U.S. Attorney General Holds Racist Violence is Local Responsibility

William P. Rogers, U.S. Attorney General, told the American Bar Association today that segregationist violence was a matter for local rather than Federal authorities although the United States would prosecute racist agitators like John Kasper who organize concerted interference with a Federal Court integration decree.

Mr. Rogers cited the case of Kasper, anti-Semitic and anti-Negro provocateur, recently released after serving a Federal prison sentence. The Attorney General said “If there is concerted and substantial interference, as in the Kasper case, with the decree of the court, we stand prepared to take such steps as may be necessary to vindicate the court’s authority.”

Kasper was described by Mr. Rogers as “an agitator for the Seaboard White Citizens Council. Action against him was taken because it was demonstrated his main purpose was to frustrate a Federal Court order,”

But on the general problem of racist violence in the South, the Attorney General wished it to be “emphatically clear that the maintenance of order in the local community is the primary responsibility of the states. That responsibility cannot be shifted.”

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