New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Civil Liberties Union warns against conservatism in Texas
AUSTIN (AP) — State and national Civil Liberties Union leaders warned their followers Saturday there is a rising trend toward conservatism in Texas, particularly in the current legislature.
“Everyone is waiting to see which direction the state government heads,” said Wade Henderson, associate director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington.
“Will Texas politics become a surrogate of die national government, that is the big issue,” Henderson told a legislative conference marking the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Civil Uberties Union.
“There is a sense in the Legislature of the shifting political scene,” said Gara LaMarche, executive director TCLU. “We will call it the ascendency of conservatism. It has made everybody scared, particularly the progressive, liberal forcss.
“I think if there is one factor troubling this session it is the relative meekness and silences of these sources,” he said.
“We need to speak up, to speak up for fundamental balances and due process,” LaMarche said.
Former state Sen. Uoyd Doggett, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, said he thought civil liberties changes would
“The most important changes probably will not come from Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court,” Doggett said. “ They will come from the grassroots, where we are. We have to work from the bottom up.”
Doggett suggested the TCLU adopt the slogan of an unnamed North Texas athletic team — “We’ll fight until Hell freezes over and then we’ll fight them on the ice.”
Henderson said that former U.S. Rep. Kent Hance of Lubbock, who narrowly lost the Democratic Senate nomination to Doggett, was “the
major prize in the political battle in Texas because if he becomes Republican that suggests there is a major shift in political feeling in this state.”
Hance has said he is considering running on the Republican ticket against Democratic Gov. Mark White in 1986 but has not made up his mind.
Henderson said Texas is at the forefront in national politics because “it has one of the brightest, one of the wealthiest and the most sophisticated set of state legislators and federal representatives in the nation.”
Police hunt survivalist group
THREE BROTHERS, Ark. (AP) -Police with camouflage clothing and blackened faces tightened their noose around the remote encampment of a band of self-styled Christian survivalists Saturday, searching some buildings and hoping to flush out their leader.
The officers moved cautiously to avoid a confrontation and out of fear the compound had been mined, an FBI agent said.
Special weapons and tactics teams moved in and secured two clusters of buildings and searched them, seizing some items, said FBI agent Ray McElhaney. The buildings, small sheds and houses outside the main part of the compound, were unoccupied and the teams met no resistance, he said.
“The main compound has not been
secured," the FBI agent said. He said a search warrant for the main group of buildings and an arrest warrant for James Ellison, 44, spiritual leader of the group, had not been served.
“We want to execute the two warrants without any confrontation and we think we shall,” he said.
He said officers were taking precautions because CSA members remained in the main buildings.
“We are talking about people who have announced they are well armed. There is good reason to believe there are explosives, mines and assault weapons on the premises, and the people that occupy the compound have adequate training in using them,” he said.
During the night, caravans of police cars had patrolled dirt roads
around the rustic headquarters of the white-supremacist group known as the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord. State police crouched in the hardwood forest as officers toting automatic rifles manned roadblocks.
Ellison shed a Texas congregation in 1976 to lead a group to the woods here near the Missouri border and build a commune of scripture-quoting, gun-carrying, back-to-nature soldier-survivalists.
As police encircled the 224-acre commune, agents continued negotiations to try to persuade Ellison to surrender.
Ellison is charged with felony conspiracy to manufacture, possess and transfer automatic firearms and silencers. U.S. Attorney Asa Hutchinson said he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a
$10,000 fine if convicted.
McElhaney said authorities also wanted to look for David Tate, 22, a member of the shadowy neo-Nazi group The Order, who was being hunted along the Missouri border about 50 miles away.
They believe Tate may try to seek refuge in the compound. McElhaney said members of the group told officers Tate had visited the compound two years ago.
Kerry Noble, a former pastor who is the group’s spokesman, said at a news conference outside the compound that Ellison would not surrender.
Noble, who brought his wife and family from Dallas to join the commune, said Ellison had prayed for guidance and God had told him not to give up.
Gang sets woman, boy on fire in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — A mob of blacks set fire to a mixed-race woman Saturday and then torched her home, killing the woman and her 3-year-old son and badly burning her two other young children, police said.
Arsonists elsewhere in the eastern Cape Province poured gasoline on a garbage truck Saturday and tried to set it on fire, but soldiers arrived and fired on the crowd, wounding one black man, a spokesman at police headquarters in Pretoria said.
The spokesman said that those were the two major incidents reported in the riot-torn black and mixed-race townships of the eastern Cape after weeks of violence arising mainly from black anger over the white-minority government’s policy of apartheid, or racial segregation.
More than 300 blacks have died in nine months of unrest.
The mixed-race woman and her child were killed in Bontrug township outside the eastern Cape town of Kirkwood, the police spokesman said. A crowd of blacks came to her dwelling, which houses both black and mixed-race families, seeking a black man. When the woman said she did not know the man, the crowd attacked her, he said.
The house was then set ablaze, killing the 3-year-old and seriously injuring her two other children,
ages 6 and 7, who were still inside, he said.
Assaults by blacks against other blacks considered collaborators with the white-minority government have increased in recent weeks, along with arson attacks against homes of black officials and policemen.
In Cape Town, a white man attacked by a black mob Thursday was reported in serious condition with burns over 70 percent of his body. The man, Erasmus Jacobs, 19, was transferred to Tygerberg Hospital near Cape Town on Friday night from Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital in the eastern Cape.
Initially, police said the man was attacked in the white township of Uitenhage in the eastern Cape in the first recent reported attack against a white in a white area.
But a witness said Friday he saw a white man set afire after emerging from an illegal bar in a black township outside Uitenhage, near where police shot dead 20 black marchers a month ago.
The attack on Jacobs occurred the same day that an inquiry into the shootings of the marchers heard that 17 of the victims were shot in the back.
President PW. Botha said Friday that black radicals are determined to make South Africa ungovernable, to pave the way for a Communist takeover.
Judge throws out rape conviction in Abilene
ABILENE (AP) — A judge threw out a rape conviction and 40-year prison term assessed a 28-year-old man after three witnesses testified that the alleged victim told them she had not been assaulted.
State District Judge Bill Thomas on Friday granted a new trial for Bobby James Williams after the witnesses said the woman said Williams had not raped her, but that she would not change her testimony.
The purported victim, who had failed to appear for two prior
hearings, denied the allegations and maintained that she had told the truth at Williams’ trial March ll and
However, she also testified that, contrary to her trial testimony, that she had lived with Williams for several months a few years ago.
"He raped me. He ought to do the time,” she said.
Williams contends the woman pressed charges against him because he had turned down her request for sex after he’d given her a ride home
from a friend’s house last July 24.
Assistant Taylor County District Attorney Sharon Johnson said she would talk with the complainant before deciding whether to retry Williams.
Sherilyn Simmons of Clyde, the defendant’s former wife, testified that while the jury was deliberating Williams’ punishment, she asked the complainant if Williams really raped her.
She said the woman told her, “No, it's just the way I can pay him back
for when I lived with him.”
Two other witnesses, Barbara Clayton and Loris Leach, both testified they had heard the complainant say she had lied about the rape.
The woman’s father-in-law testified at Friday’s hearing that, after Williams’ conviction, the woman had threatened to file rape charges on him and another man.
He said his daughter-in-law got angry when he turned off a televison set and told him, “ITI holler rape on you, too.”
U.S. crime reports drop
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Reported crime decreased 3 percent last year, including a 4 percent drop in murders, but rapes and aggravated assaults rose at the fastest pace since 1980, the FBI said Saturday.
The bureau’s Uniform Crime Report, based on preliminary figures, said the overall decline in reported crime last year, compared to 1983, continued a downward trend that started in 1982.
But during the fourth quarter, from Oct. I to Dec. 31, reported crime rose 2 percent compared to the same three-month period in 1983, the FBI said. The quarterly increase was the first since 1981.
The figures are based on a compilation of crimes reported by nearly 13,000 state and local police agencies around the country.
While there was a 4 percent decrease in murders and a 5 percent decline in the number of robberies reported last year, rapes jumped by 6 percent and aggravated assaults went up by 4 percent. Thus, the net overall rate of violent crime showed no change from 1983.
The 3 percent decrease in overall crime from 1983 to 1984 followed a 7 percent drop from 1982 to 1983 and a 3 percent decline from 1981 to 1982. But forcible rapes and aggravated assaults rose at the faster pace than at any other time since 1980.
Declines in the overall Uniform Crime Index, however, were recorded by each of the nation’s four geographic regions, the bureau said.
The northeastern states registered the sharpest decrease, at 6 percent, while the midwest recorded a 5 percent drop and the southern and western regions each showed declines of I percent.
Cities with populations over 50,000 registered a 2 percent decline in
overall crime last year, while those jurisdictions outside metropolitan areas reported a 5 percent decrease. The suburban and rural areas showed decreases of 3 and 5 percent respectively, the FBI said.
Murders plunged by ll percent in cities with populations over a million, including a decreased incidence of homicide in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Some crime experts and Justice Department officials have questioned the reliability of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report in recent years, maintaining there are few controls to detect instances where local police might inflate or shrink crime figures for political or
But the overall decline in reported crimes last year did reflect the findings of a broader gauge of criminal activity — the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Survey — which includes the roughly two-thirds of the crimes that are never reported.
That study showed that overall crime fell 4.5 percent last year.
But that survey released on April 7, like the FBI’s just-released Uniform Crime Report, indicated there has been no improvement in the rate of such violent crimes as rape and aggravated assault. Because it relies on interviews with victims, it did not include any statistics for homicide.
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