Civil Rights: Black Beat

Zone 13 is the police designation for a jagged area of St. Petersburg, Fla., that has been gerrymandered to include most of the city's Negro districts. No white cop had ever been assigned to Zone 13, and none of the Negroes covering that beat ever patrolled the city's white sections. Charging that the police department was assigning them by race, twelve of St. Petersburg's 14 Negro officers sued the city two years ago under the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

A U.S. district court found that St. Petersburg police assignments were not unreasonable, arbitrary or unconstitutional. Racial classification of...

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