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Soviet Jewish Community in L.a. Disturbed by Police Charge That USSR is Sending Criminals and Terror

January 26, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Soviet Jewish emigre community here is seriously disturbed by Police Chief Daryl Gates’ remarks at a press conference last Friday that the Soviet Union might infiltrate criminals and terrorists into Los Angeles disguised as Russian Jewish emigrants to disrupt the 1984 Olympic Games.

Gates backtracked as soon as he raised the issue, according to Los Angeles Times staff writers Larry Stammer and Kenneth Reich, by acknowledging that such speculations tarred the Russian emigrants with a “broad brush.”

But spokespersons for the emigre community charged that the Police Chief’s remarks would “seriously diminish” job opportunities, breed suspicion and reflected a growing trend toward “isolationism and chauvinism” in the U.S., Stammer and Reich reported. The prospect of Soviet criminals entering the country disguised as Jewish emigres was attributed by Gates to a report made by his detectives.

A section of the report, titled “Soviet Emigre Mafia,” warned that “many knowledgeable people are of the opinion that the Soviets are selecting dangerous criminals and sending them to the United States via the Jewish Immigration Quota. The Soviets realize that they can aggravate our already serious crime problem in this manner. Intelligence agents and spies are infiltrating in the same way.”

The report was disclosed by Gates to a group of media and business executives he invited to the Police Academy last Thursday to brief them on the department’s personnel needs and other problems. It made headlines in the local media, prompting Gates to hold his press conference at which he admitted the infiltration scare was little more than “speculation” and “supposition” by the authors of the report. He added, however, that it was necessary to anticipate “worst case” scenarios, the Times reported.

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