1 august 1968 & aclu report concludes police department is in serious trouble
#OTD 1 August 1968 The National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union (1424 16th St NW) issued A Police Department in Trouble: Racial Discrimination and Misconduct in the Police Department of Washington, DC. The report and recommendations were drawn from an all-day conference titled "Police Practices in the District of Columbia" held on 15 June 1968 at Howard University Law School.
The 42-page report concluded that the police department was "in serious trouble" and recommended that virtually all of the police leadership, starting with white police chief John B. Layton, be terminated and replaced. Another major recommendation was the hiring of more black male police officers and enabling police officers to form their own police association in response to the racism in the primarily white DC Policemen's Association. In addition, the NCACLU recommended "the election of police precinct advisory committees and the election of a complaint review board to review charges against officers.
Your comments are welcome below. Did you, family members and neighbors work for the NCACLU? Do you remember reading or hearing about the report? What did you think of police in 1968? What were your experiences with police officers in 1968? Did you become a police officer in 1968? Did you know Bruce Terris, a white attorney who demanded that the Mayor-Commissioner Walter Washington fire Chief Layton. Terris co-founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, a public interest law firm, in 1968. You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections, Julius Hobson Papers. I thank archivist Derek Gray for assisting me with these records.
"Demands Pressed on Layton Ouster," Washington Post 9 August 1968.
Ronald Sarro, "Report Shootings to Me, Murphy Orders Police," Evening Star 2 August 1968.