Interview with Colonel Howard Becker

So it's night time and you're on 12th Street, what's happening?


Well, the night time on 12th Street ah, was probably the most ah, unnerving, at least the first ah, two or three nights, and that is that you had to swerve in and out of burning cars and ah, and ah, debris that was laying into, in the roadway. Ah, there were no other vehicles on the road other than the, the police or the ah, military. Ah, however, those first couple of nights, you never knew when somebody might throw a, a fire bomb at you or somebody shoot at you, so there was a lot of ah, precautionary measures taken ah, to prevent the possibilities of, of being shot at. The other thing is, we tried to ah, work our way ah, past the ah, burning buildings ah, allowing ourselves plenty of space and then to provide ah, for the fire department, the maximum amount of security and, and ah, safely ah, ah, protect them so that they could continue to put the fires out. Many of the residents in that area basically came running to us to tell us about situations or where gatherings of people were, or where ah, potentially a ah, sniper had been sighted ah, previous to our arrival and ah, and then we would go in and, and follow up on those actions.