Police Rout 20 McCarthy Aides in Hotel
Say They Threw Cans at Guardsmen; 4 Helpers Beatn
By JOSEPH F. LOWRY
Of the (
) Bulletin Staff Philadelphia,
Police charged the McCarthy workers had thrown ash trays, beer cans and smoked fish onto National Guardsman keeping order below on
The ejected 20 young people from the suites overlooking Grant Park - scene of many clashes this convention week.
The officers forced the staff workers into elevators on the 15th floor and took them to the lobby. They released the youths after holding them there a half hour. At least four of the boys were beaten on the way.
Treated for Injuries.
Treated for injuries were: John Warren 24, of
George Yumich, 31, of Lansing, Michigan ;
Philip Shear, 24, of Chicago, and Philip Friedman, 22, a law student at Boston . New
According to McCarthy sources,
was pulled from bed and beaten on the head, neck and shoulders. Warren
The incident prompted McCarthy to delay his departure from
“so that I could see that everything was all right with my supporters.” Chicago
The Minnesotan, who lost the presidential nomination to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, held a press conference and told reporters he would set up a committee of lawyers to make an investigation into the incident.
Calls for Resignation.
Admitting he did not know all the facts, he sadi: “
action was out of proportion with what occurred, but it was consistent with
other incidents here this week.” Chicago
McCarthy said that any member of the Democratic National Committee who had anything to do with bringing the…..
Continued on Page 3, Col. 4.
BK NOTES: The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence was chaired by Milton S. Eisenhower, was directed by Daniel Walker and included former Warren Commissioner Hale Boggs, and Warren Commission attorneys Albert E. Jenner, Jr. and Leon Jaworski.
Also note that according to their report the police were directed by an Illinois National Guard Colonel whose four “observer” teams used binoculars and “rifle scopes” to pinpoint the window from which ashtrays, ostensibly empty “beer cans, ashtrays and smoked fish” were thrown, but also a military chemical pouch and a grenade with pin not pulled, which indicates to me the perpetrator who instigated the attack was not a McCarthy worker but a military informant, much like the instigator of the Kent State shootings.
“Rights In Conflict” - The
Report To the National Commission on
the Causes and Prevention of Violence. (Bantam, NY Dec. 1968, p. 347) - The Incident in the McCarthy
Early Friday morning there was a confrontation in the Conrad Hilton involving hotel employees, guests, police and National Guardsmen. The incident, which received nationwide publicity, was itself insignificant as compared to other violent events of the week.
What makes it important is that it happened after almost all other activity had died down, and that many of the persons involved were working members of a presidential candidate’s staff.
As the convention week progressed, and their cause did not, many young McCarthy workers had become increasingly sympathetic to the demonstrators outside the Hilton. On Wednesday night they set up emergency first-aid rooms on the 15th floor and distributed torn sheets outside the hotel for use as bandages and emergency gas masks.
(But a police officer who had been injured Wednesday by one of the thrown missiles reports that when he applied for first aid on the 15th floor he was turned away.) Their support for and collaboration with protesters were resented by both the hotel officials and the police. Hilton security officers tried to stop the sheet smuggling and police harassed the McCarthy workers as they entered the hotel; even after showing proper identification.
At Colonel Robert E. Strupp of the Illinois National Guard took charge of the operations outside the Hilton, where a number of objects, including ash trays, beer cans, a silver cream pitcher, and - mysteriously - a bag of military chemical irritant and a grenade with pin unpulled, had fallen from the hotel windows to the sidewalk below. Colonel Strupp directed observation teams set up to determine where they were coming from.
Teams were set up in four different positions, and by means of binoculars, rifle scopes and the naked eye they pinpointed a group of windows accurately enough to spot objects a second or two before they struck the pavement. Each of the four teams, reporting separately, describing the same set of windows.
Once the windows had been located, the Hilton staff was asked to identify the rooms and, counting up from the clearly demarcated 1506-A. It occupies the eastern tip of the wind immediately north of the hotel’s main entrance, with two windows facing east on
Avenue. Registered in the names of economist John
Kenneth Galbraith and two other McCarthy supporters, 1506-A had been used
throughout the week as a staff working place and as a meeting and hospitality
room for important visitors. (Other candidates had similar space in the Conrad
Hilton and other hotels). Colonel Strupp asked the police department to put an
end to the dropping of objects.
The police captain in charge of police security within the hotel consulted with the hotel’s night manager, who remembers dispatching the chief hotel security officer to see whether the registered guest were in fact occupying the suit. The hotel security officer does not recall either receiving or obeying the order. The night manager says the security officer returned with the information that the registrants were not in the room and that the hallways and elevator lobby on the 15th floor were crowded, upon which the night manager authorized the police to clear the room and corridors.
Because of the reported crowd, a police captain decided to take extra police and a small Guard contingent. While he waited for them, a police lieutenant and the hotel security officer went upstairs, accompanied by two or three policemen. When they stepped out into the 15th floor elevator lobby at about , they saw about a dozen people, some of them playing bridge and singing. The singing, according to a McCarthy worker, was led by Phil Ochs, arrested previously in the
when a pig was presented as the ‘nominee’ for President. One of the girls asked
what the police were doing there. When they made no reply, she ran ahead of
them, exclaiming, they say, ‘Jiggers - Here they come!.’” Civic Center
They followed here through the open door of the room. The windows were open, with blinds all the way up, and draperies spread. A party had been in progress. On a table near the door were 14 liquor bottles, beer cans and mixes; under it a large carton was filled with empty beer cans. People were drinking and most of the available surfaces held empty highball glasses. Some young men were lying on the couches and on the floor. There was only one ash tray in the room, and the floor was littered with cigarette butts. Hilton described the condition of the room as the worst they have ever seen.
The hotel security office told everyone in the room that, since it was not registered in any of their names, they would all have to leave and the room locked. Only one of the McCarthy people in the room admits having seen anything dropped from a window. The group protested that the hotel had no right to evict them, but when more police arrived they started to leave. As the last of them left the room the police captain and lieutenant heard something from the elevator lobby and they hurried out.
There is general agreement on what the shouting was about, but contradictory accounts of the details. A McCarthy supporter named John Warren was shoved into a card table by a policeman who wanted him to move faster.
lifted the table to
strike the policeman, who hit him on the head with a nightstick, which split
from the impact. Warren
The officer maintains that
hit him with the table and that he struck in self-defense. A number of
witnesses support this. Others maintain that Warren
had at least started to swing the table at the officer. Warren
or was not swinging, Groge Yuich, another McCarthy worker, was trying to lead
the group to the 23rd floor (Where the Senator and key members of his team were
staying) rather than to do main lobby as ordered. A hotel employee said they
couldn’t go up there because “Ninety per cent of these people don’t work for
McCarthy anyway.” Warren
When Yumich argued the point, the Hilton employee turned to a policeman and said, “Get ‘em out of here.” The policeman, holding hid baton in both hands, struck a blocking blow at Yumich, who was knocked to the floor and struck on the head and shoulders by two or three policeman, suffering a two-inch gash requiring five stitches.
The 15th floor elevator lobby atmosphere was one of confusion and even hysteria. Girls screamed and cried as police tried to herd them into Down elevators. Although police and hotel personnel had initially been well controlled and even polite, the second wave of policeman had apparently misunderstood their task and began to clear rooms unconnected with
1506-A and far back from the street. By about , some 40 or 50 people had been
removed from 1506-A, the hallway, the elevator lobby and a number of other
rooms and taken downstairs. Some left the building, others sat in the lobby.
A McCarthy advisor, Phillip Friedmann, came into the downstairs lobby to see what was going on. When he heard of the 15th floor activity he became enraged, calling the police “Mother fucking pigs.” According to Friedmann, a policeman set upon him and tried to pull him out of the group. Several girls screamed and began grabbing at the policeman. Other police officers intervened, Friedman was released, and the police left, saying that they were on call if needed.
The officer says that he saw Friedman reach into his trouser pocket and saw the outline of what he took to be a weapon. When he grabbed Friedmann’s wrist, people began grabbing at him and at his revolver until other police came to his assistance and pulled him out.
Soon afterwards, Senator McCarthy arrived, comforted his followers, and suggested that they disperse in small groups and go (to) their rooms, which they did.
Police and National Guard units report that after the closing of
nothing more was thrown from the Hilton.