Handling of Siege Pleases Police


Norman Mayer, an anti-nuclear activist, was shot and killed December 9, 1982 on the GW Monument grounds by police officers. The D.C. Medical Examiner said that Mayer was hit by four bullets--two in the arm, one in the face, and one on the head.

Park Police Chief Lynn Herring said after the killing that the orders to police "were not to shoot to kill" and that Mayer was killed by a bullet or bullets that ricoheted off Mayer's van. The Park Police were congratulated by many in the press, including the Washington Post, which editorialized (12/10/82) that police "did what had to be done at the time."

But many believe that police officials could have taken Mayer without killing him. Did the bullets that killed Norman Mayer ricochet off the van, as Police chief Herring has said? Or was the death of Norman Mayer the result of a more deliberate act of violence? (If these are questions that bother you, call Speaker Thomas O'Neill or Senator Howard Baker (224-3121) and demand a Congressional investigation of the entire December 9 incident on the mall.)

Since the killing, The Park Police, many in the press, and even some members of the "freeze movement" have sought to slander Norman Mayer. Park Police Chief Herring labeled Mayer's action "bizarre". But on the issue of nuclear annihilation, WHO IS THE BIZARRE ONE? NORMAN MAYER? or YURI ANDROPOV? or RONALD REAGAN?