Sherman railed into McPherson from Sedgwick, 125 miles due west, on the following day, "Indian promises aren't worth a damn," he growled to Custer. "The redman must be taught a last lesson. All who refuse to obey the whiteman's law must be killed." Observing Custer's frown, Sherman waxed philosophical: "It's an inevitable conflict of races, one that must occur when a stronger is gradually replacing a weaker."
Sherman's verbal orders to Custer peremptory: "I want you to clean out that Augean stable of hostilities along the Republican River. Capture or kill all you can. Written instructions will follow."
|Never mind what happens to the city: black political rule means neutering the police force because it targets black criminals for justice.|
In 1974, Atlanta experienced 5,768 serious crimes for each 100,000 residents, one of the highest rates in the nation. And an Atlanta Regional Commission report showed that nearly half of the city’s crime went unreported. In Atlanta’s more violent crimes, blacks were both perpetrators and victims.In all of the major categories of crime- murder, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary – blacks were arrested two to three times more often than whites. (p. 153)
Next to assuring the financial well-being of the city, Young’s most important responsibilities during his two terms in office were in the area of public safety. And in this area, by his own admission, his record was not enviable. Like most large major urban areas in the 1980s, Atlanta was plagued with serious problems of crime against person and property. But Atlanta managed to remain at or near the top of all major American cities, particularly in violent crime. Incidence of forcible rape in the city averaged 157 per 100,000 population per year, five times the national average. Aggravated assault averaged 1,573 per 100,000 population; robbery 1,099 per 100,000; and murder 8 per 100,000.Getting tough on crime had previously been an issue that divided man Atlantans along racial lines. Frequently whites, both residents and suburbanites, accused both black administrations, Young’s as well as Jackson’s, of being “soft on crime.” Their perception of unsafe streets in downtown Atlanta is what caused many of them not visit the area for shopping, dining, or recreation, they contended. But many blacks, including city officials, countered that the problem of violent crime in downtown Atlanta, except for occasional well-publicized occurrence, was, in fact, only a perception. The real crime problem in Atlanta, they said, was in the poorer neighborhoods of the city, particularly the public housing projects. But black attitudes on controlling this crime were often affected by the city’s long history of police abuse of black citizens. (p.186-187)
The black population welled up over the majority mark at just about the same time in both places. By the early seventies in Atlanta, gangs were a much-discussed problem, and the neighborhoods tipping one after the other from white to black learned to brace themselves for the inevitable shoplifting and muggers. The continuing influx of out-of-town white professionals made it hard track the extent of middle-class white flight, but already by the start of the seventies, there was no mistaking the general population trend or its likely impact on the tax base. (p.366)
One of the biggest fights was over police reform. Like Coleman Young in Detroit, Jackson was determined to overhaul what he saw as a racist force, no matter what the consequences for the city. He bgan by firing the existing chief, but the man resisted in court, and Jackson trumped him by creating a position above his – a job he filled with a black man with no police experience, who happened to be an old college roommate. The new police chief, Reginald Eaves, was then in and out of the news for several years in connection with on scandal or another… eventually Jackson was forced to get rid of Eaves, but not before the mayor had convinced the Peachtree crowd that he was more concerned with curbing the police than pursuing criminals. “No more ‘police brutality’ has come to mean no more pushing around of blacks,” said downtown developer and longtime liberal John Portman. “The word is out that Atlanta is soft on crime.”“You can call down to the police station and you can say two black fellows just robbed me, “another white merchant complained, “and it’ll be fifteen minutes before it gets on the radio – to give them time to get away.” Within a few years, the growing lawlessness forced Jackson to crack down, significantly increasing the size of the police department. But by then it was too late; as in Detroit, the crime rate in Atlanta was out of sight – by the end of decade, the worst in the country. (p. 368)