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Black Communalist Beaten, Both Hands Broken

Black Communalist Beaten, Both Hands Broken image Black Communalist Beaten, Both Hands Broken image
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"I Can Assure you There Will Be No Surprises." -station owner Tom Boodell On Sunday morning. April 22, community radio in Ann Arbor was snuffed when the staff of WNRZ-FM was forced off the air and replaced with country WNRS on both AM and FM. By 1 2 noon the entire staff had been fired and the Sunday radio shows done by the People's Communications Commit tee and John Sinclair permanently cancelled. Members of the PCC we leaving to go do thèir Sunday afternoon airspot when they received a cali from station manager George Sproule telling them the show was off. In a move obviously planned to prevent the DJ's involved from saying anything about what was coming down at the station, the management gave no warning whatsoever before changing the locks, firing the entire FM staff, and threatening to hire armed guards. Ann Arbor pólice arrived at Joseph Harrison's house last week to break up a small party of jazz musicians and ended up beating him up and breaking both of his hands. "I consider this unprovoked attack against me completely inexcusable," Harrison told the SUN, and a $5 million suit asking for damages has been brought against the cops. The incident took place Wed. night. April 1 1 , when Joseph and a few friends were playing some music on his front porch at 818 Gott St. Around 8 p.m. Ann Arbor pólice officers Willard and Brooks came up to the house and told them the music was too loud. The officers returned to their patrol car, but a short time later, when Joseph and two other people started to go in the house, the pólice shined a spotlight on them and demanded that they come over to the car. Because he had no shoes or jacket on, Harrison replied, "No, I won't come over there, but you can come over here if you want." The officers carne running, apparently viewing Joseph's statement as some sort of threat. The first one on the porch demanded identification and when Joseph offered to go in the house to get his ID, the officer replied, "No, we're used to that kind of set up." At this point, Joseph heard his front door open and when he turned to see who it was, one of the officers attacked him, thinking Joseph. was trying to escape. He held him down while the other officer demanded that Joseph get up. When Joseph didn't get up, both cops proceeded to beat him and finally dragged him into the patrol car. At the Pólice Station, Joseph was questioned, photographed, and fingerprinted. - When his lawyer called, pólice refused to allow them to talk. When asked if he was hurt, he replied, "Of course I'm hurt." Although both of his hands were broken, he had been handcuffed since he was attacked. The pólice forced hini to go to St. Joseph's Hospital. Once there the pólice ordered him to sit on a chair and when he told them it was too difficult with the handcuffs on, they told him, "It's a felony to disobey a direct order of a policeman.' Joseph told them he wouldn't teil them his name and the doctor told him that they wouldn't treat him if he didn't cooperate with the pólice. The pólice then took him back to the continued on pg. 15 Harrison K F,ROM ï station, where he was again fingerprinted and photographed and then told him to leave. When Joseph asked what he was charged with, they replied, "Nothing at this point." Joseph left anü later went to University Hospital where it was confirmed that he had a broken wrist on his left hand and a broken finger on his right. And pólice harrassment against Joseph still continúes. Since the original attack, pólice have appeared at Joseph's house six times, twice with three patrol cars, and has received three tickets for violation of the noise ordinance. Joseph has lived in Ann Arbor for a number of years and has a long history of activity as a musician, civil rights and antiwar activist, and close friend of hundreds of people in the community. Last summer he played at one of the Ann Arbor Park Program's free concerts. He makes his living as a cabdriver and musician, neither of which he can do now for several weeks because of his injuries. The suit against the Pólice Dept. asks not only for personal damages, but also a guaran tee that as a condition for employment all pólice officers be required to take training in human behavioral science. "We are asking for a considerable sum of money to build our own guaran tee that we have a pólice forcé that's really trained to do their job, because they really are a fantastic danger."