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Federal Judge to FBI: Stop Harassing Giancana

July 16, 1963 - A federal judge today ordered the FBI to scale back its intensive shadowing of Sam Giancana (pictured in 1959), Chicago’s reputed crime syndicate czar. The judge also cited the city’s top FBI agent for contempt of court. U.S. District Judge Richard B. Austin issued an injunction prohibiting the FBI from stationing more than one car of agents near the $45,000 home of Giancana. He ordered the car to remain a block away. The government said it would appeal the order. Judge Austin was acting on a civil rights suit naming Marlin W. Johnson, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office, and FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover. The judge cited Johnson for contempt for refusing to answer questions in court. Giancana, 55, who reportedly took control of the late Al Capone’s hoodlum empire when Tony (Joe Batters) Accardo retired to elder statesman status in 1957, charged that FBI agents were following him everywhere and had urged him to leave the country. Giancana sat expressionless when Judge Austin began reading his verdict. But his face brightened into a smile as the judge tongue-lashed the FBI for its “harassment” and “rough shadowing” techniques. Giancana and several of his relatives and associates testified that FBI agents followed Giancana to the golf course, nightclubs, churches, cemeteries, and the homes of relatives and neighbors. “This conduct,” said Judge Austin, “if it were by a private citizen, would be actionable in court.”

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