1968 December 1

Walker Report Finds “Police Riot” at Democratic Party Convention

 

The special commission appointed to investigate the protests at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention (see August 28, 1968), known as the Walker Report, issued its official report on this day. The report characterized the violent events as a “police riot” directed at protesters.

The government indicted the alleged leaders of the demonstrations for violating the new anti-riot act (passed April 11, 1968), which made it a crime to cross state lines to organize violence. The defendants became known as the Chicago 8 (then the Chicago 7 when Black Panther Bobby Seale’s case was severed from the others). After a tumultuous trial, which began on September 24, 1969, they were convicted on February 18, 1970; their convictions were overturned on appeal.

The Walker Report: “The nature of the [police response] response was unrestrained and indiscriminate police violence on many occasions, particularly at night. That violence was made all the more shocking by the fact that it was often inflicted upon persons who had broken no law, disobeyed no order, made no threat. These included peaceful demonstrators, onlookers, and large numbers of residents who were simply passing through, or happened to live in, the areas where confrontations were occurring.”

Read: Daniel Walker, Rights in Conflict: The Walker Report (1968)

Read a summary of the reporthttp://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_chicago7_doc_13.html

Learn more about the protests and the Democratic Party Convention: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/protests-at-democratic-national-convention-in-chicago

Watch a video of the Chicago demonstrations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnqMTcdbGpg

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