Interview with Jerris Leonard
QUESTION 22
LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, y- your perception of the Chicago police coming into Chicago to the Grand Jury.

JERRIS LEONARD:

My view of the Chicago Police Department in 1969 as I observed them during the course of the Grand Jury investigation was that this was a huge department which had excellent street skills. If you were ever in a street fight, you would sure want them on your side, but that they lacked, at that time, the kind of training and skills that are needed to have a certain sensitivity that, in spite of the fact in this country that we insist that the law be enforced, there is another law called the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution, and that you, that a police officer has no right to summarily punish a citizen. That's up to judges and juries and, ah, I, I think the department in Chicago at that time lacked those skills, the skills necessary to deal with the radicals, and even radicals have constitutional rights. Our Constitution gives very broad rights to people to, to, ah, ah, expound their point of view. It also says that you're not guilty 'til you're convicted by a judge or a jury, and every police officer in this country has to know that, and I think today, by and large, because of the kinds of things that happened in the Chicago grand- Chicago blan- Black Panther situation, I think police officers are much better trained, including the Chi- I know the Chicago Police Department is better trained today because one of my former assistants is the deputy chief for training there.

LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, thank you