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Mayor Yorty was a Member of Congress in 1950 to 1954 and mayor of Los Angelessince 1961. His tenure in the California Legislature in the mid-1930's gave him an opportunity to study the subject of communism. Since that time, the witness has maintained an interest in Communist activities. In answer to a question concerning his opinion of underlying factors which caused the riots in the last few years, Mayor Yorty replied: I would certainly say that one of the factors is the constant repetition of subversive propaganda, the agitation, and propaganda conducted by the Communist Party within the framework of their historic objective to break down the respect for government, certainly for law and order, and to personalize, as they always do, this objective mainly in the police officer. Asked if he believed these riots have been spontaneous or planned, the mayor said, “I think that there are some of both.” He added: I think that the propaganda over the years has been so constant and at times very effective * * *. I also think there are some riots where subversive forces have actually planned * * * incidents that they would hope would spark a riot. Mayor Yorty introduced an exhibit into the record, a pamphlet entitled “The Big Lie.” The pamphlet, produced by the Los Angeles city government, contained a short history of the charge of police ots over a period of 21 years—or since 1946, by the Communist arty. #. witness stated that law enforcement has been handicapped “by the reinterpretation, really the rewriting of the Constitution by the United States Supreme Court * * *.” He cited examples of the exclusionary rule of evidence, the rules of search and seizure, and the registration of known criminals. Mayor Yorty recalled that Lenin, in his writings, as early as 1902, had made reference to police brutality and noted that he knew of no period in history where the “campaign against the police has been quite as effective as it is today.” The mayor was asked if police brutality charges were made in his city during the Watts riot. He replied that an attempt was made “to blame the police for the rioting,” and added: “This led to my unpleasant confrontation with Dr. Martin Luther King, who— persisted in arguing that the police were to blame for the rioting. Then he went out and got before the cameras and newspapers and made that same charge. I felt it necessary to answer that charge and to tell him that it was very unfair for him to come out to Los Angeles and try to blame the police for the rioting. Mayor Yorty then stated that he did not “know of any case where an officer has had to be dismissed for brutality.” The mayor noted that there were many people who made charges of police brutality whose motive was to discredit the police department and to carry on the so-called Communists struggle campaign to “break down respect for the law enforcement officials and * * * eventually * * * break down the ability of our Government to operate.” -w The Los Angeles mayor said that: Unfortunately, the nature of news is * * * usually negative. The bizarre makes more news than the everyday hard work of law enforcement. Mayor Yorty saw a need for people to understand the Communist Party and its apparatus. He said:
The public has been conditioned to feel that the charge of communism is some kind of smear on innocent people. * * * He cited several examples of “conditioning” of the American public “until they have lost their understanding of the true effectiveness of Communist agitation and propaganda.” The witness submitted that he “wouldn't want to go so far as to say that no policeman has ever been guilty of brutality,” but that “the major problem is brutality to police on the part of citizen groups.” In considering a question propounded by staff director McNamara on whether riot legislation should be levied at the State or Federal level, the mayor said: I think you have to take whatever action you can at every level. I don’t think trying jo. maintain law and order is just a matter for any one level of governIllent. * The Los Angeles mayor commented on the Communist-manipulated demonstration against the President on June 23, 1967, in his city. He noted that the “police permit for the so-called parade was issued to a person who has been identified as a Communist.” The parade was slated as a demonstration against the war in Vietnam, but, as the mayor noted, the “war in Vietnam just happens to be the current issue that the Communists use to try to cause citizens to confront policemen and to defy them.” The mayor also noted that the demonstration reached riot or nearriot proportions. Don Healey, former husband of one of the leaders of the Communist Party in California, Dorothy Healey, was the identified Communist who had obtained the parade permit for the riotous demonstration on June 23, 1967, in Los Angeles. Prior to the clashes with the police on June 23, about 10,000 had turned out to parade past the hotel where President Johnson was speaking. As the parade reached the hotel, elements in the front stopped short. Police were ordered to disperse the crowd, as the parade permit stated that the parade was to continue its movement. Hard-core agitators at the rear of the crowd got behind the crowd and pressed the people in front onto the ranks of police. This led to clashes. The mayor said that the people in erica did not understand the Communist theory of the struggle. He added: We have a constant series of struggles in this country, all the time conducted, of course, in most cases by legitimate and sincere people who will never understand that they have become part of the struggle. The June 23 demonstrations in Los Angeles were organized and sponsored by the Peace Action Council. The chairman of this Peace Action Council is Irving Sarnoff, a fifth amendment witness before the Committee on Un-American Activities on September 5, 1958. Sarnoff is identified in a committee report as a member of the ăistrict council, Communist Party, Southern California District. The mayor quoted from a Communist Party Manual on Organization. The manual was demonstrated to be a good example of where the Communists try to take advantage of a movement in the country, such as the current civil rights movement.
Mayor Yorty stated:
I think it is rather apparent that over the long years the Negro people did not prove very susceptible to Communist propaganda and agitation * * *.
But I do think that in the civil rights movement today there is a growing success on the part of the Communist apparatus to manipulate some of the organizations. * * *
The Los Angeles mayor was asked if he had any recommendation, in addition to antiriot legislation, which might help solve the problem of rioting and looting.
He indicated that some action in the nature of a reversal of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions which have restricted “the ability of law enforcement agencies to do their job” might be in order.
The chairman, Mr. Willis, and members of the committee expressed their gratitude to Mayor Yorty for his excellent contribution to the subject under investigation.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT H. MEHAFFEY
On Tuesday, October 31, 1967, at 10 a.m., the subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met in the continuation of hearings into “subversive influences in riots, looting, and burning.”
Mr. Mehaffey was sworn in and stated that he was employed with the House Committee on Un-American Activities as a research consultant.
Mr. Mehaffey read excerpts from Committee Exhibit No. 3, the staff papers on various organizations in this country whose activities have included racial agitation.
Prior to Mr. Mehaffey's testimony on the investigation and research carried out by the committee staff in conjunction with the present inquiry, Mr. Šo, general counsel of the committee, stated:
Because some of these organizations are relatively new and others are small and little known, the subcommittee has agreed that staff documents containing basic data about these organizations and also statements which they or their recognized leaders have made concerning riots, the use of violence, and related issues should be made a part of the record.
General Counsel Smith stated that the purpose for inserting the staff papers at this point in the chronicle of testimony “is to make the record clear.” Mr. Smith added:
When facts are presented about these organizations and individuals in these hearings, the general nature of the groups will be known and understood. * * *
Mr. Smith emphasized that the documents to be presented “are not intended to convey any more than they actually say.” He noted that some of the organizations are openly Communist and subversive. “Others have been cited as Communist, and/or subversive by official agencies.” Other organizations, not cited, should not be interpreted as a committee finding or implication that the organization is Communist or subversive.
Committee Exhibit No. 1 is headed: “International Communist Statements on Racial Agitation and Riots in the United States.”
Committee Exhibit No. 2 is headed: “FBI Statements on Communist Racial Agitation.”
Committee Exhibit No. 3 contains the following organizational reports:
po Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA).
Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC).