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City Maps Drive on Hate Gangs

June 2, 1964 - New York City Mayor Robert Wagner, in response to angry demands for greater security against crime and racial violence, took steps today to build up police strength on streets and in subways.

He ordered overtime duty for city police and Transit Authority police. This will make available an extra 700 foot patrolmen from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., the period in which most crimes are committed.

“I am determined to see that we are going to have law and order in this city of ours,” Mayor Wagner declared after an emergency conference with Police Commission Michael Murphy and Joseph O’Grady, chairman of the Transit Authority.

In other moves to deter teenage hooliganism of the kind that terrorized subway riders last weekend, the Mayor:

— Ordered all 20,000 patrolmen to wear their uniforms to and from work.

— Told the Transit Authority to cut through red tape and put 141 rookie patrolmen and five new sergeants on duty in the first week of July instead of next October.

— Ordered a speedup on the installation of an experimental two-way radio communications system for subway trains.

Mayor Wagner admitted concern over the anti-white rampages of teenage Negro gangs in the subways, but he added: “There are other gangs in the city besides Negro and Puerto Rican. There are white gangs.”

Civil rights leaders, fearful of a lasting setback as a result of the weekend disorders, asked whites to understand the frustration of Negroes.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said such incidents of “antisocial behavior” would continue “as long as you have the problems of urban dislocation growing out of poverty.”

In a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he was on a speaking tour, Dr. King said the subway violence was caused by “individuals who are victims of chronic poverty and economic insecurity.”


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