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First Presbyterian Church, having been instrumental in persuading the Rangers to agree to the request of the Federal and city officials, agreed to act as a storage depot for the weapons turned in.
The Chicago police, after having participated in an inventory with the Treasury Department, obtained a warrant on the basis of "new and secret” evidence that there were guns stored in the church, raided the church and denied to the local press that they were aware of the inventory that they themselves were party to.
The search warrant for the raid was granted on the testimony of a “secret informer” who was never brought before a judge and whose identity could not be revealed. The raid made local headlines, tending to discredit the church and the Rangers, much as these hearings are.
I would like to mention here that the Rangers have been constantly very concerned over the fact that so many of the Ranger members have had no homes and not enough to eat.
Senator MUNDT. You lost me.
Mr. BRACKETT. Senator Mundt, I should note that after the single copy, which was all we had, was sent to Mr. Adlerman, it became apparent that Mr. LaPaglia had left out an explanation of what the cooperative living was, and that has been inserted on page 3. He left out a couple of examples of contradiction. Those have been left out. Those have been inserted. He left out a specific denial, because he didn't know of it, of the statements which have been made about him. This has been added to the statement.
It doesn't substantially change it, but it has been added. I have copies in this form, if that would help.
Senator MUNDT. It would be easier to follow the testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. I will not invoke the rule. He did submit a statement here. If you want to add anything to it, go ahead.
Mr. LAPAGLIA. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I can appreciate that you may write a statement and submit it, and in 2 or 3 days you may remember something. That is all right. You could have possibly amended your statement and let us have it, but you are testifying and we can cross-examine you.
Mr. BRACKETT. Most of this was after you lent the transcript to us and we read the transcript. I apologize. Most of these things were discovered after you furnished the transcript to us.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, go ahead.
Mr. ADLERMAN. Are you deleting anything from your original statement, Mr. Brackett ?
Mr. LaPaglia. The only thing deleted was
Mr. ADLERMAN. Mr. Brackett, is anything being deleted from the original statement ?
Nr. BRACKETT. I am not positive. I think Mr. LaPaglia can answer the question. I don't believe so, but I am not sure.
Mr. ADLERMAN. Can Mr. LaPaglia tell us?
Mr. LA PAGLIA. The only thing left out at all was a statement about the extortion of schools, and so on and so forth.
Mr. ADLERMAN. What page was that on?
have a copy of the original, which we sent to you, Mr. Adlerman, so I think it would be tough to locate the page. Probably three or four.
The CHAIRMAN. On page 3 I see something about extortion.
Mr. BRACKETT. There is not a subject left out. There may be a line or two.
The CHAIRMAN. We can make comparisons. Go ahead.
Mr. LAPAGLIA. I would like to mention here that the Rangers have been constantly very concerned over the fact that so many of the Ranger members have had no homes and not enough to eat. In fact, we found, to our horror, that some of the Rangers at times slept in our church basement, because they lacked a better place. With the Ranger leadership, we contacted the Chicago Theological Seminary and arrangements were made for two houses in which the divinity students and various Rangers lived together. We called this the cooperative living project, and everyone concerned felt that it was not only a humane effort, but also an important educational experience for both Rangers and divinity students.
During the first 2 months of the cooperative living project, the two houses were raided by the police at least 15 times. On only one of these occasions did the police have a warrant. Forty or 50 Rangers were arrested on various charges. A single conviction for "running a disorderly house” was obtained. This consistent police harassment made abundant copy for the local press, but not under that name.
In September 1966 the Rangers announced that they were going to stop extortion at Hyde Park High School because they were concerned with the accusation that they were responsible for it. When they succeeded, where police and school officials had failed, this was taken as proof by both of these groups that the original charges were true.
Immediately after the Rangers' service in preventing South Side riots after King's assassination, the intelligence unit of the Chicago police released an article to the Chicago Tribune alleging that the Ranger action was really part of a plot to extort money from the area businesses. A Chicago Sun-Times reporter responded by interviewing at random two dozen businessmen to determine whether, in fact, any extortion had taken place. Their unanimous response was that the Rangers had been instrumental in saving their stores and that no attempts at extortion had taken place. The day after the Sun-Times story appeared, a second article was given to the Tribune by the intelligence unit repeating that earlier claims and giving weekly payment schedules. At that point the two businessmen's associations in the Woodlawn area met in a press conference and told the press that the extortion claims were untrue and condemned the police for their irresponsible actions. The source for the two Tribune articles finally had to admit that no evidence of extortion existed. The Rangers, in helping to prevent riots, attempted to show that they were competent, responsible and constructive; the response of the police was incompetent, irresponsible and destructive.
These items are typical of the systematic harassment of the Rangers, which can be explained by the simple operative assumption that any
well organized black ghetto group must be up to no good. Despite the work of the gang intelligence unit of the Chicago police, no evidence to support this evil conspiracy theory has been obtained, so they have had to resort to spectacular harassment as a substitute for hard evidence.
These hearings have been made possible by the testimony of George Rose. His relationship to the Rangers and to the police becomes interesting at this point. Rose is a tool of police harassment. Rose's evidence is not the kind that will hold up in court, but is fine for newspaper trials. His story is designed for newspapers as giving substance to police charges over the past 2 years by the simple but effective propaganda device of repeating them.
The press claims that Rose came before this committee in exchange for police protection from the Rangers. He was presumably in need of this protection because of an alleged death threat made after his failure to meet a narcotics shipment in January 1968. The facts are that the split between Rose and the Rangers occurred within the first month after Eugene Hairston was sent to jail in September 1967. Between September and January, George Rose continued to live in Woodlawn, which wouldn't have happened if, in fact, his life had been threatened by the Rangers.
It would be interesting to know if George Rose has been indicted on narcotics charges connected with this event. It is my opinion that Rose's testimony was
obtained in exchange for the narcotics charges being dropped by police.
Rose was dismissed from the Rangers in September 1967 because he attempted to take over the leadership after Eugene Hairston was jailed and, when that failed, he attempted to involve some of the main leadership in narcotics traffic and prostitution. It is my understanding from the Rangers that it was he who contacted Junior La Fayette that is Lafayette Watts-after he had been urged to do so by a convict he met in jail
. I believe that can be checked. The convict was noted as a big narcotics peddler in the jail and it should be easy enough to check on the Rangers' story.
If there was a criminal element in the Rangers, Rose was it. His charges against the Rangers are transparent products of his imagination and projections of his own illegal plans.
If this investigation were being conducted according to judicial rules of evidence, so that direct evidence could be presented by parties who appear, and so that cross-examination were allowed, much of the testi. mony of Rose could easily be refuted. Rose claimed that John Fry received telephone calls 15 minutes before each of the two raids on his church.
During the first raid, John Fry was not in Chicago. During the second, he was attending a church meeting at the presbytery office downtown.
Rose claimed that John Fry conveyed a message from Eugene Hairston to Rose while Hairston was in jail, ordering Rose to kill Jimmy Straughter.
John Fry has never been allowed into the jail-although this next testimony seems to answer it.
John Fry has never been allowed into the jail to visit. The fact is easily checked by reference to the jail register which all visitors must sign.
Rose claims that after Jimmy Straughter was killed, he talked with Jeff Fort about it. This is very important, I think. This is right in this testimony. In fact, the killing was November 4, after Rose admits he broke with the Rangers and also while Jeff Fort was in jail. He was in jail from October until March and could not have possibly been there, as Mr. Rose claims.
Rose claims that during the weapon collection of July 1966, zip guns were turned in, rather than more sophisticated weapons, at the urging of John Fry. There were no zip guns in that collection, as the Treasury Department's inventory will show.
Rose claimed that he and Eugene Hairston returned home from Cook County Jail in 1967. In fact, at no point in 1967 were they in Cook County Jail together.
Rose claimed that Jeff Fort had a new eight-room apartment when Rose returned from jail. Until a month ago, Jeff Fort had no apartment and lived with his mother, and future mother-in-law.
Rose makes claims about trying to raise bond for Gene Hairston. In fact, no bond was ever set on Hairston until his trial was over, and at that time Rose says he was out of the city (and this was long after his break with the Rangers).
Rose has made at least two charges against me personally. First, it is claimed that I participated in a trip to Michigan with members of the Rangers to buy guns. The fact is that I know of no gun buying trip at all. The trip to Michigan with some of the Ranger leadership was to a summer camp area owned by a Chicago association as part of our leadership training program. Our time was spent in planning our community development program.
Rose also claims, I have read, that I carried marihuana in my car for the Rangers. This is simply false. I have never been asked to carry marihuana and I have never done so, in my car or otherwise.
Like the claims against John Fry, the claims against me are false. So if one puts aside the fantastic charges that a minister and a youth worker plot murders, transport marihuana, mastermind extortion rings, pot parties, and other illegal activities, what have we left from last Friday's sensational hearing?
The fact is that the program now being investigated by you is a highrisk experiment designed to service the toughest and poorest youth in the urban ghetto. It should not surprise you that this program has not yet succeeded in convincing all of the youth to turn in all of their guns and in eliminating all of the ugliness of crime. But what program has ever been justly condemned for achieving less than total success in dealing with any problem?
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us how long you have been working for the church.
Mr. LAPAGLIA. For 2 years.
Mr. LA PAGLIA. Presently at $11.000. I worked for part time at about $4,000, for about the first 2 or 3 months.
The CHAIRMAN. And where did you come from? Where had you previously worked before you moved to the church and started working for it?
Mr. LAPAGLIA. I worked for the Chicago Commission on Youth Welfare.
The CHAIRMAN. That was your last employment before you went
Mr. LAPAGLIA. Yes. I have a letter to that effect, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I said. You resigned. You were given the opportunity to resign or be discharged ?
Mr. LAPAGLIA. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Charles P. Livermore, is he the executive director of the commission ?
Mr. LAPAGLIA. Yes, he is.
The CHAIRMAN. I have a memorandum here. I don't know whether it is true or not. It is that you had been advised on April 30 that your performance with the commission was not satisfactory and were given the choice of resigning or being discharged. (The memorandum was subsequently sworn to and follows:)
COMMISSION ON YOUTH WELFARE
Chicago, Ill., June 27, 1968. To: U.S. Senate:
Charles LaPaglia resigned from the Chicago Commission on Youth Welfare on May 3, 1965. His resignation was by mutual agreement. He agreed to resign after he was informed that his performance with the Commission was unsatisfactory. He was earning $9,300 per year. I certify the above statement to be true.
CHARLES P. LIVERMORE.
SARA KELMAN, Notary Public.
my resignation, specifically said that the circumstances were not those.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the letter you wrote?
The CHAIRMAN. This may be incorrect. If it is, I want to know it. The information I have, the memorandum, is that you were given the choice. Your work was unsatisfactory and you were given the choice of either resigning or being given a discharge.
Mr. LA PAGLIA. I can understand why such a statement was made. But I will give you the letter. I will put it into the record. It is from Charles Livermore.