Open Letter to Police Commissioner Spreen


Fifth Estate # 76, April 3-16, 1969

Commissioner Spreen,

In regards to your public clearing of your fellow police officers for their actions at the Wallace rally at Cobo Hall, I would like to say a few words as a victim of police brutality that you say didn’t take place.

First of all, having suffered a broken leg and a sprained arm at the hands of your “law enforcement officers” and now of hearing your words of praise for the “fine work” of your police I can now have a better understanding of the reasons for the ghetto uprisings of two summers ago. When the work of your sadistic men in blue goes unchecked and even praised how do you think people should react? How would you react, Mr. Spreen?

Your tactics of the whitewash and the big lie may work for you in the short run but history will never forget the injustices done. I’ll have a bad leg for the rest of my life Mr. Spreen. I’ll never forget. Nor will the hundreds of thousands of others who are mistreated by your police every year.

Your report of this incident is more than just an insult to justice, it’s a crime to the victims involved and I urge you to retract it. For crimes are never forgotten at the ballot box or on the street.

Your present course as I see it only leads to more repeats of the summer of 1967 and to the ouster of the administration you serve. But perhaps you could get a job working for the Mayor of Chicago, if he’s still in office.


Edward D’Angelo