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November 06, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-11-06

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e 3ir4igan Daily
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edifed and managed by students at the University of Michigan

in the mother country
University gossip: See how they run
marlin hir*sehmt

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in oll reprints.



GM and highway, safety

PERHAPS WITH an eye toward a possible
confrontation at this month's Regents
meeting, University officials are moving
along with detailed plans for the evacu-
ation of the entire administration from
the Administration Bldg. in the event of a
The key man in planning the operation
is James Brinkerhoff, associate vice presi-
dent for business operations, who, with
marked frequency over the past few weeks,
has been responding to rumors of im-
minent radical invasions by ordering main-
tenance personnel to lock the inside stair-
well doors in the Ad. Bldg.
Tentative plans for the evacuation of
administration personnel reportedly in-
clude relocating the various offices at a
number of locations in the campus area,

FOR THE LAST few years, automobile
manufacturers have consistently an-
nounced defects' and recalled vehicles
when the federal government asked them
to do so.
However this attitude has begun to
change. General Motors has filed a suit
in Wilmington, Del. to overturn a ruling
by the Department of Transportation
that 200,000 trucks GM produced between
1960 and 1965 have defective wheels. This
marks the first time an auto -manufac-
turer has decided to go to court to fight
the government's decision on safety.
Actually the current area of dispute is
far from new. In 1968, Ralph Nader raised
the issue and the National Highway Safer
ty Bureau in the Department of Trans-
portation began an investigation.
Gradually, the corporation began to
admit there were some problems with the
trucks. In the spring of 1969, GM would
not concede a defect existed, but warned
owners that the wheels might collapse
and fly apart if overloaded. In October,'
the government and GM reached a com-
promise that the manufacturer would re-
place the wheels on, 50,000 equipped with
heavy bodies, but insisted the other 150,-
000 vehicles were safe. So far only 11,600
trucks have had their wheels replaced.
MEANWHILE Ralph Nader kept push-
ing for a complete change. Last
March he was involved in a suit asking a
federal court in Washington, D.C. which
asked the Transportation Department to
declare the trucks "inherently defective."
When the court ordered the government
to complete an investigation of the wheels
'in June, the Transportation Department
r ev e r s e dits agreement with General
Motors and termed the wheels unsafe.
Now the government has formally de-
manded that the corporation tell its cus-
tomers the wheels are unsafe.
In opposing this action, General Motors
has' argued that the Transportation De-
partment reopened the case, after it was'
settled once,. without additional informa-
tion. Also the company has claimed that
owners who have experienced wheel fail-
ures have violated instructions in the
owner's manual by putting excessive loads
on the tires.

Probably the most significant impact
on the GM action is that it indicates a
rising resistance to federal orders per-
taining to safety and pollution. If the
federal government must continually take
these orders to court to force compliance,
the announcements of defects may be
delayed so much they will become next to
meaningless. Meanwhile the public will
be exposed to hazardous vehicles for ad-
ditional months, perhaps years, as cases
drag through federal courts. This is hard-
ly a situation that improves highway
ANOTHER disturbing part of the con-
troversy is why the Department of
Transportation made a compromise with
General Motors in October 1969 that it
was forced to rescind in June 1970. The
fact that the Department's National
Highway Safety Bureau failed to com-
plete the investigation in October 1969
shows a limited concern about insuring
the safety of vehicles.
General Motors bases part of its oppo-
sition to the government's action on the
fact that only a "limited" number of
owners have experienced problems with
the wheels. However GM only knows about
those owners who have complained to
the manufacturer. There is no way of
finding out how many owners have had
problems but not reported them.
ALL OF THESE problems add up to the
promulgation of "let the buyer be-
ware" consciousness by the auto industry.
Purchasers of motor vehicles cannot be
sure that manufacturers are greatly con-
cerned about their safety. Even worse,
buyers cannot count on government regu-
lations to adequately protect them from
Ultimately the only solution to the cur-
rent situation lies' in building safer ve-
hicles. Recalls often come several months
or years after production and have only a
limited effect. Of the 50,000 trucks on
which GM agreed to fix wheels, only
11,600 have been repaired. If cars and
trucks were made p r o p e r 1 y at first,
the consumer could avoid learning of the
defects of his car when it crashed on the

with the likelihood that one of the higher
ranking offices will draw a berth in realty
czar John Stegeman's plush new Campus
Inn Hotel. At one point, sources say, eva-
cuation planners were considering moving
key offices to University Hospital, because
it is "the last place students would take-
Those working with Brinkerhoff on the
emergency plans include Director of Uni-
versity Relations Jack Hamilton and for-
mer State Police Col. Fredrick Davids who
was hired as University safety Director
when he retired last month and whose
precise role here has been allowed to re-
main suspiciously ill-defined.
* * *
ONE OCCASIONAL student thinks he
has the reason why the campus has been
so quiet this fall: The administration, he
says, is putting something in the water.
The real answer is undoubtedly a bit
more complex, but it may well have some-
thing to do with drugs.
Ann Arbor Police Dt. Lt. Gene Stauden-'
maier, a long-time paid observer of the
campus political scene, just smiled a few
weeks ago when I asked him why the force
hasn't done something about the tons of
marijuana and hallucinogenics in town.
He noted lamely that the police dio make
a few dope raids now and then, but Ad-
mitted that the local campaign against
marijuana has been less than zealous. And
Staudenmaier agreed that students were
probably smoking more and demonstrating
* * *
HEADS ARE ABOUT to roll in the Of-
fice of Student Services, as the new stu-
dent- dominated policy board for the of-
fice clicks into full gear this month..
First on the chopping block will be
Joh'n Feldkamp, who worked his way from
Student Government Council president to
director of University housing. Since he
took the directorship, Feldkamp has been

a frequent object of student ire, especially
for the conservative stand he took on
eliminating in loco parentis dormitory reg-
ulations three years ago and for the mas-
sive oversubscription to the residence halls
that forced scores of freshmen to spend
fall 1969 in reconverted dining rooms.
Another likely purge victim is Director
of Student Community Relations William
Stuede, a long-time conservative on stu-
dent power questions. There is speculation
that he will be picked up by Vice President
for University Relations and Development
Michael Radock to help sell the University
to the public.
Also on the way out is International Cen-
ter Director Robert Klinger, whose pop-
ularity among international students re-
portedly parallels that of Nguyen Kao Ky
among the people of Vietnam.
* * *
quiring retirement of University officers
at age 65, the betting has it that Vice
President for Research A. Geoffrey Nor-
man will be around well past his 65th
birthday this Nov. 26.
Actually, the regental requirement is
not as rigid as it looks on paper. At his
first Regents meeting in January 1968,
President Robben Fleming had the board
lower the mandatory retirement age from
70 to 65, thus forcing two vice presidents,
Marvin Niehuss and William Stirton, to
retire. If Fleming and the Regents now
want to keep Norfman on, they can reverse
the process easily enough.
* * *
military through the three ROTC pro-
grams on campus is bad enough, but the
University is even nurturing the officer's
of some of the governments this country
Under the Military Assistance Program
(MAP), the University is presently enrol-
ling five foreign military officers-three



John Feldkamp

from Turkey and two from South Korea-
in graduate level programs (for example,
naval architecture). This purpose of MAP
is to improve the sophistication of the
military in countries allied with the United
While MAP students do not receive act-
ual military training at the University,
they remain commissioned officers in their
home armies, and ROTC officers- here are
charged with keeping an eyes on them.
"Our involvement with them, one ROTC
officer said recently, "is only administra-
All MAP represents, of course, is an-
other example of the University allowing
itself to be bought by the Pentagon, which
subsidizes the program.
So it goes.


Geoffrey Norman

Letters: Defending placement services

OSS board
To the Daily:
the University of Michigan's
Placement Services has set the
pace nationally in fighting the
many forms of discrimination,
both subtle and overt, that pre-
vent large segments of our pop-
ulation from "getting a piece of
the action" in achieving careers
of their choice. I am most hap-
py that we have a new Vice
President for Student Services
in Professor Robert L. Knauss,
who shares these concerns with
I am especially pleased that
the OSSPB has been established
as an effective mechanism to
make broad policies for the OSS
so that we may better serve the
students and alumni of this uni-

Placement Services is a stu-
dent and alumni oriented ser-
vice specifically charged w i t h
helping candidates identify in-
dividual career aspirations and
chart plans for reaching them
as they exit from the Univer-
sity. One of the major objectives
has been to maximize the op-
tions for employment open to
University of Michigan gradu-
The action of the OOSPB on
October 26 appropriately recog-
nizes the role of the University
as a moral force speaking out
against the injustices and in-
equities t h a t beset society in
general. It is possible, if n o t
probable, that in so doing the
rights of certain individuals to
interview employers of their,
choice, may be abridged or
made more difficult. This I de-

plore because of the profound
respect I have for the capabili-
ties of our graduates to make
intelligent, informed choices on
their own.
The staff of Placement Ser-
vices looks forward, with pleas-
ure, to working with the new
Vice President and his policy
board in the interpretation and
implementation of these policies
as well as helping the entire
university community under-
stand its far-reaching implica-
tions to graduating seniors and
alumni. We anticipate m a n y
difficult, but not impossible,
problems in developing safe-
guards to the civil rights of in-
dividual students whiletguaran-
teeing "due process" to every-
one affected.
-Evart W, Ardis, Director
Placement Services

To the Daily:
THE SCANTY article on macro-
biotics by John Samraj in the Oct.
28 Daily is severely undernourish-
ed. A macrobiotic diet varies ac-
cording to an individual's environ-
ment (changing with the weath-
er), activities, and physical condi-
tion. A macrobiotic diet for Es-
kimos could consist totally of meat
and fish, while a, person who has
taken a good amount of drugs
(psychedelic and allopathic) must
eat quite widely, i.e. a wide var-
iety of food types, to nourish his
or her body.
For those totally beguiled by the
"knowledge" of Western 'medicine,
it is even possible to construct a
relatively macrobiotic diet which
would meet the condescending ap-
proval of a modern day shaman

and at least avoid continuing as an
experimental guinea pig for the
chemical fantasies of preserva-
tives and flavorings called food.
Some preservatives double as lice-
killers on constituents of rubber
cement, as William Longgood em-
phasizes in The Poisons in Your
The frequent claim that one is
doing fine eating the usual crap
is true for some, but in most cases
appears to the macrobiotic like
a Nixonian claim that our coun-
tr3y is great just as it is - there
is no dream, no concept of a pos-
sibility of improvement. Head-
aches, colds, and fatigue are ac-
cepted as natural because "they
have always been there," just like
poverty and insanity.
-Fargo Berman, '71
Oct. 28

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Daily Guest Writer
APPRECIATE this opportunity to rebut the lead
article (Daily, Oct. 31) which was deliberately
edited to discredit me and to create the false im-
pression that I believe flying bricks excuse illegal
police violence.
Last March during the BAM strike there was a
police-student confrontation near the new Ad-
ministration Building. City Council received com-
plaints about some aspects of police conduct there.
The Mayor Pro Tem, who was conducting the council
meting, ordered an investigation by the 3-man com-
mittee, which was the usual investigating agency
then, the Grievance Office post not yet being in'
existence. The 3-man committee reported to Council
in late August, being unanimous in its criticism of the
Police Department for imposing only a written repri-
mand on a certain officer and being divided as to
whether race played a role in deciding which law
violators would be arrested. The Daily never pub-
lished the majority and minority reports.
As soon as the reports of the 3-man committee
came- to Council I ordered the newly-appointed
Grievance Officer to re-investigate the race question
and I ordered the City Administrator, Guy Larcom,
to deal with three aspects of the matter in which the
were addtional facts not contained in the report
specific officer was reprimanded: (1) unless there
were additional facts not contained in the report
of the 3-man committee, the Administrator was to
forward the officer's case to prosecuting officials
for prosecutiono: (2) the Administrator was to see
if 'police department discipline has been too soft in
prior cases of excessive use of force; and (3) he
was to see if the Department in the past had failed
to refer such cases for prosecution.
ure between 3-man committee and Grievance Of-
ficer are illustrated here (1) the 3-man committee
always accepted police department summary reports
as evidence instead of insisting upon direct question-
ing of the police officer witnesses; (2) the 3-man
committee, when confronted with solid complainant

The Daily never published the full text of my
public statement, nor my later public justifications
of it when it was attacked by various union officials
and by Republican councilmen in press releases.
I received the Administrator's report on the first
point in late October and released it a few days later
with a statement of my own. The Ann Arbor News
reprinted the Administrator's report in full, unedit-
ed. The Daily printed less than a paragraph of it,
although the Daily devoted over 70 column inches
to the story - pictures, captions, comments by a
host of people.,
The Daily chose to handle the Oct. 30 news story
in such a way as to make it appear that I regarded
police tension and bricks thrown at police as "ex-
tenuating circumstances" (justifying illegal .acts by
police officers). That is not my position. The only
"extenuating circumstances" in the incident, as far
as I am concerned are (1) the state of mind of the
officer who swung and missed - he had no racist
or sadistic or punitive motive, and (erroneously)
thought he was doing something necessary to help
make a fast arrest in a difficult situation; and (2)
the quick time sequence between the moment when
both officers were running to apprehend the individ-
ual and the moment when this blow was aimed.
the officer thought he was helping make a fast arrest
of a felon, but it also makes clear that the officer
was negligent in trying to use his club without hav-
ing taken care to learn the facts. Obviously this is
wrong and deserves discipline. The Police Depart-
ment and Administrator agree. The hard question
for me - and the one I invite Daily readers to ponder
as if they were responsible for judging it - is this:
does the officer deserve a disciplinary discharge? or
does he deserve some lesser discipline, such as su-
spension without pay, reprimand, etc.?
The reason this precise issue must be faced, even
though the City is powerless to increase a discipline
after it has been imposed, is this: the City should
not file a criminal complaint against one of its em-
ployees unless it believes that employee should be

use of force, such as occurred in this incident. Fin-
ally, note that he has given no evidence by word
or deed of being racist or sadistic. The best explana-
tion I can get for why he erred in this particular
instance is that the whole Department was "up
tight" in this incident - much more so than in any
prior confrontation - for the reasons elaborated
in the Administrator's report.
WHEN A POLICEMAN joins a department he
hopes to serve for twenty years and be eligible for
retirement benefits. The day he joins the force he
knows that his self-control and his judgment in
wielding a riot baton will be tested a thousand times
in that 20 years period as he is forced to make split-
second decisions in dangerous situations in which
he feels just as much fear and excitement as any
other mortal. If he is honest with himself he knows
that in the course of those 20 years he will make
mistakes more than once. Before he joins the force
he wants to know whether he will lose his job for his
first mistake with the baton.
I think the proper answer is that all circumstances
will be taken into account in deciding the severity of
the discipline - past mistakes, likelihood of future
mistakes, motive, intent, etc. We shoulld be as severe
in disciplining excessive force as we can be, with
these three limitations: '(1) we must stop short of
making it impossible to recruit and retain good men;
(2) we must stop short of imposing standards so
unattainable that the men give up the effort to
reach them; and (3) we must use the discipline pro-
cess for deterrence and to eliminate misfits - not for
I can speak for the Administrator and the Chief
of Police in saying we have no intention of retain-
ing sadists or 'racists or men who are chronically
careless in handling their weapons. We have no in-
tention of giving officers the impression they can
take unjustified swats at citizens and get away with
LET ME MAKE CLEAR that I am not saying that
if the intended victim had seen the blow and filed
a criminal complaint the prosecuting officials should

least one Daily staffer, because the statements were
flatly contradicted by film. r
* * *
Editor:s note: The following are excerpts of
City Administrator Guy C. Larcom's report to
Mayor Harris, concerning the BAM demonstra-
tion of March 19).
HE INFORMATION at my disposal indicates
that the whole Police Department was unusually
tense going into this confrontation because it came
after several days of continuous alarms in which
the Department was working overtime and appre-
hensive about coping with wholly new tactics by a
new type of large, militant organization.
To make matters worse, the tactical deployment of
police on the scene at the beginning of the incident
proved quite unsuccessful, resulting in approximately
twelve officers and a police car being trapped in
a crowd of 2,000 people, many of them hostile to the
police, and some of them throwing paying bricks
at the police. The bricks were large enough to do
serious harm to anyone struck by them. The specific
incident occurred shortly after the officer in ques-
tion, his corporal, and two other officers arrived at
the scene to help relieve the trapped officers.
The officer in question and his. corporal saw a
young man throw a paving brick that appeared to
strike a police officer on the thigh. As- they moved
to apprehend the young man he moved to another
spot, and with his back towards them bent in front
of where other paving bricks were on the ground as
part of the border around a tree.
As the corporal and the officer were running
towards him he appeared to have each hand on a
paving brick, about to pick them up. The officer and
his corporal were attempting to reach the young,
man to subdue and arrest him quickly and to hustle
him off the scene in a police car.
As they ran towards him, the corporal in front and
the other officer to his left and rear, both officers
were tensed for whatever struggle might ensue when
they reached the young man. The corporal had no
riot baton with him; the other officer held his in

put his hands over the back of his head, apparently
fgaring a blow; and the second officer, who had now
reached the spot where the corporal wasp astride the
young man, aimed a blow with his baton at the
head of the young man, who was face down on the
ground between the corporal's knees. The corporal,
bringing his hands back, caught the blow on the
back of the left wrist and said to the officer swing-
ing the baton something like "I've got him," mean-
ing he needed no help subduing the prisoner.
The officer who had swung the blow, still running
forward, struck a second blow at the ground in
front of the head of the prisoner, and examination '
of the film convinces, me that the second blow was
not aimed at the prisoner, brut was a gesture of frus-
tration. The film shows that at this point a third
officer briefly took hold of the officer who had
swung these two blows. The corporal then brought
the prisoner. to his feet, and the corporal and the
officer in question quite calmly took the prisoner to
a Rolice car. Neither blow with riot baton ever
touched the prisoner.
THE BLOW THAT WAS aimed at the head of the
prisoner was a backhand, down and to the right
blow, which did not travel very far. It struck the
wrist of the corporal with enough force to break a.
blood vessel and to cause the corporal to have his
wrist X-rayed later that afternoon, but the X-ray
was negative.
The officer who aimed the blow at the prisoner
did so in the belief that he was helping subdue the
prisoner. Moving up fast, with his view of the situa-
tion partially obscured by the corporal, he did not
have an opportunity to ascertain whether there was
any need for him to assist the corporal in subduing
the prisoner. In fact, there was no need for assist-
ance, the prisoner having given no resistance and
lying perfectly still, face down, with his hands on
the back of his head at the instant the blow was
In the absence of any evidence whatsoever indicat-
ing prisoner, and in view of the officer's own testi-
mony and his prior behavior within the Department,

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