Jewish Leaders Will Protest Discriminatory Police Identification System in St. Louis

A delegation of Jewish and Italian-American leaders will call on the Mayor and Police Chief of St. Louis to protest the new system of criminal identification installed there, it was learned here today. The new system, which lists Jews and Italians separately from “white Americans,” has been condemned as flagrantly discriminatory.

Lt. Andrew Aylward, head of the St. Louis Police Department’s bureau of records, who developed the new identification system, said this week-end that criminals are listed as Jewish only as an aid to identification. Asserting that detectives sometimes report that victims identify criminals as “apparently Jewish,” Lt. Aylward declared that “by using this classification we increase the possibility of quick identification.” He also maintained that a similar system is in use in the New York State Police Department and in several big city police departments in the state.

The St. Louis police official’s allegations were denied by New York State police officials. Lt. Everett Updike of the Criminal Identification Bureau in Albany said that New York State uses a system in which no notation of religion is carried.

Lt. Aylward also stated that the inclusion of the “Jewish” classification had brought no protest in St. Louis. “I am concerned to hear that it has caused any concern among the Jewish people,” he said, adding: “If it is causing such concern, perhaps we ought to eliminate that classification.”

At F.B.I. headquarters in Washington it was stated that no similar system was in use there. Federal description of criminals as “Jewish” was halted several years ago after protests against that description on “wanted” posters were received.

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