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Mr. MURPHY. Well, sir, I think any violation of the law is a dangerous situation because
Mr. ABERNETHY. Well, a trespass is an offense. We are not just speaking of any violation. We are talking of arson, looters, rock throwers and thieves.
Mr. O'KONSKI. And snipers.
Mr. MURPHY. Well, in law enforcement, I am happy to say, Mr. Congressman, that sniping was not a problem here of any significance. We have been unable to confirm an actual sniping incident in accordance with the definition of sniping.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Well, your position on that is a rather soft one, isn't it?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Haven't you stated that before these people would be directed or authorized, or before you would direct or authorize an end to this sort of thing by shooting, that you will resign your office ?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. I did not say that. I would like to explain my position.
Mr. Abernethy, the law of lawful use of force by a police officer is not a simple law. It is one of the most difficult subjects we have to teach police officers.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Well, they are familiar with the law. We are all familiar with that. We are familiar with it. What was your policy and what did you say?
Mr. MURPHY. My policy was a confirmation of Chief Layton's policy. The law and the policy of the Metropolitan Police Department on lawful use of force has been well established, has been in writing at least since 1954. I have reviewed that policy, Mr. Abernethy, and it is a sound policy it seems to me. It corresponds very closely with the policy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I think it provides for our police officers the kind of guidelines that can be of most assistance to them in a difficult situation, for use of force, of deadly force; and in those situations, I must make clear, Mr. Abernethy, that we cannot remove the discretion of the police officer.
It is important that we create policy and give him guidelines, but the ultimate decision to take a human life is that police officer's.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Now, I want to ask you this question: do you think that all that was done-you are listening to me, aren't you?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Do you think that all that was done was all that could have been done and should have been done during the recent troublesome riots and burning they had in this town?
Mr. MURPHY. Some mistakes were made, but I am generally satisfied
Mr. ABERNETHY. You are satisfied ?
Mr. MURPHY. That the response of the Police Department in those difficult circumstances was a good response.
Mr. ABERNETHY. So you are satisfied with the horror left in this city and the loss all of the merchandise that was carried off and the destruction? You are satisfied with the way it was all handled?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. I am terribly dissatisfied with the destruction. Mr. ABERNETHY. Well, you are satisfied with the general outcome of it?
Mr. MURPHY. I am satisfied with the police response, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Were the policemen given any directions not to go armed? Were they armed or unarmed?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir. Policemen were armed on and off duty.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Were they given any directions about the use of the arms during the riots, from you?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; none, specifically.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You said, none, specific. What do you mean by "specific" ?
Mr. MURPHY. As I said earlier, Congressman, I reviewed the policy of the Department, the plans of the Department, found them excellent and supported them.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Do you disapprove of the policy that has been enunciated by the Chief of Police and city officials in Miami, Fla.
Mr. MURPHY. I am not certain what specific policy you refer to. Mr. ABERNETHY. You don't know anything about it?
Mr. MURPHY. I know considerable about the City of Miami and the Chief of Police of Miami.
Mr. A BERNETHY. Well, are you familiar with the policy? Mr. MURPHY. I disagree with parts of it. Mr. ABERNETHY. What parts do you disagree with? Mr. Murphy. I disagree with some statements about use of force, which publicly reported statements of the Chief, which sounded inflammatory to me. I disagree with some of the actions taken by members of that Police Department which have resulted in prosecution.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You say it sounded inflammatory. Has anything inflammatory grown out of that policy since it was enunciated? On the contrary, hasn't it been pretty quiet and respectable down there?
Mr. MURPHY. I don't know that to be a fact, sir.
Mr. ABERNETIIY. You don't? You haven't seen any news reports in the papers about it?
Mr. MURPHY. As I stated previously, frequently newspapers do not give an accurate picture of the crime problem.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You are not basing your opinion of the situation there on what you have seen in the newspapers or on television. You are basing it on something else?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You don't disagree with what you saw in the papers about Miami, do you?
Mr. MURPHY. I am not certain, Congressman, that I understand.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Did you see anything in the papers about the situation in Miami and how it had been quieted, and cleared up?
Mr. MURPHY. I have read some stories to that effect, but I don't accept that at face value, Congressman.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You don't know whether it is quiet down there or not?
Mr. MURPHY. I have heard conflicting reports, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. I see.
I think it ought to be put on the record that this town is in one heck of a shape. People are not coming to this town. Restaurants are suffering for a lack of business. Hotels are suffering. This town is in trouble, and it is in trouble because of what took place here a few weeks ago and what may very probably take place again.
That concerns you, doesn't it?
FUTURE PROTECTION Mr. ABERNETHY. All right. Now, you in the District Government are now asking for more taxes. What are you going to give these people for the additional taxes that they pay in the way of protection of their property?
What are you going to give them?
Mr. MURPHY. We are going to give them improved police services, sir.
Mr. ABERNETHY. In what respect ?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, this Police Department, like most police departments in the United States, is undersupported. It does not have adequate scientific and technological capabilities.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Does it take anything scientific to enable one to go out and arrest a man who is throwing a brick through a window and walking off with the merchandise? What science do you need, except somebody willing to pick him up and put him in jail?
Mr. MURPHY. What you would probably need, sir, is good communication and lack of response.
Mr. ABERNETHY. The only communication he needs is, “Buddy, you are under arrest." Isn't that all he needs?
Mr. MURPHY. When it occurs in the presence of the officer, sir.
Mr. MURPHY. Then, as far as I would know, sir, he would need communication and mobility to respond. The police officer would need these things.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Do you anticipate any trouble any time soon? Are you anticipating trouble?
Mr. MURPHY. I can't say that I anticipate it, but we are prepared and we have planned as thoroughly as we know how to be ready night and day-to be ready for any eventuality.
Mr. ABERNETHY. But you don't generally prepare unless you anticipate, do you?
Mr. MURPHY. I think wisdom dictates that we should prepare. This whole nation is troubled today.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Do you know of anyone who is going to be completely and absolutely protected, besides those at the Capitol and at the White House and Federal buildings?
Mr. MURPHY. Completely and absolutely protected, sir?
Mr. ABERNETHY. I don't know what with. I am just asking if the people of this community could be assured that their property and their lives and limbs will be satisfactorily protected as are the Capitol and the White House grounds.
Mr. MURPHY. I am sorry, Mr. Congressman, but I wouldn't know how to estimate how many troops would be required for that.
Mr. ABERNETHY. You are against discrimination. You would protect John Doe over on 14th Street just as quickly and readily as you would Capitol Hill and the White House ?
Mr. MURPHY. I would like, sir, to be able to protect all citizens, but the White House and the Congress are special places.
Mr. ABERNETHY. I don't know that they are any more special than anybody else. When you were speaking of the papers a while ago, some of the things I read in the papers, I have my doubts about that.
That is all.
Mr. FRASER. Mr. Chairman, I notice that there are a number of members here, and the time has been going. I wonder if we might, from now on, be able to have the five-minute ruling for us?
The CHAIRMAN. All right. I would like to ask Mr. Murphy: what are the policemen doing about all these telephone calls which people who are in business in the District of Columbia have been receiving, telling them that they will be next on the list to be burned out! Are you doing anything to stop this harrassment?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We have taken several special steps. During the disorder, we established an arson squad in the Department, and that has been working specifically on this problem. Chief Layton has increased the use of patrol manpower by approximately 20 percent and the precinct captains have been directed to give very special attention to this problem.
We have been meeting with many of the businessmen. We have communicated through some of the groups of businessmen and otherwise, including the press, the fact that calls, even to our Headquarters or directly to the precinct captains, will be responded to promptly, Mr. Chairman. We have been doing that.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think it would be much better to have these policemen guarding some of these establishments where real threats are being made rather than handing out parking tickets? I understand there were several hundred thousand parking tickets given out during the riot. That takes an awful lot of time. These boys ought to be protecting the people's establishments, it seems to me.
Mr. MURPHY. I know Chief Layton has stepped up the patrol activity and surveillance activity at specific locations, Mr. Chairman. Maybe Chief Layton could respond to that.
The CHAIRMAN. The only other question I want to ask at this time is: I wonder why you were so late to call on the White House, or whoever you called on, for assistance. The troops didn't arrive until late Friday. Wasn't that after the city burned up, before you called on the Army for assistance?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. No, sir; I went to the Pentagon at 3:00 o'clock Friday morning and attended a lengthy conference with high-level officials of the Defense Department and the Department of Army. I went again to the Pentagon shortly after noon on Friday.
The response that we received from the Federal Government was as complete as I know that it could be. Unfortunately, there just is a very large problem involved in the movement of troops. We were in very close communication with the Department of Defense officials throughout the problem; and I found them to be responsive to every bit of information we gave them about how the situation was.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. NELSEN. Mr. Murphy, it seems to me that you suggested a consolidation of police precincts sometime back. What has happened to the consolidation?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, Mr. Nelsen.
At the time that Í took this position, Chief Layton had proposed a consolidation of precincts. We are all strongly in support of it in the Police Department, and myself. The matter did come up before the City Council, and some citizens appeared at a public hearing and raised objections to this.
My own view continues to be a very strong view that we should move ahead with the consolidation of precincts as rapidly as possible, because it would provide us a large number of additional police officers on the streets. Now, Chief Layton has assigned one of his inspectors to discuss with community groups and citizen groups the problems and the merits of this proposal.
Chief Layton advised me only yesterday that he has had some success in winning more support for this. I hope, Mr. Congressman, this being a very strong hope, that we could begin promptly.
Mr. NELSEN. It is my understanding that the City Council vetoed the idea ?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir. They still have it under consideration, and Mr. Hechinger, the Chairman, is now considering what action to take about it.
Mr. NELSEN. One more question.
It is reported that Mr. Carmichael brandished a gun on the Thursday nite of the riot and advised his friends to go home and get a gun and come back. Now, what happened to the investigation of Mr. Carmichael, and who is handling the investigation?
Mr. MURPHY. Mr. Nelsen, our Department, the Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have worked together on this matter. The investigation is still in progress. I would prefer not to disclose all of the developments,
Mr. NELSEN. To be brandishing a gun is a violation of the law, is it not?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, Congressman, yes. I am not sure that the evidence concerning that fact is clear evidence. There may be conflicting evidence about that.
Mr. NELSEN. Are we assured that the investigation will continue and that action will be taken if a case is made on Mr. Carmichael ?
Mr. MURPHY. It is still a very active investigation.
POLICY IN EFFECT
Mr. NELSEN. One more question.
Dealing with the flexible response policy-isn't it true that this became a policy of the Police Department before your time, but it originated in the Justice Department ?
Mr. MURPHY. Congressman, we have dealt-I have dealt since shortly after taking this position, very closely with Military authorities. The Attorney General has been assigned some responsibility in