Mayor W. Wilson Goode today lifted the state of emergency imposed in November on a racially troubled southwest neighborhood and unveiled a plan to avert further problems.
The action stemmed from protests in the predominantly white neighborhood against newly arrived black homeowners. A state of emergency prohibiting most gatherings of more than four people was imposed Nov. 22. One couple's vacant home was set afire Dec. 12.
Goode said he was investigating why no arrests were made during the demonstrations. "People in my view broke the law and were not arrested," he said. Goode also said he was checking reports that the 12th Police District, which patrols the neighborhood, was being used as a "dumping ground" for bad police officers.
Meanwhile, addressing city officials Thursday night at the swearing-in of a new police commissioner, Goode said he has "fallen short" in some respects -- mentioning the fatal police confrontation with the radical MOVE group last May -- but holds out hope for "new opportunities" in 1986.
"Although we had difficult problems in 1985 -- and the tragic event on May 13 will forever remain in all our minds -- we're going to put 1985 in perspective. And that is, '85 is a past year," Goode said.
Kevin Tucker, a former Secret Service agent, was sworn in to succeed police commissioner Gregore Sambor, who resigned after the MOVE episode. Also sworn in were City Solicitor Handsel Minyard and Finance Director Carlo Gambetta.
Goode said Thursday that he wanted to look beyond the convictions of 29 former police officers for taking bribes to protect gambling and prostitution, and the MOVE fire in which 11 people died and 61 homes were destroyed after police bombed the MOVE house.
"We will protect the safety of our citizens, and their property, through a law enforcement system that is free of corruption and abuse," the mayor said.
Goode said police would continue to guard the house of an interracial couple who remained in the troubled southwest neighborhood despite harassment. He also said the city would set up a crisis management system for racially sensitive areas.