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mothers to get needed prenatal care. Dr. Finley testified that according to obstetricians, the "walk-in delivery rate" at Metropolitan Hospital averages from 15 to 20 percent per month. This goes

higher than that in some months.

This means women who come there to get their babies
born have had no prenatal care at all and these are
generally Negro women.*


In Cleveland the infant mortality rates in Negro communities were approximately 40 percent higher than in white communities; premature birth rates were 50 percent higher; and deaths in the first months of life were 70 percent higher. Dr. Finley attributed the higher Negro infant mortality rate, in part, to the lack of prenatal care for a substantial number of expectant Negro mothers."

Residents of slums are short-changed in the availability of public health services in other ways. In Cleveland, for example, staffing problems confronting public health units were most acute in Negro areas. In November 1965, of the eight vacancies among public health nurses, seven, with a planned work load of 4,000 cases, were in areas 80 percent Negro or more. Thus, in the very locations where the health problems were most serious, the public health services available were substantially short of the public health services available elsewhere in the city.


The Police and the Ghetto

Many nonresidents are attracted to slums, as Mr. Thorington put it, "to do their dirt":

It is not that Hough is a morally decayed neighborhood.
It is rather because Hough is decayed that it is drawing
these morally-decayed people into it because people come
from all over the city to do their dirt down there at


Dominick A. Spina, Director of Police in Newark, N.J., testified that much of the crime problem in the Scudder Public Housing Project was caused by nonresidents of the project:

[B]ecause of the fact that there are so many people in
these close areas. They become a kind of Mecca, an
attraction for loiterers coming into the project who create
these problems.

Another important problem in these projects is the fact
that they are almost entirely ringed by taverns and these

taverns unfortunately, especially when the patrons stream
out of them at night time, under an alcoholic fuse, they
walk down the street and they walk into these projects
and create more problems."

A Negro minister, Rev. Robert V. Parks, testified in Cleveland:
It has got so bad in our area until the word has got out
all over the United States that the Hough area, particu-
larly 105th and Euclid Avenue to 79th and Euclid, is
where the action is. You can walk up and down the street
any time of the day or night and observe Cadillacs,
Lincolns and all fine cars from all parts of the country
driven by pimps who come into Cleveland to thrive on
prostitution because the word has gotten out all over the
United States that Cleveland is where the action is.48

Witnesses complained that the police tend to accept vice and crime as normal in slum areas. In Boston, Rev. William B. Dwyer, Vicar of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, said:

White hunters from other parts of Boston are constantly
coming into the South End to pick up girls and the police
are doing nothing about it. Drivers cruise up and down
the street, seeking out prostitutes. I don't know whether
it is by tacit agreement of the city fathers or what, but
anything goes in the South End. The South End Police
Protection Committee has filed with the Boston Police
over 300 car registrations [of such drivers], but we have
seen no noticeable improvement.“

Christopher Hayes, Chairman of the Boston South End Federation of Citizens Organizations, stated:

Police have isolated the South End as an area, giving it
only token protection. Prostitution, bookmaking and
after-hour places are all over and there is an excess of
liquor stores and a shortage of foot patrolmen to keep the
street safe. A hotel located near police headquarters, and
known throughout the city as a house of prostitution, was
closed by police after a Boston newspaper publicized it.
But it opened again after about two months and is now
back in business.50

Rev. Parks stated that there was no doubt in his mind that the police were aware of organized crime in Hough:

Our biggest crime rate is within two blocks of the Fifth

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District police station which is at 107th and Chester. There is no doubt in my mind that the police do know what is going on because I see them cruising up and down the street, calling the girls to the car, the girls leaning on the cars and talking to them and going right back on the street and continuing doing what they have been doing all along....In my opinion, the breeders of the crime in the Hough area is the white community which is paying for most of the crime committed in our area. You take prostitution-it leads to robbery. Robbery leads to murder. Witnesses also complained that police were slower in responding to calls in slum areas than they were in white areas. Police resources are not necessarily committed to particular areas in proportion to the crime rate. Commission attorneys examined 1965 police communications records in Cleveland to determine whether police officers responded to calls for assistance less rapidly in the predominantly Negro Hough district than in predominantly white districts.52 The study was concerned with the time lapse between receipt of a telephone call by the communications unit and the time a police car was dispatched to the scene. Significant disparities were found. A Commission staff attorney testified:

[T]here were 13 major categories of calls involving police
service. In two of these categories-forcible rape and hom-
icide-incidents did not occur in all of the districts studied.
In 10 of the 11 remaining categories, police response to
calls was slower in the fifth district [Hough] than in the
first and second districts. In none of the 11 categories was
the police response quickest in the fifth district. In one of
the categories-robbery the police took almost four times
as long to respond to calls in the fifth district as in the sec-
ond district where response was the next slowest. In two of
the categories—(1) burglary without larceny and house-
breaking without larceny, and (2) auto thefts-it took the
police more than twice as long to respond as in the district
with the next slowest response. In the category of arrest for
disorderly conduct, the police took almost twice as long
to respond as in the district with the next slowest


Mr. Thorington described the difficulties he experienced because of the lack of adequate police protection:

I have even been turned down by merchant salesmen that I

want to do business with... because the drivers refuse
to service in the area. There's one driver who services my
place [who] has been held up about three times. This boy is
afraid to come over there. We have so many instances like
....I don't know whose responsibility it is or whose
fault it is, but there is not sufficient police protection

In Boston, Rev. Virgil Wood, a resident of the city's Roxbury area, told of the difficulty one Negro family had in getting the police to respond to a call for assistance:

One family had called the police because of an incident in
the area. They waited 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes
and there was no response. Then someone was smart
enough to think of calling the police, saying “Get out here
quick, there is a Negro beating up a white man." The
police were there in two minutes.5


Alienation between citizens and the police is characteristic of slum communities, where police often are viewed with hate, fear and suspicion.56 A common belief in slum areas is that policemen regard their role as one of protecting the white population from the residents of the slum. Rev. Wood stated: "A zoo keeper attitude is maintained [by the police] toward the residents of the community." 57 Rev. Parks testified that the Cleveland Chief of Police, in opposing the abolition of capital punishment, had proclaimed publicly: "We need capital punishment in order to keep the Negro in line." 58

There also is a strong feeling in slum areas—and among middle-class Negroes as well-that the police do not treat Negroes as human beings entitled to respect and dignity." The complaints range from physical manhandling to verbal mistreatment. In Cleveland, several Negro witnesses gave accounts of rude and discourteous treatment by the police. James Malone, a Negro, who was Director of the Surgical Research Laboratories at Western Reserve University, testified that when a woman was injured in an automobile accident, he sought to enlist the aid of four policemen who were having coffee and watching television in a nearby hospital cafeteria. The police, he said, considered the request for assistance to be an imposition. He testified that although they reluctantly accompanied him:


two of them sort of escorted me outside by taking a hold of my arms. When we got into the corridor, I told them to let go of me and not to touch me unless they were going to arrest me. I said, "I am here to enlist your aid."


One of the policemen, Mr. Malone testified, shoved him around and called him "boy".1

Mrs. Margaret Weathers, a Negro employee of the Cleveland Division of Recreation whose many community activities included membership in a police-citizen community relations committee appointed by the Mayor, testified that in December 1964, while driving home with her four-year-old daughter on a rainy night, a police officer ticketed her for approaching too near a red traffic light. According to Mrs. Weathers, the officer told her: "You appear in court next Friday." Mrs. Weathers testified that when she told him she could not appear in court that day because she had to be out-of-town, the policeman

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.. took and kept my driver's license, he took my keys and he said, "You are under arrest, we are going to tow your car in, we are going to take your daughter and turn her over to police officials and you are under arrest. She testified further that she was detained for an hour, and that when the police wagon arrived on the scene there were seven policemen, including a sergeant; her daughter was crying, and Mrs. Weathers was very disturbed. Mrs. Weathers said the sergeant released her with the following comment:

You better be glad that your daughter is here and she is
disturbed and you are riding in on her coattail. That is
why we are releasing you.


Mrs. Weathers and Mr. Malone testified that they believed that the police would not have treated them as they did if they had been white. The police view matters differently. John Ronayne, a retired Inspector of the New York City Police Department who was retained by the Commission to study the Cleveland Police Department, testified that the police

feel that most of the complaints about civil rights
violations by the police are not justified. They have indi-
cated that they believe that most of them are politically
inspired, that they are used to unite the Negro commu-
nity for possible use in election campaigns.
feel that they are in the middle on this....


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In Cleveland, however, there was no effective channel for complaining about, and resolving the merits of alleged police mistreatment. The police department never had publicized any procedure for making complaints about police misconduct. Clarence Holmes, a Negro attorney in Cleveland, testified that a major issue in the Negro community

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