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STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL T. BROYHILL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA

Mr. BROYHILL. Mr. Chairman, I wish to state at the outset that during the fifteen years I have served as a member of the House District Committee, we have never been called upon to consider proposed legislation of deeper significance and greater importance to the citizens of the District of Columbia and of the entire nation, than these bills we have before is today.

We all must be deeply concerned by the recent outbreaks of riolence that have swept uncontrolled like a pestilence, an ebbtide of disorder and death, through the streets of many major cities throughout this nation . : . an unholy alliance of mayhem, rioting, and looting. While the immediate victims of this reign of terror are the innocent bystanders, law-abiding citizens, and helpless shopkeepers, in the larger sense we are all being victimized by this epidemic of violence and lawlessness which has set back the progress toward improved racial relations in this country for many years.

During a period of four months beginning last April first, no fewer than 19 of these bloody riots erupted in as many different U.S. cities, with an appalling loss of many millions of dollars in destruction and looting of property, and a shameful toll of death and injury to innocent citizens. And persistent rumors have come to me that the District of Columbia is scheduled to be the victim of such a riot in the near future.

These outbreaks of lawlessness that have become a scourge throughout this nation are not spontaneous in their origin. They are conceived in the twisted minds of the hate-mongers, a trained cadre of prosessional agitators who operate in open defiance of law, order, and decency. They prey on discontent, and incite to acts of anarchy the poor, the under-privileged, the weak, and the imeducated. Moving among these people, the dregs of our society, these insidious enemies of our democratic form of government preach a cant of hate and contempt for law and order.

Mr. Chairman, these are not the legitimate champions of the underprivileged. They do not offer hope, for their doctrine brings about the destruction of hope. They offer no help for the poor, but disrupt all sincere efforts to bring such help. They seek only to control the minds of the hapless and the discontented, to further their own poisonous aimn of spreading disorder and death. They create fear wherever they go, and feed with delight on this fear.

These fomenters of hate, who seek to destroy this country, deal with impunity in insurrection and the techniques of anarchy. They train other malcontents in the art of destruction, and conceal weapons in their homes, headquarters, and places of business. They write detailed training tracts on the manufacture and use of fire-bombs and Molotov cocktails. They plot the destruction of the sincere civil rights leaders, and of all law and order, with zeal and with devotion to stealth and secrecy.

All too often, these vultures of our society carry on their nefarious work on funds provided by the very tax-payers whose lives and property they threaten. Such a case occurred right here in the Nation's capital in August of last year, in connection with a riot in the Anacostia section of the city. I am reliably informed that United Plan

ning Organization funds had been utilized by one of the community groups in Anacostia which included in its undisclosed activities in struction in the making and use of Molotov cocktails. These very weapons were subsequently transported to the scene of the rioting. Fortunately, these bombs were not used, and of course no public disclosure of their presence on the scene was ever made.

The activities of these professional trouble-makers can never be brought under control until meaningful laws are enacted and enforced, to provide swift and certain punishment for those who seek by this means to destroy our country.

At the present time, the District of Columbia has no law which could be used effectively to deal with persons engaging in or inciting others to engage in rioting in the streets of this city. The portions of the D.C. Code dealing with disorderly conduct would be woefully inadequate for this purpose, and yet that is all that exists today as a legal weapon for the protection of the law-abiding citizens of the District in the event of such a catastrophe.

On July 19 of this year, the House approved H.R. 421, a bill designed to provide adequate legal means of dealing with the perpe trators of these organized conspiracies when interstate commerce or travel is in any way involved. At that time, I proposed an amendment to the bill which would have brought the District of Columbia under the jurisdiction of that proposed legislation, insofar as intrastate activities in the District itself are concerned, and also would have provided the means for criminal action against persons who engage in the preparation of fire-bombs or Molotov cocktails or who instruct others in their manufacture or use. However, I was persuaded during the debate on the bill that another amendment, which was adopted, would serve my purpose, and hence I withheld my amendment.

Since that time, however, certain officials in the U.S. Department of Justice have stated that they feel it would be preferable to have a separate law on this subject as a part of the District of Columbia Code, in order to assure adequate legal protection against those who riot or incite others to riot, in the Nation's capital.

In the face of this situation, I strongly support and urge favorable action on H.R. 12328 or H.R. 12605, identical bills incorporating the language recommended by the Department of Justice, which we have before us for consideration today. These bills include three major provisions, as follows:

1. The term "riot" is defined as a public disturbance involving 5 or more persons, which by tumultuous and violent conduct or the threat thereof creates grave danger of damage or injury to property or persons.

2. Punishment by imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both, is provided for persons engaging in a riot or inciting other persons to so engage in the District of Columbia.

3. Punishment for persons who willfully incite or urge others to engage in a riot in the District which results in serious bodily harm to any person or in property damage in excess of $5,000, is set at imprisonment for not more than 10 years or fine of not

more than $10,000, or both. Mr. Chairman, I wish to propose that a further provision be added to this legislation, making it a crime to manufacture or instruct others

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in the manufacture or use of fire-bombs or Molotov cocktails, regardless of whether or not they are ever put to use. At present, there are no provisions in the D.C. Code under which prosecution could be had for such activities. In the instance I mentioned above, in connection with the Anacostia riot in 1966, if some of the incendiary devices had actually been used, a charge of arson might possibly have been brought if private property had been burned as a result. At best, however, this provision in the present law is woefully inadequate, and I strongly urge that this loophole in the District of Columbia code of law be closed forthwith.

I anticipate that anguished voices will be raised in protest against the provisions of this legislation dealing with inciting other persons to engage in rioting, on the grounds that freedom of speech will thereby be violated. Mr. Chairman, freedom of speech is a zealously guarded heritage in this country. But freedom of speech must not be allowed to immunize from punishment a person who incites others to maim or to kill or to riot. Freedom of speech must not be distorted to guarantee to anyone the right to create disorder. Those who incite others to deeds of violence should be punished whether or not their freedom of speech is involved.

Mr. Chairman, I urge favorable action on this measure as a duty to the citizens I have the privilege to represent in the Congress, as well as to the millions of Americans who come to this city as to a shrine, with a feeling of reverence and respect for the provisions of our Constitution which were designed by our forefathers to maintain law and order in this great nation.

Mr. McMillan. Thank you, Mr. Broyhill.
Mr. BROYHILL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McMillaN. Are there any questions?
(No response.)
Mr. McMillan. Mr. Bevill from Alabama.

STATEMENT OF HON. TOM BEVILL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA

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Mr. BEVILL. Mr. Chairman, members of the distinguished District of Columbia Committee, I appreciate the opportunity of submitting to you a statement in support of pending legislation to prohibit riots in the District of Columbia.

As a matter of record, I have introduced a bill relating to the hibition of riots and incitement to riot in the District of Columbia. This bill, H.R. 12557, is now pending before you.

It goes without saying that our Nation's Capital, the District of Columbia, is visited daily not only by people from all over our country, but from all over the world. These people who come to visit the District of Columbia may very well form a lasting opinion from the impressions they receive. Therefore, I believe that every possible step should be taken to make this a “model city."

Never before in the history of the United States have we experienced such outbreaks of rioting and violence, as in this year of 1967. Never before have such violent civil disorders racked our nation, extracting great physical, moral and financial costs from our citizens.

I believe the best way to combat this sort of behavior is to strengthen local law enforcement agencies through the enactment of laws such as those you are now considering.

I respectfully urge a favorable recommendation of this bill. I believe it will serve as a strong deterrent to future rioting in the District of Columbia.

Mr. MCMILLAN. Mr. Vinson, if it is agreeable with the Committee. I will not call you as a witness now, because Mr. Whitener would like very much to hear your statement.

Mr. Bress?

Mr. Vinson. United States Attorney Bress and I are here together, and we had planned to make a very short statement and then be available for questions, both of us.

Mr. McMILLAN. All right, we will call on you both later.

Chief Layton, do you care to make a statement this morning? If you do, we will hear from you at this time. Please come around to the table. Some of us may desire to ask you some questions. Give your full name and position for the record, please.

STATEMENT OF CHIEF JOHN B. LAYTON, METROPOLITAN

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Chief LAYION. I am John B. Layton, Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department.

Mr. Chairman, I do not have a prepared statement. I know that as to H.R. 12328, the bill that was introduced by you at the request of the Attorney General and Commissioner Tobriner, I am in accord with what is provided therein. It is my feeling that we do have need for such legislation in the District of Columbia.

We do not now have this kind of statutory authority. So I am prepared only to agree with Mr. Vinson and the Department of Justice and Mr. Kneipp, speaking for the Commissioners. We fee! that this is a piece of legislation which is needed in the District of Columbia.

Mr. McMillan. Just how would this proposed legislation prove to be of assistance to you and to the Police Department?

Chief Layton. At the present time, Mr. Chairman, other than the substantive offenses which might occur during a riot, such as arson or grand larseny or housebreaking, other than those offenses we only have statutory authority for the offense of disorderly conduct, which has a very minimum penalty, and the offense of affray.

It is my understanding, and I am sure that Mr. Vinson and Mr. Bress can give you a better explanation then I, but it is my understanding that in order to deal with, or charge an individual with, the offense of inciting to riot, it would be necessary to go back to the old common law in order to bring such a charge. It is my further understanding that that would be much more difficult to obtain than if there were specific statutory authority saying that such actions as are described in these bills constitute å riot and a specific penalty is set out in the statute.

Ir. Melillan. I was wondering if the Congress has been sitting up here for 100 years without any protection against riots or anything else.

Chief LAYTON. It is my further understanding, Mr. Chairman, that we are not without any protection. Frequently in a riot situation, almost always I would say, there are other offenses that a person can be charged with, and it is possible legally to go back to the common

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law provisions. But this is somewhat involved. Our situation here in the District would mean that we would have to go back to the Maryland common law in order to bring such a charge. That would be done, I believe, by presenting evidence that was developed to the Grand Jury.

As I say, we do have the offense of affray, where two or more people become involved in a fight or disturbance on the street, can be charged. Of course, the offense of disorderly conduct is just not adequate, in by judgment, to deal with a riot situation.

So while we have not been without protection, in my judgment, I agree with the Attorney General and the Commissioners that we should have specific statutory authority.

There are some few other offenses that go back to the common law, but in most cases the law has developed, as you know, from congressional action and enactment of specific statutes to clearly define the offense and to provide specific penalties.

Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Nelsen, would you care to ask any questions?

Mr. NELSEN. I am greatly concerned about the critical problem that currently prevails relative to recruiting of District police officers. The District Police Department is now short over 300 policemen and recruiting is difficult.

There has been some recent objection to the military cadet program in the District high schools. What are the possibilities of some kind of a police cadet program in our school system where our young men could be taught some of the fundamentals of police work and civic responsibility with the idea that this might stimulate interest in police work. This might make it easier for the D.C. Police Department to recruit able young men from within the confines of the area? Have you given some thought to such a program?

Chief LAYTON. Yes, Mr. Nelsen. More than just thought has been given to that kind of a proposal.

Actually, we have mounted a pretty active recruiting campaign in our high schools. In addition to having our recruiting officials go to the schools, during the past year we engaged the services of one of the Redskin players to assist. He talked for the Police Department to groups of students. Primarily, this was aimed at recruiting young men who were graduating from high school into our cadet corps at their age. We have had good bit of success. The vacancies in our cadet program are just about full.

In direct response to your question, there have been discussions beyond that of trying to develop programs that could be fit into the school curriculum. This has not been finalized but there have been some conversations in this direction also.

Mr. Nelsen. You will recall that during our hearings on crime many testified that certain court decisions have greatly inpeded the effectiveness of police work.

One can't help noticing that in cases where the police have attempted to perform their duties, such as perform an ordinary arrest, they are frequently interfered with by heckling mobs which at times attempt to free the policeman's prisoner. Oftentimes, too, police are beaten, simply because they are trying to do their duty to the public. This is tragic. As a member of this Committee, I want you to know that I am in complete support of you and your officers in the District, and if there is anything you need from us we will be ready and willing to give it to you.

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