Partial Transcript: Before we get off into talking ...
Segment Synopsis: Love Maddox talks about his impressions of police as a child growing up in Griffin, Georgia and his decision to become one of the first African American policeman in Griffin. Maddox describes some of the subtle cues that made him feel unwelcome in the police force. Maddox shares how he was not limited in who he could arrest despite contradictory rules around the area.
Keywords: Griffin, Georgia; arrests; police
Partial Transcript: Well he said, "if you're a police...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox explains how he faced discrimination from both Blacks and whites as an African American policeman during the 1960's. Maddox shares how he was often called racial slurs while on the job by both Blacks and whites.
Keywords: arrests; discrimination
Partial Transcript: I would ask them...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox recalls how ignoring the racial slurs often worked in stopping the name-calling. Maddox shares that there were few Blacks in other positions of public service. Maddox talks about his experience in police academy, and shares some of the methods of sabotage used by others to ruin his career.
Keywords: discrimination; police academy; racial slurs
Partial Transcript: Were you on the force when...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox shares his recollection of further interactions with the Ku Klux Klan. Maddox explains how he believes Black community leaders in Griffin actively worked against his presence in the community.
Keywords: Griffin, Georgia; Ku Klux Klan (KKK); community leaders
Partial Transcript: He had voice enough ...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox continues to describe the influence that some Black leaders in the Griffin community had on the his police work. Maddox relates some of the difficulties and fear he faced as a Black policeman during the 1960's. Maddox shares how he often experienced more trouble from the African American community as opposed to the white community.
Keywords: community; discrimination; policing
Partial Transcript: I'm still puzzled by who was setting up...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox continues describing the raid attempt which was perpetuated as an attempt to sabotage his career. Maddox shares how the set-up fell through, and how it effected his career and perception of the African American community of Griffin.
Keywords: Tom Simpson; set-up
Partial Transcript: I wanna be chief ...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox recalls how he shared his desire to become chief in Griffin. Maddox shares how he became a policeman in Atlanta. Maddox describes the intense racial climate of his experience as a policeman in Atlanta, which he claims stemmed almost entirely from the Black community.
Keywords: African American community; Atlanta, Georgia; B.J Jackson; Griffin, Georgia
Partial Transcript: You were into the police force...
Segment Synopsis: Maddox talks about his police training experience in the early 1960's. Maddox shares that most of his learning took place on the job despite his training in the police academy. Maddox shares why he believes he got the job.
Keywords: Police Academy; training
JEWEL WALKER-HARPS:Good afternoon. I'm Jewel Walker-Harps, President of theGriffin branch NAACP, and this is Griffin African American Oral History Project. We have with us today the first -- one of the first African American policemen in Griffin -- in Georgia, who's going to tell us his story. We have at the table doing our interview...
BEATRICE CUNNINGHAM:Beatrice Cunningham.
ART CAIN:Art Cain.
JOHN CRUICKSHANK:John Cruickshank.
LOVE MADDOX:Love Maddox.
WALKER-HARPS:And Love Maddox. We're delighted to have Mr. Maddox. We areinterested in your story, as you want to tell it. If we do not ask you something, and you feel that it is important to share with us, we want you to be comfortable in sharing it. If we ask you something and you don't remember, because we're talking about quite a few years back, just let us know 00:01:00that you don't remember, or you're not certain, and we'll move on to the next question. Everybody around the table will have an opportunity to answer -- to ask you questions. And we understand that you have sort of a hearing impairment, so if we ask you something and you don't quite understand, just feel free to ask us --
WALKER-HARPS:-- to repeat, and we will be happy to do that. So, with that said,we want to also inform you that the final product that we produce today will go to the University of Georgia in Athens to be processed, will be catalogued, and whatever is necessary to prepare it to go in the Richard B. Russell Library, and any other archival sites that are deemed important at that time. So it's not just a local project, but it's a project for the university system, 00:02:00and one that we hope will last for the duration of time so that your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren will be able to know what life was like for you as a policeman in Griffin, Georgia. Now, we're going to start with our questions.
CUNNINGHAM:Sure. And before we get off into talking about your career as apoliceman, let's get a sense of what your life was like growing up as a child. Can you tell us a little about where you were born and what life was like as a child?
MADDOX:Yes. I was born here in Griffin, Georgia, quite a few years ago,(laughter) and... But as a kid growing up, I didn't like police --
MADDOX:-- 'cause I had a lot of bad encounters with them as a child. And... But,you know, as you grow older, you think more clearly, and the job that 00:03:00they were doing was one that was necessary at that time. But at a child, you're looking at it in a different light, and... So -- but I never had no idea I will become a police. (laughter) That was the furthest thing from my mind.
WALKER-HARPS:What really changed your mind? How and why did you become a policeman?
MADDOX:Well, I got married, and I was working at a job in Atlanta that wasn'tpaying as much as I would've been getting as a policeman. And I had a brother-in-law -- maybe we'll clear that up now -- I had a brother-in-law that were working for the Police Department at the time, and a word put in to the chief from him. So I was asked to come by, and they questioned me 00:04:00about a few things. And one of the main things they were looking for, had I ever been fired from a job. And the answer to that question, well, yes. I think it kind of surprised them that I would admit to it, but I also know that if you don't they got a way of finding out. So I think that's what changed their mind about hiring me at the time. So they set a date for me to come in and everything, and I start... Believe it or not, I started on a Sunday. I remember that. I started on a Sunday. And I was accepted, let's say, with mixed emotion, because... I don't really know how to put this. Nothing was said to 00:05:00me directly when I got there, but you could tell that you don't -- I don't like to try to read people's mind, either -- that there were some there that didn't appreciate me being there. We'll put it like that. But after a while, everything kinda smoothed itself out, and we all start working together. But I never heard them refer to me as anything other than Love.
CAIN:When you joined the police force, when you joined the police force,how many other African Americans were on the force at the time? 00:06:00
CAIN:How many other African Americans were on --
MADDOX:Uh... (pause) I'm gonna be honest with you: I believe it was four, fiveothers. I can't say that's what it was, but I believe it was. I believe it was five others.
CAIN:I'm always interested in sort of the culture, when you join anorganization, and you made reference just now to maybe not being totally accepted when you got there. Could you tell us a little bit about just how you felt and why you maybe felt that way?
MADDOX: Well, you go by... I -- let me see, I don't say... I go by the00:07:00way people act towards me when I speak to them, anything like that. And some of the response were very cold. I put it -- put it like that. But, like I say, other than that, everything was all right.
WALKER-HARPS:In other words, you were not referred to as "boy."
WALKER-HARPS:You were not referred to as "boy."
MADDOX:No, not by my fellow officers, black or white. I was never referred to as"black," or "black boy," or "nigger," either one. I never was referred to that. That came about after I went out in the streets. 00:08:00
CUNNINGHAM:So was there a difference in the way the black community versus thewhite community treated you as a police officer? I mean, did they respect you as a police officer, both communities?
MADDOX:Not at first. They really didn't. They really didn't. And, I mean, by theblack either. I wasn't really accepted. And, you know, I might as well tell it like it is, but, as I've said, as time passed things moved itself out. I'll put it that way, that we all gelled, like, came together, you know.
CAIN:Well, I know, for example, just taking off on Beatrice's00:09:00question, when there was integration in the Atlanta police force, late '40s, early '50s, African American policemen, for example, could not arrest white citizens. Did you run into any kind of issues like that?
MADDOX:Okay, I understand what you're saying, but I'm considered in the top tenfor black policemen being hired in Griffin. So I didn't encounter that, you know, I couldn't arrest this person. Because one thing, I got a big mouth, and I asked the chief, who was Chief Blackwell at the time, about that. And he told me -- I got to give him credit: he was a fair man, far as I was 00:10:00concerned. And that's what he told me: he -- excuse the imitation, but I have to do it this way -- he said, "Love?" I said, "Yes, Chief." "You a police?" I said, "Yes." "Don't people out there doin' wrong?" I said, "I guess they're like that." "Well," he said, "if you're police, you arrest 'em all. You arrest anybody." So that's what... I mean, but now I won't speak for the people before me, because I can't prove it. But I didn't have any problem arresting either black or white.
WALKER-HARPS:So what you're saying, actually there were others -- there wereother African Americans prior to your being hired. You were not 00:11:00actually the first, so you would not have had the original experience.
MADDOX:I'm not quite --
WALKER-HARPS:Let me make -- let me --
MADDOX:I'm not quite getting that.
WALKER-HARPS:There were others who may have had a more difficult time than you,who perhaps opened the door for you.
MADDOX:Right. Yeah, right.
WALKER-HARPS:And I ask that because I have heard some of those who were earlierthan you say that they were not allowed to arrest whites. They were only allowed to arrest blacks. So by the time you became a policeman, then the condition had softened somewhat, to allow you to do -- or you had a chief who had a heart and wanted to do the right thing.
MADDOX:It mattered then, but then, like I said, I didn't have any00:12:00problem in that line, making arrests, black or white.
WALKER-HARPS:Any incidents with whites who were arrested by a black policeman?Were there any incidents, anything happen, or any encounters that you remember as you made your arrest, that...?
MADDOX:Oh, now, I wasn't accepted by either one of 'em. (laughter) I wasn'taccepted by the black or white when you make an arrest, you know. But I would like to say this: I was more tested physically by the black than I was by the white, you know. They -- the black wanted to have a physical encounter, you know. And the white probably didn't like it. I don't know whether they did or not, but they went along with the arrest, and that -- their children 00:13:00didn't like it, either. That's all.
CUNNINGHAM:Can you give us a sense of when you started?
MADDOX:Beg your pardon?
CUNNINGHAM:In -- when did you start working for the police force?
MADDOX:Oh, I started in... What did -- when did I start? Oh...
CUNNINGHAM:Just around what decade?
MADDOX:Now, I've been retired here since 2001, (laughs) from law enforcement. Idon't know. It was in the --
WALKER-HARPS:In the '60s, right?
MADDOX:It was in the '60s.
MADDOX:I -- if I'm not mistaken, it was in the '60s. Yeah, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM:Okay. Well, did you notice a difference in even the pay rate? Wereyou, as a black police officer, paid less than your white counterparts?
MADDOX:I'm gonna be honest with you about that: if it was, I didn't know it.
MADDOX:I didn't know it. But I tell you this: I might be getting00:14:00ahead of everything, but they had schools that you go to --
MADDOX:-- and when you finished that course, your rate -- your pay would raise$50 --
MADDOX:-- a month. And I went the full school. So I got $200 more added to mysalary, you know. But other than my pay, different from his pay, I don't -- that I didn't -- I never would've known that.
WALKER-HARPS:Were there negative remarks made to you? Were there negativeremarks, ugly things said to you, by either whites or blacks? 00:15:00
MADDOX:Oh, yeah, I got a lot of those. Yeah. And that's where... That's wherethe "nigger" came in. I was referred to as "nigger" by a white arrest (unintelligible). And, well, I learned to deal with that from my mother and father. You know, you're not one, so why worry about it, you know, though? But I did run into that with them, but that's not with all of 'em. I never judged one person by everybody. You know, each one get its own blame, you know. That's the way it was.
CRUICKSHANK:So did you just completely ignore the remarks, or how did you handle it?
MADDOX:Beg your pardon?
CRUICKSHANK:Did you completely ignore the name-calling, or how did00:16:00you handle it?
MADDOX:I'm not quite clear --
WALKER-HARPS:How did you handle the name-calling? What did you do in responsewhen you were called a name that was not your name?
MADDOX:Oh, oh, what --
WALKER-HARPS:How did you handle it?
MADDOX:-- how I reacted?
MADDOX:Oh, I... (laughs) I did like it never was said and went on with thearrest, you know. You know...
CUNNINGHAM:Well, you just mentioned that you learned from your parents how todeal with being called a name that doesn't match --
CUNNINGHAM:-- who you are.
CUNNINGHAM:Tell us more about your parents, and your siblings, if you have any.
MADDOX:Well, they deceased now --
MADDOX:-- but I had some parents that -- they believe in the switch. (laughter)If you know what I mean, you know. And when I say believe in the switch, I mean three of 'em, platted. And they would tell us, tell all of us 00:17:00-- 'cause I had a brother; he was stone crazy, you know, I mean, just to put it honestly, 'cause he didn't care what you called him; he was ready to do it, you know. But they told us that names... If they didn't call you Love, they didn't call your name, you know. So I took that to the job with me, you know, and -- 'cause I have had accidents to happen, people witness, and that's all that was said, you know, "That nigger this," "That he -- that nigger that," you know. And I will ask them, "Let's me go and talk to this person and see 00:18:00what they have to say," you know, and he -- the guy -- the -- well, I won't say guy, but the fella, he noticed that I wasn't responding to what he was saying, so would you believe in a few minutes he stopped?
MADDOX:And he started saying "that guy," you know. It's the way they handlethings, and people come into it, you know.
WALKER-HARPS:Was it difficult to get black policemen hired, even though you werenot, maybe, the first, but you were in that bracket of first man hired?
WALKER-HARPS:Did they volunteer to hire you, or did they hire you as a result ofcommunity pressure? 00:19:00
MADDOX:They volunteer to call you what?
WALKER-HARPS:Did they volunteer to hire blacks as policemen, or were theypressured into doing it?
MADDOX:I really can't say. I can't say, and I don't like to say things that Ican't prove, you know. And I don't know whether they were pressured into doing it or what, that... I know they had one white police -- I don't know whether you remember -- called Bradley Davis. Old-timer. And he used to say he had been trying to get 'em to hire blacks. I don't know how true that was or not, but that's what he was -- that's what he was saying. So I don't -- I can't say whether they were pressured into doing it or they just thought it was time to do it.
WALKER-HARPS: Were there any other black public officials at that time00:20:00that you know about?
MADDOX:Where there what?
WALKER-HARPS:Where there any other black public officials that you knew about?There weren't any black firemen or black...? I know there were black teachers, but were there blacks in any other public service areas that you knew about?
MADDOX:No. No, I know the ranking part in there was -- were low, you know. Imean, we wasn't ranking as much as some, that we were a little bit more sharper were -- than they were. And -- but other than that, I don't know.
WALKER-HARPS:When you say "sharp," what do you mean?
MADDOX: Well, I never did an accident report before, but the thing00:21:00about it: I could read. You know, that made a difference. And doing that, I was able to make my first rec report out by myself, and (unintelligible), 'cause I was real proud of it, you know, with the drawing and everything. And so the fella -- I'm not gonna say what this fella wore, whether they're black or white, but I'm gonna say that my partner at the time, he said, "I've been trying that for a long time, you know." And I said, "What?" He said, "Make out a rec report?" I said, "Yeah." He said -- I said, "Nothing to it." I said, "You see what going on, then put it down," you know. "And each person got to tell what happened. If you number one, that mean you at fault. You number two, 00:22:00you the one got hurt, you know. As simple as that."
WALKER-HARPS:Did you have to take a test to get the job?
MADDOX:No, I didn't. I didn't. But I had to go to the police academy. I did. Ihad to go to the police academy. That was... That was, I think, about three months after I had been in there, and we had to go to that. And you had to pass the police academy, because when you came back you would've been fired.
WALKER-HARPS:Were there accusations made against you that were false thatcould've gotten you into trouble while you were a policeman? Did you 00:23:00have people lying on you, so to speak, so that had some bearing on your job --
MADDOX:Oh, yeah, I had plenty of those. I had plenty of those. Tell you about...I know -- my partner and I, we were patrolling one afternoon, and so we were getting off something like 3:30. We went in, and they got all these other police that ran out to the car and said, "Y'all under arrest." I said, "What?" You know, I'm thinking it's a joke. And the guy said, "This is no joke." Said, "You under arrest." I said, "Somebody gonna have to tell me something." You know, so one of 'em finally said, "We just got a report that you and your 00:24:00partner riding down the street drinking beer." This is true. I said, "Drinking beer?" So just so happened we didn't throw the cans away. We were drinking, but we didn't throw the cans away. So I took out my Pepsi-Cola can, and the other guy took out his Pepsi-Cola can. I said, "This what they call beer." I said, "Well, you -- we're under arrest." Now, people do that. They do that. I had... I hope I'm not jumping the gun on you, but I even had a lady to call my house and tell my wife I was with her. And I was laying on the sofa. And (laughs) I love my wife to today. She played it cool. She didn't -- she never said I 00:25:00was there. And she just pumped that lady, got all the (laughter) information out of her she wanted to. But I just say that to show you, people will do things to try to hurt you, you know. I've been -- I also been hurt physically. I have. So that -- it will happen. It will happen.
WALKER-HARPS:Was that in relation to your job, or was it something else?
WALKER-HARPS:Your being hurt physically.
MADDOX:This were pertaining to the job.
WALKER-HARPS:Would you tell us about it? As much as you can remember.
MADDOX:You got a 82-year-old man, (laughter) reaching way back. But anyway,we... I had a partner, and I'm gonna call this fella's name, because 00:26:00him and I, we rode together more than any... His name was... Uh-oh, Gile. And he loved to fight. And I didn't. I will fight, but I didn't love to fight. But anyway, we got into a physical altercation one night. I got bounced around a little bit, and we just laughed about it, but that's what I was saying about -- you can get physically hurt out there, and I had a shotgun drawn on me, and it was loaded. I mean, you run into some things out there you wouldn't 00:27:00believe, you really wouldn't believe that people would do, and then they complain about it. They complain about it. And a fella cut a lady's throat, called me to come get him. Now, that's true. He call me to arrest him. But he act as though he didn't do anything. And I'm -- the lady at the hospital with her neck open. No. So, as I said, people, they do a lot of things out 00:28:00there, and they blame the police for it. No. And all police is, it would get to it, is not bad. They're not bad. Some try to help you, and people won't let them help you, so...
WALKER-HARPS:Were you fortunate enough to ever run into the Ku Klux Klan?
WALKER-HARPS:Were you fortunate enough to ever run into or have an encounterwith the Klan? With the KKK?
MADDOX:(laughs) Oh, yeah, but when they had that rai-- they had that mass...What they... Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. When they had that march in 00:29:00Griffin that time -- I don't know if you remember that or not -- but anyway, I mean, everybody congregated -- that's what it seemed to me -- in Griffin, right there at the old courthouse, you know. And they -- and you said the KKK? (laughs) They were there also. But after all the blacks start coming in, they start moving out, moving out. But, I mean, directly being -- well, I don't know how you put this -- confronted, or have anything with them? I have to say no. I have to say no. 'Cause most times they -- their motto I heard one say, 00:30:00"If you don't bother me, we don't bother you." Now, I don't know how true that is or not, but I did hear that, you know. "If you don't do anything, I won't bother you, but if you do, I will." You know, I -- that's one thing about it. My motto with this: if I asked you to do something, and you didn't do it, I'm gonna arrest you. I'm gonna arrest you through going to jail or giving you a citation, but you're gonna get one of the two. Because if I thought enough to ask you to do it, and not tell you to do it, and you respond negative, you got to go. You have to go. 00:31:00
WALKER-HARPS:Were you on the force when the KKK burned the crosses in front ofthe head's house or business?
MADDOX:Uh... (pause) I remember that, but... Let me say this: certain thingshappened. We were put on other details. You see what -- you understand what I'm saying?
MADDOX:And so that's the only way I can put that, Ms. Harps.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay. So you would not have been directly involved, and it wouldhave been arranged that way so that you would not have had an encounter with them.
WALKER-HARPS: That's interesting.00:32:00
CAIN:You remember about what year, what years those were, where they had thatmarch that you just referred to?
MADDOX:You have to pick it up a little.
CAIN:I'm sorry. You remember about what year it was, or what years it was, whenthat march happened, and you had whatever encounters with the Ku Klux Klan that you had?
MADDOX:It was in the... I believe it was in the -- I believe it was in the '60s,beginning of the '70s. I'm not for sure. I'm not for sure.
WALKER-HARPS:Were there community organizations that were active during the timethat the first black policemen were on the force? Was that during the 00:33:00era of Reverend Socksure, or was it Gary Reid, or who were the people out front in the community leading the efforts to get equality for black people at that time? Who were some of those persons?
MADDOX:(pause) Read me that again.
WALKER-HARPS:Who were some of the leaders, community leaders, during the timethat you were on the police force? Who were some of the persons who were behind the scenes, perhaps in the churches or in the community, that were out there trying to make things happen?
WALKER-HARPS:Were there -- did you have at that time an NAACP?
MADDOX:Are you saying for the police, or --
WALKER-HARPS:No, in general. Just in general.
MADDOX: (pause) I --00:34:00
WALKER-HARPS:You don't know.
MADDOX:I don't know.
WALKER-HARPS:You don't know.
WALKER-HARPS:So it sounds like you had a pretty good life. (laughter)
WALKER-HARPS:A pretty free, a pretty f--
MADDOX:-- no, no. Well, be honest with you, you know I was only there fiveyears, in Griffin, and my other 30 years was in Atlanta, with the postal inspector --
MADDOX:-- service. And I worked with them. So what happened... (laughs) Whathappened is it happened in that short span of time, but I felt, though, while in Griffin, the black leaders, as you call 'em, they wasn't behind us.
MADDOX:That's right, and if they was here today, I'd say the same thing.I'll tell you why I'm saying it. 00:35:00
MADDOX:Because I made an arrest on a kid for speeding, and the kid's fatherwould've been a higher-up in Griffin. And this -- the black leaders set me up.
MADDOX:I'm gonna tell you what I know. Tell you what I know. But the thing aboutit, it didn't work out like they thought it was gonna work, 'cause what it was, it was supposed to bring the black community against me. But there were some that didn't. And something happened -- I'll tell you it was at the 00:36:00VFW club -- I never will forget that, because that hurt me to my heart. I... What they did, they raided the VFW.
MADDOX:Now, I didn't know anything about it, but I noticed where they told me tostay that particular night, they wouldn't let no other police communicate with me. And I thought it was strange, you know. I'm right here in town. I can't go from this corner to that corner. That's true. And after a while a car pulled up and said, "Get in." So you don't question. You got a police car, they say, "Get in," you get in. You know, you don't question it. And they headed 00:37:00straight for the VFW. And I asked, I said, "What's going on." And the guy told me, just like they say, "You will find out in a few minutes." Sure did. But they went in there. They took out, or taken out, all the alcohol beverages and everything, taken it away. And I notice the so-called black leaders were behind this, 'cause, you know, most of 'em was head of the VFW. And so they set it up through him. But the thing about it, in three or four days, all this 00:38:00alcohol stuff went back to the VFW. And one of the officers took it on themself to tell me what went down. He said, "This was supposed to bring the community against you." I said, "For what?" And then he told me about that arrest.
WALKER-HARPS:That was -- in other words, that was retaliation against you havinghad the nerve to arrest somebody who was considered to be of high standing in the community?
MADDOX:Say what now?
WALKER-HARPS:Was that -- do you feel that that was a way of getting back at youfor having arrested somebody who was considered to be important in the community?
MADDOX:I don't feel; I know.00:39:00
MADDOX:That's what... 'Cause after that arrest, things started changing.
MADDOX:This person had... He had voice enough to tell people of the policedepartment what to do. And he was not the commissioner.
MADDOX:You know. And --
CAIN:Can you... Can you identify, or can you say who that was? Can you say whothat was? Can you identify?
WALKER-HARPS:Do you remember who it was?
MADDOX:Yeah, I know. I know who it was. (laughter) Yeah. You know, you don'tforget people who do you wrong. At least, I don't. And that was Goldstein. I don't know whether you know Goldstein. His son had a habit of driving through town, 50 or 60 miles an hour, and, you know, that is too fast for 00:40:00anybody. And -- but at the time I arrested him, I didn't even know whose son he was. I didn't know, until he told me. And he told me just like this. He said, "Give me the ticket. My daddy will deal with you." So I went to his daddy and told him I gave him a ticket.
WALKER-HARPS:You had a lot of nerve, didn't you?
WALKER-HARPS:You had a lot of nerve.
MADDOX:No, I didn't have a lot... It's not so much I had nerve; I just -- I hadto be threatened. You know, if we're gonna do something, let's do it. You don't have to threaten me. And that's what I feel, though: the kid threatened me, so I went to see did the father stand behind it. That's basically why I 00:41:00went. You know, it wasn't that I was showing any kind of other -- any kind of nothing, other than that. And he was standing behind his son. So... But then it worked out. Then it worked out.
CAIN:I'm not quite clear how they were gonna set you up at the VFW. I think itwas a setup in some kind of way, and they got you in the car; they took you to the VFW. What were they trying to do to set you up there?
MADDOX:That was it. That was it. The raid on the VFW was supposed to have beenmy idea.
MADDOX:To raid it.
WALKER-HARPS:But it was not. It was the Goldsteins' idea.
MADDOX:That's who it was.
WALKER-HARPS:And Goldstein was white, and, if I remember correctly,00:42:00had a lot of dealings in the black community.
MADDOX:Yeah, yeah. I -- if I may, I'll tell you something else about people,also. I have had people -- now this -- to me, this sounds... I guess I -- can I say stupid? It sounds stupid, that you see somebody, like, in the morning. Say I see you, and not knowing you, but I speak. That evening, you run a stop sign, and I see you, I'll stop you. You look at me and said, "I spoke to you this morning." (laughter) (pause) Now, you see where I'm coming from? That 00:43:00they think because you speak to them that they're immune from whatever you got to do. But I'll speak to anybody. I'll speak with anybody. And they want to give you things. They want to give you things. And if you said something to 'em later, "I gave you such-and-such a thing," they're gonna throw that up in your face, you know. So what I do, I don't accept it. I don't accept it.
WALKER-HARPS:Did you find that more common with black folk than white folk, orabout the same?
MADDOX:With both. With both.
CUNNINGHAM:Well, being a policeman is a dangerous occupation, period, but didyou find that you felt more endangered just because you were black, 00:44:00and then you were a policeman during the '60s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement?
MADDOX:Well, I did, I did. I felt like it. I really did. And tell you about anincident that happened, other than the one I was telling you about earlier, that we had another encounter, me and this officer who liked to fight, and he give me more trouble than enough. And I came home. My shirt was bloody, and, I mean, I was full of blood. My wife looked at me and said, "What happened to you?" And I thought maybe she could've responded a little better than that, (laughter) so I didn't say anything to her, period. I just went in there, washed 00:45:00off, put another shirt on, went back out in the car, went on back to work. But they -- like I said, they do try to hurt you. They try to hurt you. And they will kill you, too. And I don't want nobody think they won't. People are not afraid of police like they used to. They're not afraid of 'em, you know. They'd be--
WALKER-HARPS:So you had as much trouble with blacks as you had with whites.
MADDOX:I had more trouble. You know, to just tell it -- be frank with you, I hadmore trouble.
WALKER-HARPS:Because they expected more from you.
WALKER-HARPS:Was it because they expected more from you?
MADDOX:Well, they expect to do things, and you do nothing. You see,that's what they was expecting. And that wasn't me. That wasn't me, you know. 00:46:00
WALKER-HARPS:Did you not -- was the black community aware of the situation withMr. Goldstein? And if they were, did they not stand behind you in saying that what you did was the right thing to do? Or --
WALKER-HARPS:-- they were silent about...?
MADDOX:Oh, I don't think they did. I really don't think they did. You know, allthis stuff happened almost at midnight.
MADDOX:Sure did. I was about ready to get off. And that's when I know somethingwas wrong, you know. That they come take you off the post, put you in a car, and don't even tell you where you're going. 00:47:00
WALKER-HARPS:So I'm with Art: I'm still puzzled by who was setting up -- who wasactually doing the setup.
WALKER-HARPS:I'm a little puzzled in terms of who was actually doing the setup.The policemen were working with the Goldsteins.
MADDOX:I'm trying to fig-- I'm trying to understand what you're saying.
WALKER-HARPS:I guess I'm trying to figure out who actually... The retaliationwas from the Goldsteins, but did the people who were at the VFW club know about the incident with the young man? 00:48:00
MADDOX:Okay, okay. I might've didn't explain that clear, although I said hespoke, police listened. But he didn't have anything... Or, forget about it. He didn't have anything to do with the person who was notified. He didn't notify him. He was notified through the Police Department, this person was, that was in charge of the VFW.
WALKER-HARPS:Oh, okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. So you had policemen working withpeople out there in the community --
MADDOX:No, this was one of your top citizens.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay, yes, yes. Yes, you -- I've heard that name a lot.I've heard that name a lot. 00:49:00
WALKER-HARPS:I have heard the name a lot, in --
MADDOX:What? Which one? Goldstein, or --
MADDOX:Yeah. But, see, the person who was... I'm sorry, but I won't call thatname. I -- let me tell you why I won't: because this person still has living relatives, and him and I real good friends.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay. Okay. Well, anybody who happens to read this, and who has anyinkling of the history during that time, knows who the people were at the VFW during that period of time -- 00:50:00
MADDOX:I knew everybody who was involved. I know everybody who was involved init. It doesn't take long. It doesn't take long. 'Cause people talk. People talk, you know. This one go home and he tell his wife something. This one go home and tell his something, and she go talk. She go say, "Do you know such-and-such?" My wife even said -- let me tell you what she said to me. She say, "So you have to go over there to the VFW and take their liquor?" Sure did.
WALKER-HARPS:So you were falsely accused.
MADDOX:I just looked at 'em and said, "You just don't understand."Yeah. Here I am, I'm crying, 'cause I'm hurt. Not from what she said, but what 00:51:00was happening to me, and I couldn't do anything about it.
WALKER-HARPS:And nobody else stepped up to the plate to do anything about it.
MADDOX:And I was looking for not sympathy from her, but some kind ofunderstanding, you know. If you don't understand what I'm going through, just don't do nothing. Don't say nothing. Because she's running the wrong direction.
WALKER-HARPS:I would've expected help from the community. Did you not expecthelp from the community?
MADDOX:Did I expect...?
WALKER-HARPS:Did you expect the community to help you? Did you expectanybody in the community to understand and to come to your defense? 00:52:00
MADDOX:No, I didn't.
MADDOX:I didn't. I've been carrying this -- you know, you hear people say"baggage," don't carry the baggage? And I've been carrying this for years. And this the first time I said anything about it.
MADDOX:I never said anything about it.
CAIN:How did it ultimately resolve itself? How did it turn -- how did you getout of some of that trap?
MADDOX:Well, it didn't work out like they thought, because they were looking forme to... They were looking for the community to smother me, and I don't mean with love. 00:53:00
MADDOX:But it didn't happen that way.
MADDOX:Because, like I'm telling you, I told them. But I use other terms. Icurse sometimes. And that's what I did. I'm gonna be honest with you, you know. I told him to get out of my you-know-what face, and I don't want to hear nothing about it. And they thought that I would be fired. That's basically what it was. They thought I would be fired, but it didn't work out that way. And you probably heard me earlier talk about the chief?
MADDOX:Now, others had words not too... I don't know how you put it,but let me put it... My words for him were this: he was a man. Regardless of how 00:54:00he felt about me, or any other black, to me, he was a man. And he told me -- he called us all in his office, all the black officers within his office, and he talked to us, and he asked each one of us what we like to do. And, me, told him, "I want to be chief." The meeting was over.
WALKER-HARPS: Because of your answer? Because you wanted to be chief?00:55:00
MADDOX:I don't know. I don't know to this day why, but that's what I said. Ifyou ask me what I want to be, I want to be the chief. That's the (unintelligible), you know. (laughs) And after that, he'd say the meeting was over.
WALKER-HARPS:(pause) Well... Is there anything else about your career, either asa policeman or anything else significant in the community, that you would like to share with us?
MADDOX:I could say one thing about being a policeman here in Griffin: it helpedme get the job in Atlanta. It did. It helped me get the job in Atlanta, 'cause that job working -- at the time, the Postal Service was organizing a police force, and so the postmaster, he'd taken a liking to me for 00:56:00some reason, and he told his wife to tell me to come down there and talk with him. And believe me, I hate it to this day: I can't remember his name. But what he had -- what he did, he asked me would I like to leave. I told him yeah. And he said, "Give me three days and I'll get back with you." So in three days he did. He said, "Somebody will be contacting you in about a week." In about a week, a postal inspector came down and interviewed me. And two weeks after that, I was hired to that job in Atlanta, which I stayed for 30 years, and retired. 00:57:00
WALKER-HARPS:Did you find the racial climate in Atlanta to be different fromwhat it was here?
WALKER-HARPS:Were you treated differently from what you were treated in Griffin?
MADDOX:Oh, I tell you the truth, I wanted to come back to Griffin. (laughter)
WALKER-HARPS:It was worse?
MADDOX:That's how bad it was when I first got there. I wanted to -- I'm serious!I wanted to come back to Griffin.
WALKER-HARPS:How could it have been worse?
MADDOX: It was worse, believe me. And all this... (laughs) And allthis is coming from black. 00:58:00
WALKER-HARPS:Tell me a little bit more. I'm interested in that. How -- why wouldyou say it's all coming from blacks? What --
MADDOX:Because they the ones that was in charge.
MADDOX:And they didn't want anyone else coming in. But, see, they didn't haveany control over that, because you're being interviewed by inspectors. Are you familiar with inspectors, in the Postal Service?
WALKER-HARPS:Not really, but --
MADDOX:Okay. Inspectors in the Postal Service is something like the FBI, in --out here.
MADDOX:Out here. And what they do, we, as postal police, we work withthem, you know. We work with them. So that's how they come about. 00:59:00
MADDOX:So the people that I had problems with didn't have any pull to doanything. And what -- I'm gonna tell you basically what it was all about, because I came from the police force. So I came in with a little bit more knowledge than they had.
MADDOX:And that's what they didn't like.
MADDOX:It was more like an image thing.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay. Okay. I -- now I understand. Okay. All right.
MADDOX:But you're not gonna use that. (laughter)
WALKER-HARPS:No, but we're gonna close, unless there's something else thatsomebody wants to ask or say or...
CRUICKSHANK: I wonder if -- have you been watching the news lately,watching about what the police are doing these days? And how do you feel about 01:00:00it? Are they doing a good job? The police nowadays in Atlanta. Do you keep track of what they're doing?
MADDOX:To my police now?
CRUICKSHANK:Yeah, the police now, today. How do you feel about what they'redoing to the -- having more problems now than ever, or...?
MADDOX:Well, I have mixed emotions about that, because I think some of thethings they're doing they don't have to do, you know. My... My outlook on when I was police is that you help people. You know, you help people first, and then you arrest 'em. And... But other than the shooting going on, I don't... I don't go -- 'cause that's not justified. It's not justified. 01:01:00
WALKER-HARPS:We do need, for the record, though, to know who were the otherblacks on the police force when you were there. Who were the other African Americans who were policemen at the time that you were?
MADDOX:That they what now?
WALKER-HARPS:Who were some of the other black policemen who worked that timethat you worked in Griffin?
MADDOX:Oh, who were they?
MADDOX:Now, you had... You had Chester Milmore.
MADDOX:And you had --
MADDOX:-- Pop Ellis. You had B.J. Jackson. Uh... (pause) Who I call?01:02:00
WALKER-HARPS:I think you may have called 'em all. You called B.J. Jackson --
WALKER-HARPS:-- Chester Milner --
MADDOX:Chester, Pop --
MADDOX:Oh, Marvin --
MADDOX:-- Marvin Barrow.
WALKER-HARPS:I believe Marvin was one of the very, very first.
MADDOX:Yeah, they were the first.
WALKER-HARPS:But he's deceased now. Okay.
MADDOX:Yeah, mm-hmm. And --
CAIN:I guess I... Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I do have one other question, justcurious about. I'm sorry. I guess I do have one other question --
CAIN:-- that I'm curious about. You went into the police force... I'm justcurious about your training, because at some point you needed to know how to handle a gun. I don't know if you had military background. You know, just tell us a little bit about the training that got you from a citizen with no law enforcement background to someone who was ready to go and work out in the 01:03:00community as a policeman.
MADDOX:(pause) I'm trying... Trying to formulate that, but I'm not quite getting it.
CAIN:Okay. When you joined the police force in the early '60s, what was yourpreparation? What -- how did you -- how did you get to the point where when you went to the job you were comfortable doing your job?
CAIN:What did they teach you? How did you learn about handling firearms andthose kinds of things?
MADDOX:I got you. I was a raw rookie. (laughter) I was just a rawrookie. Anything I was confronted, I wouldn't have had any knowledge of how to 01:04:00handle it, because I was put with another police officer. And that's it. That was the training. That, and I don't know whose idea it was to come up with going to the academy, but that's the best thing could've happened. That's the best thing could've happened, going to the police academy, because they teach you so much, you know. 'Cause during the raw time, I could've shot somebody. You know, you... You know, things like that. You -- and you think it justified. You might've been wrong in doing it, you know. But I -- did I answer the question? 01:05:00
CAIN:Yeah, yeah, you said it was -- you kinda -- on-the-job training. You gotthere, and (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) --
MADDOX:Yeah, but I -- really and truly, I couldn't even call that on-the-jobtraining. I really couldn't. You call -- you in a car and then, and we go do this, we go do that, you know.
CAIN:Was that common?
CAIN:Was that common for new recruits coming in?
MADDOX:I don't know was it common or not, you know, because, like I said, afterthat they sent us to a police academy, with somebody who could teach us the right way to do things, you know. And getting into it, I've been to two academies. I've been to the police academy, and I went to the federal government academy in Bethesda, Maryland. So I got academied out. 01:06:00
CAIN:I hear you. (laughter)
WALKER-HARPS:If you had no -- if you had -- if you did not have to have anyspecial training, or any special skills, or any special -- to meet any special requirements, then it looks like they could've gotten anybody. So why did they get you guys, who were picked, unless there was somebody behind the scenes saying that these are good men, and they would accomplish what we want to accomplish? I don't understand what you actually brought to the table, except being a good person. And that's not really a question; that's just my feeling about your answer to the situation.
MADDOX:When you first come on?
MADDOX: When you first?01:07:00
WALKER-HARPS:Yeah, I mean, it could've been me or anybody, if you did not haveto have any special qualification.
MADDOX:Oh, okay, okay, I understand what you're saying now. Because a lot ofthose are police that were on there. They didn't have any. They didn't have -- they didn't have any training, proper training. Everything for what you thought.
MADDOX:You know, they didn't have any proper training. And, see, that's what Iwas saying: a lot of things could happen, and you thinking it's right, but it's not.
WALKER-HARPS:And you guys probably had much more of a gift, in terms of --especially since you were able to read and write -- than some of those who were already there.
MADDOX:Yeah, in a sense, I believe. I think we were a little bit moreprepared for it, because all us was out of school. 01:08:00
MADDOX:We finished school --
MADDOX:-- you know. And the reason I'm saying it like that, because I know -- Irode with two different fellas, and they told me they only got for such-and-such a grade, and then they hired 'em at the police force, you know. So that was that.
WALKER-HARPS:Yeah. So you were the best... It's almost like it was with going toschool, when teachers were transferred: the best of the best. And that often placed you above those who were already there. Okay. If there are no other questions, then we're going to do our wrap-up. We certainly appreciate you, Mr. Maddox. We really -- you've done a good job for us, and we have some idea as to what life was like for you, and others who were among the 01:09:00first policemen. And, again --
MADDOX:And one thing I'd like to put on the end there. You know, I thinkeverybody, regardless of what job you have, you know, be your own person. Do your own thinking. And that make things look much better.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay. That helped you when you were confronted with theexpectations of doing favors and whatever for persons, I'm sure.
MADDOX:Oh, yeah, that... That... (laughter) I mean, we were talking a while agothat I had so many girlfriends, it was pitiful. (laughter) Now, I want you to understand what I'm saying. And I don't know any of 'em. 01:10:00
WALKER-HARPS:And many of 'em probably were just a picture of a situations and acompromising situation --
MADDOX:All you had to do was talk to a lady. They're your girlfriend.
WALKER-HARPS:Well... (laughter) All right. Again, thank you. Thank you forsharing with us.
CUNNINGHAM:Thank you, Mr. Maddox.
CAIN:I say thank you --
CAIN:-- very much.
WALKER-HARPS:And you will hear from us later.
END OF AUDIO FILE