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Senator MUNDT. I suppose you visited quite a few of those classes, did you?
Reverend Fry. On very rare occasions I went to the third floor. This was not within my immediate administrative concern. I had no business to make
visits. Senator MUNDT. I would think in justice to your congregation, and you seem to be involved in supporting this Ranger outfit, and the Chicago Presbytery which, I presume, represents all the Presbyterian Churches in Chicago—you being the spearhead of the movement so far as the church is concerned, you would feel some compunction to find out what is going on on the third floor of the church and this other place, and whether or not they were actually getting an education which would qualify them to go on to high school, as the principal said his education, of course, would do.
Reverend FRY. I was satisfied with visits that I did make. But the program was not designed in order to get trainees back into school. The program was designed to furnish trainees with literacy and math skills up to the eighth grade level. After that, according to the program design, these young men were to go into technical training programs sponsored by particular Chicago employers. So the aim of the program is not to compete with the public school system but, rather, to furnish the trainee with the kind of minimum skills that would entitle him then to participate creatively in a technical training program.
Senator MUNDT. This is a theory and it sounds rather plausible. But in practice, we are confronted with case after case after case where they were recruiting people for your school-by that I mean the schools in which the Rangers were involved, and you were indirectly involved-they were recruiting them at the point of a gun, and were intimidating the kids to force them to go in. And, they were compelling them to pay dues if they crossed certain boundary lines to go to a legitimate public high school.
It looks to me like what you were actually doing was encouraging dropouts from the ordinary school to come into the Ranger school. That wouldn't make any sense to me.
Reverend Fry. It wouldn't make any sense to me, either, and I am not prepared to say from my knowledge that this is factually true or untrue. I just do not know that they recruited in this way.
Senator MUNDT. When you read the transcript, you may be better able to testify because some of these names may involve people whom you know.
Reverend Fry. I would be pleased to.
Senator MUNDT. Do you know any of these people the chairman has mentioned so far?
Reverend FRY. No.
The CHAIRMAN. With respect to your not having a transcript, it was made available to your lawyer here last Saturday. Did you not have a Washington lawyer last Saturday representing you?
Mr. BRACKETT. Yes; Counsel did examine it but we did not secure a The CHAIRMAN. You had two men representing you; didn't you?
I am asking you.
Mr. BRACKETT. There were two gentlemen from a Washington firm whom I asked to gather information.
The CHAIRMAN. Was not a transcript made available to them last Saturday? There has been nothing done to withhold anything. I don't want any implication like that.
Mr. BRACKETT. There was no such implication, Mr. Chairman. Senator MUNDr. How come the counsel didn't give it to Mr. Fry?
Mr. BRACKETT. We did not secure a copy. That is quite an expensive proposition. We simply abstracted and examined some of the facts.
Senator Mundt. Your attorneys didn't have it in their possession?
The CHAIRMAX. He may not have seen it but I didn't want the implication to go out that we were trying to keep one from being available to him.
To go on a little further with this affidavit, he said: I also know of another youngster, Kenneth Thompson, who was attending our school who was recruited into the Ranger school and who was only 14 years of age. He was picked up by the Chicago Police department outside of the Ranger School and admitted that he did attend. I am satisfied that there were additional students of mine at Wadsworth that did attend these schools for gangs.
I feel very strongly that it is a deplorable situation when a legitimate school, such as Wadsworth School, which is properly staffed with certified teachers, has to compete with make-shift schools set up and financed with Federal funds, staffed with instructors who are dropouts themselves and are made instructors merely because they held a powerful position in the gang hierarchy. These same instructors teach the enrollers who are also dropouts.
Then he said: I would like to relate the fact that I have had conversations with the gang leaders of the Disciples and Rangers that have admitted to me that improper activities were taking place in the gang centers financed by OEO funds. They told me that reefers (marijuana) were being smoked and that in one particular center, no attendance record was being kept.
I am aware and it has been established by police records that a boy by the name of "Heads" was shot in one of the centers. It was supposed to be one of the fundamental rules of the project that no guns or anything of that sort was to be brought into the centers.
Do you know anything about that, Mr. Policeman !
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes, sir. That, in fact, happened. That happened the 9th of January of this year at the center that is being conducted by the Disciples at 866 East 63d Street. This boy's name is Joseph Evans. His nickname is "Head." That is his nickname.
The CHAIRMAN. Then this is a fact?
I do not object to grants being given to work with children and young adults. What I object to primarily is that an organization such as the Woodlawn organization, which is not properly staffed to work with youths, has been granted money to work with gang members, bypassing agencies that have legitimate programs, have long worked with youths, are willing to work with youths, and that have established contact with these gang members. This money was given to the Woodlawn organization while other organizations in Woodlawn, the established organizations, the community-based organizations who could still work with these youths were completely neglected. * * *
Senator Mundt wants to read the next sentence.
Senator MUNDT. The chairman has just read. This money was given to the Woodlawn organization while other organizations in Woodlawn, the established organization, the community-based organizations, who could still work with these youths, were completely neglected. I know for a fact that Dan Swopes
Do you know Dan Swopes?
Director, Woodlawn Chicago Boys Club, did ask for money and was turned down. Yet TWO comes into the picture and obtains a large sum of money to work directly with the gangs.
Is there anything wrong with the organization of the Woodlawn Chicago Boys Club, run by Dan Swopes, that would indicate they should be turned down?
Reverend Fry. I don't know what kind of proposal they had in or anything about it. I would, however, like to comment that both the East Side Disciples and the Blackstone Rangers hesitate to use the boys club and, therefore, the kinds of programs that they might run would be ineffective at the very beginning.
Senator MUNDT. Why would the Rangers and Disciples refuse to work with the Chicago Boys Club?
Reverend Fry. They mistrust the intentions of that particular boys club.
Senator MUNDT. If these two gangs are guilty of even 10 percent of the allegations--which remains to be established, and I don't know whether they are true or not-but if they are, I can well understand why they wouldn't want to go with the Chicago Boys Club. If the boys club is like most boys clubs, they wouldn't permit any hankypanky like we have been hearing about.
Reverend Fry. That was not the issue, Senator.
Rererend Fry. The issue at which both of these youth organizations ceased using the Chicago Boys Club facility was an issue involving one of the staff personnel, whose name I just do not recall. This staff man quite deliberately lied and provoked a great deal of needless animosity between these two groups. They both recognized the responsibility for the very violent contact was the staff member of the boys club. Thereafter, neither organization used the boys club.
Senator MUNDT. We don't have anybody listed on our chart from the Disciples, but when you say they were turned down by the Rangers, what you are telling us, I believe, is that they were turned down by President Hairston and Vice President Fort; is that right?
Reverend Fry. Yes, sir.
Senator MUNDT. They are under considerable suspicion, to put it mildly, about their operations. I can well understand why they wouldn't want to see part of the money they were getting turned over to the boys club. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN (continues reading from the affidavit):
Commander Harold Miles in the Englewood District, Chicago Police Department, after a recent shooting date involving these gangs, made a very profound statement and this is a man that should be listened to because he is one of the finest police officers I have ever met. Commander Miles made a very clear statement. He said:
"You see it is very simply this: Parents should begin supervising their children a lot more and they should stop screaming about police brutality. But what is more important, the youngsters here in Englewood have suddenly realized that in another area of the city there is money being given to gangs because of some antisocial activities that are going on. So, if they realize that money is over there, how about joining in and getting a little bit of it over here. This is what is happening."
Policeman Griffin, do you want to comment on that?
TESTIMONY OF COMDR. WILLIAM GRIFFIN—Resumed
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is true. I have some notes in the backroom, Senator, and I allude to the very same thing.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, if these gangs over here get money from the Federal Government, why don't the others get it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. If they are getting it for being good and not shooting at each other, why not have some others make a threat and get it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. It goes further than that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who is doing anything for the good kids? There is nothing at all done for the good ones. It is all done for the bad ones.
Senator MUNDT. What do you know about the boys club? Is that the bad ones or the good ones?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I would say that the boys club is a very healthy environment for a youth.
Senator Mundr. You would think that money utilized by them might produce better results than by the Rangers?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes, sir. If there is money available, I think the boys club could do a much better job with those funds than the manpower training program such as we are discussing here.
Senator MUNDT. Do you know why the Federal funds were denied to the boys club and put out lavishly to the Rangers and Disciples ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No, sir; and I was very surprised that this program was funded.
The CHAIRMAN. It would seem from this, the point this school principal seems to be making, that it, in fact, rewards people for bad behavior and neglects those who are trying to do right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How does that affect or what impact does that have on policemen who are trying to do their duty and on law enforcement in the community? Does it help your situation ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No, sir. Actually, what it does is it perpetuates the gang structure.
The CHAIRMAN. It does what?
Mr. GRIFFIN. It perpetuates the gang structure. Then, again, there is a feeling that exists of "Why should we work? Why should we find employment when we can get whatever we need for nothing ?”
The CHAIRMAN. “Why should we find employment?"
The CHAIRMAN. Can any good come from this program as it has been operated and as envisioned ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No, sir. I think there are some other factors that should be considered here. Reverend Brazier alleges that one of the reasons that he elected to have the gang members as instructors was because they are the only ones that can control the behavior patterns of the gang members.
The CHAIRMAN. How do they control it? Mr. GRIFFIN. How can they control the behavior patterns of the gang members when they cannot control their own behavior pattern, which is manifested by the fact that practically, I would say with no exceptions, every person who appears on that chart has been confined in the county jail either on a misdemeanor or a felony charge?
The CHAIRMAN. I will bet this Main 21 can control these 14- and 15-year-old boys. They can control their pattern.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But they can't control their own behavior patterns, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. They don't try to control their own. But they can control them. Otherwise, they can beat them up. Isn't that true?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. They can have a pretty persuasive influence, in my judgment, over these students who are going there and having to pay them kickbacks.
Mr. GRIFFIN. They are controlling their behavior pattern; but in a negative manner, not a positive manner.
The CHAIRMAN. You can control it two ways. They are controlling in the negative manner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. What kind of hope, what kind of an outlook on life, can a youth have who comes up in that kind of a gang atmosphere where muscle is the power and the boss, the hoodlum boss, is the lord of his land? How can he have any respect for law and order when those conditions are tolerated and permitted to exist ?
I am sure the police are doing what they can to eliminate that kind of condition wherever it exists in your jurisdiction. But the Federal Government comes along and denies the established organization projects and authorizes a project of this nature to be ruled by gang authority, not only ruled by it but set up by it, controlled by it, the policies made by it, without, I think, I can say, from the evidence here—and I hope we can find out there may be something differentwithout any proper supervision.
On that basis, as a citizen of Chicago, and occupying the position you do, would you recommend that the pending application before the OEO for a renewal of this project and for further funding of a project of this character be approved
Mr. GRIFFIN. No, sir; and I made every effort to have the program that just terminated, to have it terminated prior to the termination data.
The CHAIRMAN. You tried to get it terminated prior to that date?