The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 22, 1988, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
Tension high after Louisiana racial disturbance
SHREVEPORT, La. — Hundreds
of angry black people burned stores
and rioted in the streets after a white
woman fatally shot a black man, and
black leaders warned Wednesday
against a recurrence of violence.
“We’re sitting on a powder keg,”
said state Rep. Alphonse Jackson,
who called for a biracial anti-crime
“People want protection,” said
Jackson, who is black. “I call on citi
zens to restore law and order.”
His plea followed a meeting of city
officials and black leaders to discuss
the rioting that persisted nearly five
hours, until 3 a.m. Wednesday, and
which officials said was related both
to drugs and racial problems.
S tores were looted and burned, and
rioters threw rocks and bottles at
whites. There were reports of racial
slurs and chants of “Hot Biscuit,” the
restaurant where a white teen-ager
killed a black teen-ager on Aug. 4, an
incident that set off racial tension in
this northwestern Louisiana city of
250,000, the state’s second largest
after New Orleans.
On Tuesday night, police cor
doned off a seven-block area and
warned motorists to keep out.
The crowd reached 1,000people at
its peak, said Police Chief Charles
Gruber, but other police estimates
said the total was 300 to 500 most of
the time.
The police chief said his car took a
brick through the windshield and
gunfire through the back passenger
door, but he was not hurl.
A KTBS-TV news car was burned
and a new fire department pumper
was attacked with bats and bricks.
No serious injuries were reported,
attributed in part to Gruber’s decision
to let the disturbance run its course.
Throughout the incident, police ra
dios crackled with orders to maintain
positions and hold fire.
“If Gruber had moved into the
area, we would have had a large
number of people hurt, so I commend
him for it,” said Jackson.
“We chose to let it cool off,”
Gruber said. “We felt our presence
would do nothing but accelerate it.”
At least four people were reported
taken into custody and booked with
charges ranging from inciting to riot
to resisting arrest.
The outbreak was triggered by the
shooting of a black man, identified as
William David McKinney, 20, who
lived in the Cedar Grove neighbor
hood where the rioting took place. He
was described by a witness as a by
stander caught in gunfire when a drug
deal went bad.
A white teen-ager, Tamala C.
Vergo, 17, of Greenwood was booked
on a charge of second-degree murder,
said police Cpl. E.T. Rushing. A sec
ond woman was questioned but not
A man who identified himself only
as a cousin of McKinney’s named
Charles, said McKinney was shot at
random after a woman trying to buy
cocaine from a group of men was
robbed. When they ran with her purse,
she “took out her frustration” on
McKinney, he said.
The man talked to reporters after
being interviewed by detectives.
Officers said people in a conven
ience store tried to detain the woman
until police came, but a crowd of
blacks gathered outside and began
throwing bricks at the business and all
passing motorists who were white.
A witness, Anthony Johnson, said
that after police took the women
away, the crowd doused the store with
lighter fluid, set it afire and went on a
rampage. The building, containing
the store and a liquor shop, was
burned to the ground.
Government admits to killing scores of civilians
• _ . . ... _ ■ .1__u.
RANGOON, Burma — Gen. Saw
Maung on Wednesday became the
fourth head of government in two
months. The government said troops
have killed more than 140 civilians
since the hard-line officer ousted the
civilian president on Sunday.
Demonstrators demanding de
mocracy and a halt to 26 years of
authoritarian rule stayed off the
streets for a second day during the
Troops killed 67 people, wounded
34 and arrested 100 “in the course of
the government’s law and order resto
ration work” in Rangoon and three
other areas Tuesday and Wednesday,
government spokesman Kyaw San
told reporters.
Kyaw San said he had no knowl
edge of a rumored sweep by authori
ties against student leaders who
spearheaded the pro-democracy pro
The latest tally brought the official
death toll since the coup to 144. But
some Western diplomats in Rangoon
believe at least 400 people have been
killed in the Burmese capital alone,
many when troops opened fire on
largely unarmed protesters Monday.
“At Rangoon General Hospital,
there were 200 corpses on Monday
night and that was only one hospital,"
said one diplomat, speaking on condi
tion of anonymity.
State radio said Saw Maung was
named prime minister by the nine
member governing council, ap
pointed the day before and made up
primarily of his military cronies. He
also holds the defense and foreign
affairs portfolios.
The government spokesman listed
eight separate incidents in Rangoon
during a 20-hour period beginning
Tuesday morning in which 57 people
died as troops broke up mobs looting
government warehouses and a biscuit
Nine more people died when secu
rity forces beat back attacks on a local
government office in Mudon and a
patrol in Mandalay, Kyaw San said.
Pro-democracy demonstrators
who have filled Rangoon by the hun
dreds of thousands in recent weeks
stayed off the streets Tuesday and
weunesuay, resiucnis icpuncu.
All major markets remained
closed although small food stores and
roadside shops were open.
Troops conducted house-to-house
searches in the heart of Rangoon on
Wednesday after a nighttime attack
against City Hall and the main gov
ernment administration, residents
and officials said. No casualties were
Saw Maung, 59, is known as a
loyal follower of strongman Ne Win,
who seized power in 1962 and insti
tuted a repressive, military-backed
system that turned resource-rich
Burma into one of the world’s poorest
After Ne Win resigned in late July,
former military officer Scin Lwin,
who was succeeded by civilian Presi
dent Maung Maung.
Maung Maung gave in to opposi
tion demands to hold elections and
allow a multiparty system. The stick
ing point was the opposition demand
for an interim government to ensure a
fair vote. Maung Maung was re
moved in Saw Maung’s coup.
Although Saw Maung also has
promised multiparty elections, he has
shown no signs of establishing an
interim government
Many observers believe Ne Win
remains the supreme power in Burma
and are skeptical about the promise of
British 1 V: Bush Knew
about money laundering
four years before charges
LONDON — Vice President
George Bush complained five years
ago to Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega
about alleged laundering of drug
money in Panama, according to a
British television documentary
screened Wednesday.
Two of Noriega’s former senior
aides, interviewed on Thames
Television’s “This Week” program,
also said Noriega has tape recordings
which could threaten Bush’s presi
dential campaign.
Bush has said the Reagan admini
stration took action as soon as it
learned of narcotics and other federal
charges against Noriega in indict
ments issued in Florida last February.
U.S. actions included economic
sanctions to force Noriega to resign as
head of the Defense Forces, a post
which makes him Panama’s de facto
ruler. Noriega lias denied any wrong
doing and refused to resign.
“We have learned that as early as
1983 ... George Bush sat down with
Gen. Noriega to complain about the
laundering of drug money in Pan
ama,” reporter Julian Manyon said on
the program.
“One of the vice president’s con
cerns, according to Panamanians who
were there, was an estimated $3 bil
lion of drug profits that had already
been laundered through Panama,’’
Manyon said.
Noriega was shown on the docu
mentary saying he never met Bush.
In Washington, Bush spokesman
Steve Hart on Wednesday said the
vice president, during a stopover in
Panama in 1983, met with Panama’s
then-Prcsident Ricardo de la Espri
ella and other officials, including
Noriega, but did not speak of any
allegations against the general.
Editor Curt Wagner Aset Photo Chief David Fshleson
.. , .. 472-1768 Night News Editor Amy Edwards
Managing Editor Diana Johnson Asst Night News
Assoc. News Editors JaneHIrt Edltorlibrarlen Anne Mohrt
_ Los Rood Art Directors John Crime
Editorial Andy Manhart
Page Editor Mike Radley General Maitager Oan ShaftII
_ Vwa Editor Bob Nataon Production Manager Katherine Pollcky
Copy Desk Editor Chuck Green Advertising Manager Robert Oates
Sayts Editor Steve Sipple Sales Manager David Thiemann
Arts 6 Entetaln- Circulation Manager Eric Shanks
ment Editor Mlckl Haller Publlcatlons Board
Diversions Editor Joeth Zucco Chairman Tom Maey
Sower Editor Andy Pollock 47S-9666
Graphics Editor Darryl Mattox Professional Adviser Don Walton
Photo Chief Eric Gregory
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