The Law: Hotheads and Professionals

According to Mississippi Governor John Bell Williams, the 360 uniformed troopers of the Mississippi highway safety patrol are "professional officers—not hotheads." Yet last May, when they helped local police handle student demonstrations at predominantly black Jackson State College, the troopers did not bother to bring tear gas. Instead, they loaded their shotguns with 00 shot, the largest available. When the dust settled, a laconic voice came over the patrol's radio: "Better send an ambulance—we've got a few niggers down over here."

In the sweltering heat of Jackson last week, a county grand jury...

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