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Edward KocheEdward Koche
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Session:         Page of 617

Q:

I'd like to reask one question on your involvement in civil rights. Going back to the time when you were district leader but also since that time, did any substantial part of your Italian constituency show hostility toward you when you became involved in the black civil rights movement?

Koch:

I'll tell you: they're better than the liberals, because they forgave me for it whereas the liberals would not ever forgive and accept a different point of view. I'll give you the best little story on that.

In 1966, when I was running for the City Council, the Civilian Police Complaint Board was a referendum on the ballot, and I supported the Civilian Police Complaint Board, because I thought that the then existing board, which was made up of police officers, never did anything to deal with police brutality, and there was -- and still is I'm sure, to a lesser extent -- cases involving police brutality. And I had in fact represented some people in a pro bono way who had been assaulted by cops unfairly. And so it became the major issue, notwithstanding the fact that I had hoped I would be the major issue in that campaign. But it wasn't -- it was the Civilian Police Complaint Board.

Now, the liberals were for it; the moderates and conservatives across this town were opposed to it. It lost. That is to say, the revocation of the Civilian Police Complaint Board won. I think you voted (I)aye if you wanted to do away with the board. And the people on MacDougal Street whom I had helped, and I had formed the MacDougal Area Neighborhood Association an 1963 made up all Italians -- they were so appreciative of



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