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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 338« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Rio S. Pierce)

Mr. Hubert.
assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. In particular to you, Lieutenant Pierce, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about. the death of Oswald and any other pertinent facts you may know about the general inquiry. Lieutenant Pierce, you have appeared today by virtue of a general request made to Chief Curry by J. Lee Rankin, the General Counsel of the Commission. Under the rules adopted by the Commission you are entitled to have a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of the deposition, but the rules also provide that You
may waive that 3-day written notice if you see fit to do so, and I ask you-----
Lieutenant PIERCE. I waive that.
Mr. Hubert.
May I ask you to stand and raise your right hand so that You can be sworn? Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I do.
Mr. Hunt.
Will you please state your name?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Rio S. Pierce.
Mr. Hubert.
Age ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Forty.
Mr. Hubert.
Your residence, please?
Lieutenant PIERCE. 3227 South Edgefield.
Mr. Hubert.
What is your occupation?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Police officer, city of Dallas.
Mr. Hubert.
And how long have you been so occupied?
Lieutenant PIERCE. About 17 1/2years.
Mr. Hubert.
How long have you held the rank of lieutenant?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Four years.
Mr. Hubert.
What were your specific duties and responsibilities on November 24, 1963?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Do you have reference to normal duties, or on this specific day?
Mr. Hubert.
On this specific day.
Lieutenant PIERCE. On this specific day I had instructions to secure the basement of the city hall.
Mr. Hubert.
From whom did you receive those instructions ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. From Captain Talbert.
Mr. Hubert.
Is he one of your superior officers ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes; captain of the radio patrol, lieutenant commander and--
Mr. Hubert.
What time did he give you those orders, sir?
Lieutenant PIERCE. I would say about 9 to 9:15.
Mr. Hubert.
Did he direct you as to what you were to do in order to secure the basement area ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. No, sir; other than securing enough men from the other stations to secure the basement properly and make arrangements for whatever manpower was needed for the transfer.
Mr. Hubert.
All right. Would you state for the record what you actually did in connection with carrying out those orders ?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, while we were responsible for the routine work of the department, we had to determine what manpower would be pulled on the various substations that we had, and those men were called in to the central station to be used as they were needed. Sergeant Dean was assigned the security of the basement, and he was assisted by Sergeant Putnam, and as I recall, there was a total of about 19 men that were called off their districts to help in this work.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you, yourself, do any of the inspection work, or the searching out work?
Lieutenant PIERCE. No, sir; Sergeant Dean made the assignment of the men, and approximately an hour later, I guess maybe 10:15, I did make an inspection of the basement, and apparently everything had been checked out, and it was considered secure.
Mr. Hubert.
What did your inspection consist of at the time?
Lieutenant PIERCE. Looking over the basement.
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