Interview with George Romney

Okay. So if you could just tell me again, why, why was it so important that the Federal troops come in, and come in sooner, and, and what was the hold-up in Washington?


It was important for the Federal troops to come in earlier, because we didn't have any assurance that we could handle the situation. And furthermore, they were experienced in handling riots, and problems of the character we were dealing with. And, uh, they didn't come in earlier, in my opinion, because they adopted a process in relationship to Detroit that they hadn't, uh, followed in connection with other riots. As a matter of fact, in the case of the Newark Riot. The President himself called Governor Hughes and offered the Federal troops. Ah, but in my, in my case, even, even though the Attorney General had promised that we would get them, then they went through this long process of, uh, wanting a written statement in a certain form. And then even after Vance got in, they didn't put the troops on the streets. And, and then, in, at night, when it was clear that the, the situation was getting worse again, they went through, he went through the same process that I'd been through in the morning. So it was clear that they were treating the situation d--differently than they had treated the, uh, Newark situation. It's also interesting that a year or so after the Detroit Riot they established a process that should be followed, and the process was that if a governor requested Federal troops he'd get them.