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Warren Commission Report: Page 208« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER V - Detention and Death of Oswald)

questions at him. Sometimes he answered. Reporters in the forefront of the throng would repeat his answers for the benefit of those behind them who could not hear. On Saturday, however in response to police admonitions, the reporters exercised more restraint and shouted fewer questions at Oswald when he passed through the corridor.83


Oswald's most prolonged exposure occurred at the midnight press conference on Friday night. In response to demands of newsmen, District Attorney Wade, after consulting with Chief Curry and Captain Fritz, had announced shortly before midnight that Oswald would appear at a press conference in the basement assembly room.84 An estimated 70 to 100 people, including Jack Ruby, and other unauthorized persons, crowded into the small downstairs room. No identification was required.85 The room was so packed that Deputy Chief M. W. Stevenson and Captain Fritz who came down to the basement after the crowd had assembled could not get in and were forced to remain in the doorway.86


Oswald was brought into the room shortly after midnight.87 Curry had instructed policemen not to permit newsmen to touch Oswald or get close to him, but no steps were taken to shield Oswald from the crowd.88 Captain Fritz had asked that Oswald be placed on the platform used for lineups so that he could be more easily removed "if anything happened." 89 Chief Curry, however, insisted that Oswald stand on the floor in front of the stage, where he was also in front of the one-way nylon-cloth screen customarily used to prevent a suspect. from seeing those present in the room. This was done because cameramen had told Curry that their cameras would not photograph well through the screen.90


Curry had instructed the reporters that they were not to "ask any questions and try to interview * * * [Oswald] in any way," but when he was brought into the room, immediately they began to shoot questions at him and shove microphones into his face." 91 It was difficult to hear Oswald's answers above the uproar. Cameramen stood on the tables to take pictures and others pushed forward to get close-ups. (See Commission Exhibit No. 2965, p. 207.) The noise and confusion mounted as reporters shouted at each other to get out of the way and cameramen made frantic efforts to get into position for pictures.92 After Oswald had been in the room only a few minutes, Chief Curry intervened and directed that Oswald be taken back to the jail because, he testified, the newsmen "tried to overrun him." 93

THE ABORTIVE TRANSFER

In Dallas, after a person is charged with a felony, the county sheriff ordinarily takes custody of the prisoner and assumes responsibility for his safekeeping. Normally, the Dallas Police Department notifies the sheriff when a prisoner has been charged with a felony and the sheriff dispatches his deputies to transport the accused to the county jail. This is usually done within a few hours after the complaint
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