To the Editors:
Following is the text of a letter sent to Mayor Lindsay, on December 17.
December 17, 1969
John V. Lindsay, Mayor
New York, New York
Our colleague, Dr. Jonah Raskin, was systematically beaten by police officers of the 18th and 17th Precincts of New York, on Tuesday, December 9th. As Dr. Raskin was trying to get away from a police charge during a demonstration on Fifth Avenue on that day, men in plain clothes jumped on top of him and knocked him down. He was then taken to the 18th Precinct.
Dr. Raskin was systematically beaten in the street and in the 18th and 17th Precincts. Clubs, pointed pliers, and a pin were used. His nose and one finger were broken, and he received many bruises on his body. His injuries were described by his Attorney, Paul Chevigny of the NYCLU, as the worst bruises he had ever seen.
The seriousness of this event prompts us to urge you to take immediate action. We ask you to nominate a committee of distinguished citizens that will examine the charges and report to you—and the public—within the shortest time possible. We cannot sufficiently emphasize the seriousness of the event which comes at a time when public concern about police harassment is growing.
The letter was signed by 29 members of the Department of English of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Stony Brook, L.I., New York
January 29, 1970