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Steve Thomas

"You're Not Under Arrest"

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This is just a little minor side note, but in all the accounts I've read of police officers at the Texas Theater, I can't remember ever reading one where a policeman ever told Oswald he was under arrest.

 

I mean, I know Oswald was led out in handcuffs, and he kept shouting, "I am not resisting arrest", but did anyone ever tell him that's what was going on?

I wonder who told him, and what the charge was. Sneaking into the Theater without paying? Carrying a concealed weapon? Creating a disturbance? Shooting a policeman?

Like I said, I've just never read anyone who said, "I told Oswald he was under arrest for..."

 

Steve Thomas

 

 

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That is a good question Steve, because at that time, what did they have on him?

The arrest probably occurred because of the alleged exchange of punches that took place.

Then once Oswald arrived at the station, someone asked Bentley about the guy who was missing from Truly's line up.  And that sealed the deal I guess.

Although how this constituted probable cause eludes me.  Although I don't think the concept existed back then.

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20 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

That is a good question Steve, because at that time, what did they have on him?

The arrest probably occurred because of the alleged exchange of punches that took place.

Then once Oswald arrived at the station, someone asked Bentley about the guy who was missing from Truly's line up.  And that sealed the deal I guess.

Although how this constituted probable cause eludes me.  Although I don't think the concept existed back then.

I don't want to sound like an idiot, but the concept of what? I was just wondering. I read your statement and then fell into a rather boring rabbit hole of reading court decisions regarding violations of the fourth amendment. Now my eyes hurt, I feel illiterate after reading lawyer speak, and I am more befuddled than when I started. 

-A long time ago, when I was in high school, I asked that same question about LHO ever being formally arrested. And if so, for what? 

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"Probable cause" is the legal doctrine which gives police the right to arrest and detain someone for suspicion of a crime.

In this case, it would have been interesting to see what that probable cause was. How could it have been for the murders of Tippit or Kennedy at that time?  I can only conclude it was because of the alleged throwing of punches. 

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24 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

"Probable cause" is the legal doctrine which gives police the right to arrest and detain someone for suspicion of a crime.

In this case, it would have been interesting to see what that probable cause was. How could it have been for the murders of Tippit or Kennedy at that time?  I can only conclude it was because of the alleged throwing of punches. 

Mr. BALL. Did you ask him if he shot Tippit? 
Mr. FRITZ. Oh, yes. 
Mr. BALL. What did he say. 
Mr. FRITZ. He denied it---that he did not. The only thing he said he had done wrong, "The only law I violated was in the show; I hit the officer in the show; he hit me in the eye and I guess I deserved it." He said, "That is the only law I violated." He said, "That is the only thing I have done wrong." 

 

McDonald makes a grab for the pistol. Oswald tries to stop him. I wonder who punched who first.

 

1 hour ago, Jeffrey Reilley said:

I don't want to sound like an idiot, but the concept of what? I was just wondering. I read your statement and then fell into a rather boring rabbit hole of reading court decisions regarding violations of the fourth amendment. Now my eyes hurt, I feel illiterate after reading lawyer speak, and I am more befuddled than when I started. 

-A long time ago, when I was in high school, I asked that same question about LHO ever being formally arrested. And if so, for what? 

Jeffrey,

 

Did you ever find an answer? I've been through all the after-action reports of the police who were there, and I've never read one who said to Oswald, "You're under arrest."

 

Steve Thomas

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Posted (edited)

No, I did not. I then never thought of it again until yesterday.

It does have me thinking though...

So a guy walks into a theater without paying soon after the President of the United States gets shot, and right after a fellow officer had been gunned down, and that was why Dallas police showed up in full force to the theater? Wow. Don't break laws in Dallas.

--I know what probable cause is. I was confused by the statement that the concept of probable cause wasn't around. I was reading plenty of cases where convictions were overturned based on lack of probable cause in the 40's. I get confused easily though. My bad. :)

Edited by Jeffrey Reilley

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33 minutes ago, Jeffrey Reilley said:

Jeffrey,

No, I did not. I then never thought of it again until yesterday.

It does have me thinking though...

So a guy walks into a theater without paying soon after the President of the United States gets shot, and right after a fellow officer had been gunned down, and that was why Dallas police showed up in full force to the theater? Wow. Don't break laws in Dallas.

--I know what probable cause is. I was confused by the statement that the concept of probable cause wasn't around. I was reading plenty of cases where convictions were overturned based on lack of probable cause in the 40's. I get confused easily though. My bad. :)

Jeffrey,

 

No, you're right on the money.

 

I think the point Jim was trying to make, is that there was a different brand of justice back in those days. He was saying that tongue in cheek.

 

Have you ever read about the Dallas police "shotgun squads", or the "hold for Decker" policies? They were different times back then.

 

The point I was trying to make originally though, is that I've read the accounts of police "subduing" Oswald, or as Cunningham put it, "disarming and handcuffing the suspect", but I've never read a report where a specific policeman wrote, "I told Oswald you are under arrest for... ". I just got curious and wondered why.

 

Steve Thomas

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Posted (edited)

Mr. HILL. No, sir; not as a distinguishable specific "This is it," no. As much confusion and all going on, I didn't distinguish that. Now if we can back up a little bit to where we made the, got him handcuffed in the theatre, before we started moving out with him, he started, Oswald or the suspect at this point, we didn't know who he was, so we will keep on calling him the suspect,

"... we made the..., got him handcuffed"   (edit: forgot to mention this sounds like he stops short of using the "arrest" word for some reason)

Interesting question Steve,

Do the police need to arrest a suspect to take them in?  Seems to me not... depending on which sentence you read:

I guess the "arrest" does not become official until the attached arrest report is filed? 

 

Does that look like the man that you arrested in the Texas Theatre that day? 
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir. 

 

Senator COOPER -Then, if he was the man identified to you, why did you stop and search these two men before you got to the man you later arrested? 
Mr. McDONALD - Well, I wanted to make sure he was right. 
Senator COOPER -Was it your purpose to search everybody in there? 
Mr. McDONALD - It was my intention everybody I came to. 
Senator COOPER -Were these the first two that you did search? 
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir; they were the closest ones to me. 
Senator COOPER -They were sitting in front of the man you later arrested? 
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir; they were sitting about 10 rows in front of him. 
Senator COOPER -At the time you were searching them, you could see the other man that you later arrested? 

 

"Arrested the defendant"

0814-002  Arresting Oswald - officers involved.gif

Officers involved in the arrest of Oswald at the theater.jpg

McDonald Arrest report - 140pm and this man killed JFK.gif

Edited by David Josephs

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39 minutes ago, David Josephs said:

 

Interesting question Steve,

Do the police need to arrest a suspect to take them in?  Seems to me not... depending on which sentence you read:

I guess the "arrest" does not become official until the attached arrest report is filed? 

 

David,

 

I was trying to imagine the chaotic scene. Carroll and Bentley and Hill and McDonald and Hawkins all piling on. FBI Agent Barrett said that at one point there were three or four policemen on Oswald's left pulling him in one direction, and three or four on his right pulling in the opposite direction. I guess there wasn't time at the moment. Maybe somebody said something to him in the car on the way downtown, but if so, nobody reported that, and as late as his first interrogation, Oswald was still asking what he was being held for. It's just the idea that a person could be jumped on, punched, thrown in a car and hauled halfway across town, and not told why. 

 

Steve Thomas

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He didn't pay for his ticket...  C'mon now Steve... B)

That and he was supposed to be in the Balcony...

Johnny and Butch went into the theater a few times and still did not spot him...  hmmm.

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On 3/14/2017 at 8:24 AM, James DiEugenio said:

"Probable cause" is the legal doctrine which gives police the right to arrest and detain someone for suspicion of a crime.

In this case, it would have been interesting to see what that probable cause was. How could it have been for the murders of Tippit or Kennedy at that time?  I can only conclude it was because of the alleged throwing of punches. 

Going from memory here, but under the doctrine of "probable cause," a policeman must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed by a particular person (or is being committed by that person) in order for the policeman to legally search that person and / or arrest him.

--  Tommy :sun

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Posted (edited)

Those are some good questions by Cooper.  Who was a lawyer I think.

 

Why did they search the first two if they had probable cause on Oswald?  And what was the probable cause for?  Seeing a movie without buying a ticket?

Edited by James DiEugenio

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12 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

David,

 

I was trying to imagine the chaotic scene. Carroll and Bentley and Hill and McDonald and Hawkins all piling on. 

Steve Thomas

Bob Carroll testified before the WC at 9:00 on April 3, 1964

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/carroll.htm

 

Mr. BALL. We had one witness testify yesterday that he saw a man with a shotgun strike Oswald in the back with the butt of the gun; did you see that?

Mr. CARROLL. No, sir; I didn't see that.

 

Ray Hawkins testified before the WC at 9:50 on April 3, 1964

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/hawkins.htm

 

Mr. BALL. A witness testified yesterday that while they were struggling with Oswald, a police officer took a gun and took it by the muzzle and struck Oswald in the back with the rifle butt; did you see anything like that?
Mr. HAWKINS. No; I did not. I couldn't say that it did not happen.

 

Thomas Hutson testified before the WC at 9:00 on April 3, 1964

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/hutson.htm

 

Mr. BELIN. When did the police stop hitting him?
Mr. HUTSON. I never did ever see them hit him.
Mr. BELIN. You never saw any police hit him?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I didn't.

 

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/mcdonald.htm

 

Mr. BALL - What did he say about police brutality?
Mr. McDONALD - One thing, "Don't hit me any more." I remember that.
Mr. BALL - Did somebody hit him?
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir; I guess they did.

 

(Hutson) Officer Hawkins and Walker and myself attempted to handcuff him.
At this time Sgt. Jerry Hill came up and assisted as we were handcuffing.
Then Captain Westbrook came in and gave the order to get him out of here as fast as you can and don't let anybody see him, and he was rushed out of the theatre.

Mr. BALL - When you saw Oswald, was he bloody any?
Mr. McDONALD - Afterwards?
Mr. BALL - Well, when he was being taken from the theatre. Was he bloody?
Mr. McDONALD - No, sir; I didn't see any blood.
Mr. BALL - You didn't?
Mr. McDONALD - Because whenever they took him, they took him directly out.

 

I think I understand now why Westbrook wanted to hustle Oswald out as quick as he could and not let anybody see him.

 

In a way, I'm sorry I started this thread because it caused me again to go over the testimony of M.N. McDonald. He was training a rookie that day named T.R. Gregory. A careful reading of McDonald's testimony and actions that day leads me to believe that he:

Walked off his post

Abandoned his partner

Endangered the lives of his fellow officers and innocent bystanders

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/mcdonald.htm

Mr. McDONALD - Well, after I left the car, my partner and I reported to a supervisor, and he directed us to patrol the crowd and move the crowd around Elm Street, and rope off the area.

And the next thing I heard was a voice over the radio that was not familiar to police procedure. He was saying that an officer had been shot, Mr. BALL - What did you do?


Mr. McDONALD - I told my partner we were not doing much good here, to go to Oak Cliff, and see if we could help out over there, try to apprehend the person that shot Tippit.

 

Mr. BALL - How did you happen to go to the 400 block on Jefferson?
Mr. McDONALD - I was stopped by other officers there. They wanted to search a house.
So I relieved my partner to go to help the supervisors search this house, in the 400 block of East Jefferson. Then I went around to the alleys, and started cruising the alley in my squad car.

 

Mr. McDONALD - After I was satisfied that this teenager that had run into the library didn't fit the description, I went back to my squad car, put my shotgun back in the rack. Just as I got into the squad car, it was reported that a suspect was seen running into the Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson.
So I reported to that location Code 3. This is approximately seven blocks from the library, seven blocks west.


Mr. BALL - Did you go down there with your partner?
Mr. McDONALD - No, sir; I had let my partner out on arrival; my first arrival in the 400 block.
Mr. BALL - He was on foot?
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir; I didn't see him any more that day.

 

When I got to these two men, I told them to get on their feet. They got up. I searched them for a weapon.
I looked over my shoulder and the suspect that had been pointed out to me. He remained seated without moving, just looking at me.

 

Mr. BALL - Why did you frisk these two men in the center of the theater?
Mr. McDONALD - I wanted to make sure that I didn't pass anything or miss anybody. I wanted to make sure I didn't overlook anybody or anything.
Mr. BALL - And you still kept your eye on the suspect?
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir. He was to my back. I was looking over my shoulder at him.

 

My comment: (So, you're frisking these two men while looking over your shoulder at somebody who is to your back?)

 

Mr. McDONALD - Well, after seeing him, I noticed the other people in the theater--there was approximately 10 or 15 other people seated throughout the theater.

Mr. BALL - Were the lights on or off?
Mr. McDONALD - The lights were up, and the movie was playing at this time.

Mr. BALL - And could you see to the rear of the theater?
Mr. McDONALD - Yes, sir.

 

(Hutson) When I walked in, I noticed there were seven people I observed sitting on the lower floor.
Mr. BELIN. Did you count them?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir; I counted them.

Mr. HUTSON. The lights were down. The lights were on in the theatre, but it was dark.
Mr. BELIN. All right.

Mr. HUTSON. Visibility was poor.


(McDonald) And just as I got to the row where the suspect was sitting, I stopped abruptly, and turned in and told him to get on his feet. He rose immediately, bringing up both hands. He got this hand about shoulder high, his left hand shoulder high, and he got his right hand about breast high. He said, "Well, it is all over now."
As he said this, I put my left hand on his waist and then his hand went to the waist.


DPD Archives Box 5, Folder# 2, Item# 79

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box5.htm

McDonald tells Oswald to stand up and then makes a grab for the pistol that was “stuck in his belt, under his shirt.”

McDonald and Oswald begin struggling over the pistol, the pistol comes out and they are both fighting over it. The pistol is waving around.

My comment: When confronted with a suspect who has to be considered armed and dangerous, instead of telling Oswald to "Freeze", he makes a grab for the gun.


Mr. BELIN. Was it aiming at anyone in particular?
Mr. HUTSON. No; not any officer in particular. The only one that could have came in the line of fire was Officer Ray Hawkins, who was walking up in the row of seats in front.

 

McDonald should have been fired.

 

Steve Thomas

 

 

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Posted (edited)

And Westbrook should have been talking to Tippit's widow asap - he was in charge of personnel! and yet she learns about it from the news...

WESTBROOK is without a doubt one of the key figures in Dallas helping to incriminate Oswald...

My article on the pistol and the fact there were two different chains of custody described, involves Westbrook up to his neck.

Reminds me of another patrolman with his own thoughts, as well as disobeying a direct order from the Chief of Police...

Mr. BAKER - I heard Chief Curry, the chief of the police over there, say, "Get some men over on the railroad track." I think everyone at that time thought these shots came from the railroad track.
Mr. BELIN - By "everyone" do you include you, too?
Mr. BAKER - No, Sir. I had it-- I was in a better position due to the wind and you know under it, that I knew it was directly ahead, and up, and it either had to be this building here or this one over here.
Mr. BELIN - You are pointing to either the first building, you are pointing to the School Book Depository Building, and the second one you are pointing to is the one across the street. When you heard this announcement on your radio was it while you were parking your motorcycle?

Mr. BAKER - Yes, sir.

"No Sir, I had..."  what?

Edited by David Josephs

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