Creatures Indicted


Fifth Estate # 99, February 19-March 4, 1970

San Francisco (LNS) — The people of People’s Park received token retribution recently. Twelve sheriffs deputies involved in the struggle last May were indicted by a San Francisco Grand Jury on charges of conspiring to mistreat prisoners (many of the 423 arrested were brutally beaten), shooting persons with shotguns, and beating persons who were arrested.

Deputies Johnson and Riche were indicted not for murder or manslaughter, but for depriving James Rector and Allan Blanchard of their constitutional rights by “imposing summary punishment upon them.” James Rector was murdered with police buckshot while observing the struggle from a rooftop. Allan Blanchard, an artist, was permanently blinded.

Unable to argue with Rector’s autopsy report, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was forced to withdraw its claim to use of birdshot and rock salt and admitted that the use of buckshot was authorized and endorsed.

Alameda County Sheriff Frank Madigan was shook: “I think this is one of the sickest operations of the government I have ever seen. We have tried to defend the government, and we have tried to get the Federal Government to assist us and we never got cooperation. This is the draft boards, the train stop in Berkeley, the Third World Revolution, the whole bit.”