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Civil rights violations charged

In this original article published March 20, 1969 in the Sun-Times, eight civilians are charged with conspiring to incite acts of violence at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

Anti-draft protesters outside Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 S. State St.
Anti-draft protesters outside Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 S. State St.
From the Sun-Times archives

Eight policemen and eight civilians were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury investigating disorders during the Democratic National Convention.

Five of the eight civilians were the chief organizers of the convention-week demonstrations.

A ninth civilian, Mrs. Enid Roth, 38, an employee of the National Broadcasting Co., was indicted on two counts of electronic eavesdropping.

All of the civilians, except Miss Roth, were charged with conspiring to use Interstate commerce with the intent to incite acts of violence.

The indictments were announced simultaneously in Chicago and in Washington.

The policemen indicted were Lt. Carl Dobrich, 39, Sgt. George Jurich, and Patrolmen Arthur R. Bischoff, Thomas Michael Mayer, Vincent J. D’Amico, Edward M. Becht, Thomas Michael Flemming and Ramon C. Andersen.

Dobrich was charged with two counts of perjury and the other policemen were charged with violations of the 1866 Civil Rights Act.

The indictment naming the policemen specifically charged Sgt. Jurich and D’Amico and Becht “did willingly strike and beat and assault” John Linstead, A Daily News reporter in violation of his civil rights last Aug. 27.

Others indicted were:

David Dellinger, 53, of Brooklyn, N.Y., national chairman of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam;

Rennie Davis, 28, project coordinator of the National Mobilization Committee’s Chicago project during the convention;

Thomas E. Hayden, 29, of New York City, also a project coordinator with Davis here.

Abbie Hoffman, 32, of New York City, a leader of the Youth International Party (Yippies).

Jerry Rubin, 30, of New York City, another Yippie leader.

Lee Weiner, 29, of Chicago, one of the chief marshals of the NMC.

John R. Fronies, 29, of Eugene Ore, another NMC marshal.

Bobby G. Seale, 32, of Oakland, Calif., an officer of the Black Panther Party.

Mrs. Roth was accused of taking park in an incident in which microphones were found placed in closed meetings of convention platform committees Aug. 25 and 26 in two rooms of the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel.

Robert Lamping, the grand jury foreman, said the jury will reconvene in the immediate future. This appeared to indicate that the jury has not completed its work.

Conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and 5 years in prison. Mrs. Roth, if found guilty of both counts, could be fined up to $20,000 and sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

Lt. Dobrich could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $4,000. The other policemen could be sentenced up to one year in prison and fined $1,000 each.

During convention week, The Daily News ran a dramatic picture of Lt. Dobrich spraying a disabling chemical on Daily News photographer Paul Sequeira.

Sequeira suffered a broken wrist during a disorder the same night.

Dobrich was charged with giving false testimony when he denied he pushed or hit anyone with a baton last Aug. 26 near the General Logan statue in Grant Park, across Michigan Av. from the Conrad Hilton Hotel.

The second count accused him of perjuring himself when he said he didn’t strike a demonstrator near Michigan and Balbo Aug. 28.