A.C.L.U. debate


I had moved to Houston, in the mid-70s. I held two jobs. 1979′ An aquaitance was moving back to New York, after Law School in Houston. Friends wanted me to join his going away party. Since I didn’t get off work until after mid-night, I would join them at the designated stripjoint, after I got somethingto eat. I had time for one drink, which I used to give a toast to our soon to depart friend. We left as a groupe and were interupted by the HPD, as we crossed the street. One of the policemen said,”Please stay there Mr. Zuconi ! You (pointing at me) come here !” Out of the gathering crowd a towtruck driver shouted,”That’s the one, that’s the bastard !” Shoved past the crowd and tackeled me. At this, I was quite confused and pushed the asailent off me. The police grabbed my shirt, hit me with billyclubs, handcuff me and dragged me into their car befor I could get to my feet. In the car when I tried to ask what this was about, they told me to shut up and used vile insults. At the police station parking lot, I was pulled out of the car by my hair, knocked off my feet and given a swift kick in the ribs. Then they just walked away from me. Alarmed and not wanting to give them any excuse for further violence, I quickly got to my feet and followed them into the station. I was temporarily put in the drunk tank with several others, but soon taken to a large isolated cell. At this cell I was handcuffed again, beaten with billy clubs and kicked several times. One of the policemen hit me with his pistol, and pushed the end of the barrel into my nostrel then my mouth. They shouted at me several times, “Where’s your gun?” and “Just tell us where your gun is and we’ll leave you alone!” I strongly believe in the 2nd Ammendment to the Bill of Rights, but have NEVER owned a gun!They started a new tactic, they picked me up by my ankels and dropped me on my head repeatedly. Amongst their questioning and insults I heard harty laughter. The laughing was the scariest part, as it suggested to me a vulgure loss of control on their part. I passed out and came to several times befor waking up in a car, vomiting and having fouled my pants. The older slender officer over the the top of me I believe had just given me CPR, en-route to a hospital emergency room. At the hospital the first words I recall still ring in my ears. It was the voice of a black hospital attendent, “No way,did he commit suicide, no way mother f……, not unless he tied his feet to a flagpole and bounced on his head for awhile !!” At the hospital, a tube had been shoved down my nose. They removed this then put into a dark secured room. I don’t know how long I was at the hospital, but I was removed and taken to court by a police escourt. When the judge called my name, he announced to the court all charges against me had been dropped. I asked,”Your Honore, why was I beat to death?” Judge shouted, “Baliff, escourt this man out of here!” In the court hallway a pair of friends were armed and in their security uniforms. They told me to be quiet and hurried me to a waiting car. On the way to my apartment we drove by his-Spanic demonstrators. A his-Spanic man, had been cuffed, beatened and drowned by HPD the same night they took me. One of them showed me a piture that looked alot like me and explained is was Zuconi’s bodygaurd. They told me he was the grandson of a deposed Godfather, in New York! *I went to the office of ACLU, in Houston! While being interveiwed, he said,”Well your obviousely not black, are you Jewish?” No.” “Are you a communist?” “No!” “Are you a homo-sexual?” “Hell, no !” “Then we can’t help you !” A few days later I was stopped on the street by a pair of police. “We know who you are, we know where you work and live ! All Texas, police stations are conected by computer and if your ever picked up by the police in Texas again, you won’t be as lucky as you were last time.” I left, Texas ! Signed, R.C.Henderson

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