[Sustained tone, long pause] [Reporter] Boston police are now indicating they know the identities of four young men who attacked Black lawyer Ted Landsmark while he was on his way to a meeting at city hall yesterday. One of the youths, a 16 year old South Boston High School student, is under arrest, charged as a juvenile with assault and battery for allegedly kicking Landsmark. And police have issued a warrant for the arrest of 17 year old Joseph Rakes. They will charge him and two others as yet unnamed with yesterday's attack. The Massachusetts House of Representatives rarely agrees on anything, but it has unanimously passed a resolution condemning what happened. Governor Dukakis has issued a similar statement. There have been more developments today, covered now by Pam Bullard.
[Bullard] Boston's latest racial confrontation occurred yesterday in front of City Hall Plaza. After months of building tension, a group of white youths viciously attacked a Black attorney, Theodore Landsmark. Landsmark was on his way to a meeting in city hall when he was beaten by youths who were part of a gathering of 250 south Boston and Charlestown high school students who were protesting bussing. The attack occurred moments after the students, on an invitation from city councilwoman Louise Day-Hicks, had demanded changes in and an end to the desegregation. The Black attorney was just one of several people harassed by the youths in the plaza. He was treated at Mass General for a broken nose and facial lacerations. Today in City Hall Plaza, Black community leaders decried the assault, charging police failed to respond effectively, and that leadership in the city had encouraged a growing violence. Black leaders, in their strongest statement to date since desegregation began in September 1974, said the city of Boston is no longer safe. [William Owens] People of color are not safe to come here to Boston, and we're asking people across the country of color to stay away. [applause] Further, we issue a call for all persons of color to
band together, for it is now that this bizarre situation of outright racism in Boston must stop, and we must come to the realization that if Boston state officials will not protect us, we must ask for federal protection and ladies and gentlemen, short of that, we must seek to protect ourselves. [Bullard] The Black leaders' anger was also directed to Mayor Kevin White. That he had allowed the violence to
grow by not condemning students who disrupted schools, and that the use of city hall for anti-bussing rallies has only accelerated the growth of racial intolerance. [Owens] I supported the re-election of Mayor Kevin White. Today, I'm withdrawing that vote of confidence that I gave him in September and in November. [applause] [Bullard] Black leaders from the legislature and community offices appeared united in their attitude that the mayor and police commissioner Robert DiGrazia had broken their promises to the Black community. [White] That is absolutely not a breach of public safety will be tolerated. Absolutely no threat to bus or school or child will escape swift and severe punishment. [DiGrazia] To those hoodlums, those harassers, those disruptors, who are no -- we will no longer tolerate your illegal, violent, behavior. I promise you, you will be arrested. You will be charged, and
if I have anything to say about it, you will be prosecuted. [Bullard] Both Commissioner DiGrazia and Mayor White say they have not broken their promises. DiGrazia's men are confident the guilty will be apprehended. Mayor White, while condemning the violence, had no comment on the calls from some parts of the Black community for his resignation. And in South Boston, James Kelly, the head of the Home and School Association, said the violence was the fault of a liberal press. Two facts do stand out: one, that the racial tension in Boston is the strongest in many months, and two, that there appears to be no force anywhere trying to ease that tension.