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Violent Crime Rising in NYC

June 1, 1964 - New York City officials were assailed today by a swelling clamor for an end to terror in the subways.

Demands for more subway police and for two-way radios on all trains were pressed after a weekend of terrorist incidents in which Negro teenage groups attacked white on subways with knives, bottles, fists, and a meat cleaver.

In another development, the police said that a Negro was being sought in the rape-murder of Miss Charlotte Lipsik, who was found fatally stabbed Saturday in the elevator of her apartment house in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

Put on the defensive by angry public reaction to the subway terrorism, civil rights leaders declared that the incidents were the inevitable actions of a depressed element of society that had long been denied employment, proper education, and decent housing.

The Transit Authority said that a 20% increase in its police force approved by Mayor Wagner last March was being implemented, but that the new men — 141 patrolmen and five sergeants — would not join the force until late October.

And a radio system also is due for a tryout, the authority said. Bids for equipment to be installed on the IRT Lexington Avenue line between Bowling Green and 125th Street will be opened June 19.

But here again, the promised weapon of deterrence will not come until after the end of the “long, hot summer of racial discontent” predicted by civil rights leaders. It will take six months to equip transit authority patrolmen with walkie-talkies. It will take four months more to install transmitters in the motormen’s cabs and the antenna that must be laid the length of the subway tunnel to pick up the motormen’s warnings of trouble.

Police Commissioner Michael Murphy was told by leaders of the Hasidic Jewish community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that they would continue their civilian patrol until more police were sent to the area. Crown Heights adjoins the Bedford Stuyvesant Negro ghetto. Of the 12 youths arrested for malicious mischief, burglary, and assault in robbery in connection with the subway incidents, 10 were from the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Manhattan Borough President Edward Dudley, a Negro, called for more police and said: “Every decent element in the city regards recent tragic episodes of lawlessness with shock and dismay.”

District Attorney Edward Silver ordered a full investigation of the violence in Brooklyn subways, stating: “A stop must be put to these riots before a real tragedy occurs.”

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old Southern Negro credited with aiding a white youth injured in one of the subway incidents said he was “scared for my life up here in New York. “He told the victim’s brother he felt “safer in Mississippi.”

The Negro, identified by the police only as Larry, lives in the Bronx. He helped Howard Weiner, 16, of 1812 East Fourth Street, Brooklyn, by yelling, “Beat it, the cops are coming,” when the police were nowhere near. The hoodlums ran off.

Young Weiner had been robbed and beaten unconscious on an IND train coming from Coney Island. Larry later helped to identify some of the hoodlums.

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