First Published: Berkeley Barb, August 11-17, 1967.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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SF police brutally attacked PLP candidates John Ross and nine others last Saturday night in the Mission District.
Ross and witnesses declare he was badly beaten about the head and shoulders and repeatedly tear gassed in the face.
The cops came in answer to a complaint about a noisy party and when Ross allegedly cursed them from a window, decided that that justified calling in reinforcements and breaking out the clubs and tear gas.
In a show of solidarity, the Socialist Workers Party voiced their outrage at the unwarranted beatings in a statement signed by Bob Davis, Socialist candidate for Mayor. Members of the PLP and SWP scuffled at a rally several weeks ago.
Asked why the cops should have singled them out, Ross told a news conference Monday, “The reasons for the brutality are as many as the activities we’ve been engaging in.”
He added that the police have been harrassing him and those associated with him because of his party’s militant stand against police brutality.
“They are definitely out to get us,” he added.
An indication that the Saturday night attack was not just an isolated incident is shown by the fact that two other members of the party had been busted the night before for putting up posters announcing Ross’s candidacy for Supervisor.
After the beating and gassing, the victims were taken to the Mission station and finally hours later booked on a list of charges ranging from disturbing the peace to assaulting the officers.
Sunday there was a demonstration in front of the Hall attended by about 200 people, protesting the vicious handling of the incident by the police. $400 was donated for the eventual $13,000 bail.
A conspicuous figure in Saturday night’s raid was officer Juan Morales of the Community Relations section of the Police Dept.
Nelson Medina of the PLP told newsmen Monday, “Morales has been showing up at all the meetings in civilian clothes and taking notes.”
Particularly vivid was victim Steve Morse’s description of the beating of Ross.
“Ross was forced down the stairs of the apartment building. The door of the first floor landing opened and a police officer with an upraised billyclub could be seen. As the club fell on the defenseless Ross the door shut.”
He added, “Ross was thrown in the back of the paddy wagon and then the cops flooded the wagon with tear gas.”