Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wife of AP Bureau Chief Arrested for Observing Riot

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wife of AP Bureau Chief Arrested for Observing Riot

Article excerpt

Caught in a police roundup while she was observing a Rodney King protest demonstration, Judy Spratling. the wife of Rick Spratling, Associated Press bureau chief in San Francisco. was arrested and jailed for 32 hours.

"It was very traumatic - very frightening," she told E&P. Spratling was able to get word to her husband by, slipping h note to a reporter covering the demonstration in San Francisco's Mission District. The protest march occurred the day after the acquittal in Southern California of four policemen accused of beating King. a black man, after an auto chase.

The not guilty verdicts set off violent outbreaks in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other cities.

Judy Spratling, an office worker. said that, although she has never been a political activist, she had gone to the site of the demonstration with the idea of taking part in it.

"I felt very strongly about the King case." she explained. "We middle-and upper-middle-class whites must realize there are a lot of roadblocks for blacks and that they want the same things we have."

However, Spratling continued. when she saw the huge cordon of police she concluded that "this wasn't a good place to be" and began walking away.

However, she was swept up in the dragnet, along with demonstrators and several others who were merely bystanders. she said.

The arrestees, about 400 in all, were handcuffed, loaded on buses. and hauled to a holding pen on the waterfront. They were then transferred to Santa Rita Prison in Alameda County, across San Francisco Bay. …

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