folder 13, Document 1

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WASHINGTON vl'l--The federal government is iliuble
.. giving away $1.5 mill io'n to finance an experiemcnt in breaking
down barriers between police and Negroes in slum sections of the
· nation's capital.
The problem: Negroes oppose of the program are insisting on
the project. ·
more neighborhood control over
The snarl · underscores the the police in the service centers.
deep distrust that both sides But a top OEO spokesman says
agree already divides Negroes the main reason for their refrom the police in a city marked sistance is simply "they don't
want to fund the fuzz." ·
by recent riots and frequent
shooting incidents. Four police- Gerson M. Green, the energetmen .and six Negroes have ·been ic young OEO official who is
killed in recent confron tations. trying to spearhead the police
"Police are increasingly seen experiment, believes law and
as an occupying force in hostile order is necessary to reversal of
· territory," top Washington po- poverty in the ghetto, but thinks
lice officials admit in a pream- it cannot be achie\'ed unless the
ble to the antipoverty proposal. police can secure the cooperation of the neighborhood comTo try to ease this tension, the
Office of Economic Opportunity
wants to give police $1.5 million Two out of three r esidents of
to set up a series of storefront Washington are Negroes. Four
out of five policemen are white.
·centers in the Negro ghetto.
Police would provide around- Patrick V. Murphy, the city's
the-clock ,emergency services director of public safety, says,
for neighborhood r esidents in "Police have come to occupy
·need. Citizens' councils . would the role of a coercive, adverhelp run the centers . Ghetto sary force esp~cially in Negro
teen-agers would be enlisted in in,ner-city areas .
youth patrols.
Murphy-has taken the leader-,
"You would have a paid net- ship iri pushing Green's, experi- '
work of police informers," ob- ment. The proposal w:,.s unjects Wilbert Williams, a Negro veiled a month ago at a news
conference by Murphy and Wal-·
Williams and other opponents ter Washi.ngtcn, the city's appointed Negro mayor.
Under a 1967 · change L, the
law, the OEO's local antipoverty wing, the United P lanning
Organization, can veto an experimental program iri its province. To OEO's surprise, it did
Williams, a member of the
UPO board and head of its advisory council cf the poor, led the
attack. Among other things,
Williams argues the hardpinched
should be spent on programs
that visibly help.the poor, not on
• the police.
Wiley A. Branton. UPO's executive director, says his organization wasn't consulted in the
planning and argues ghetto residents will hardly embrace a police progr am that is being imposed on them.
"The distrust is a deep-sealed
thing," says Branton.
The squabble has settled into
an exchange of memorandums,
disputes over technicalities,
counterproposals and countercharges, and an OEO argument
thait UPO didn't ha\·e enough
board memb:?rs present to
make its veto legal. At any rate,
OEO can override the veto, and
probably will do so if it can't
reach a compromise with UPO.
The bil'th pangs hardly poit t
to any assurance of success for
the experiment in improving relations between police and the
poor. But an OEO spokesman
stresses the need for the project
with the simple argument:
~No~1ing else has wo~·ked~'--· I

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