court papers for Ray Wood and the Statue of Liberty case

United States of America, Appellee, v. Walter Augustus Bowe, Robert Steele Collier, and Khaleel Sultarn Sayyed, Defend.pdf

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Title

court papers for Ray Wood and the Statue of Liberty case

Subject

Ray Wood, CORE, Statue of Liberty

Description

These are court papers for the appeal of the defendants in the 1965 Statue of Liberty case in which it was alleged undercover police officer Ray Wood was the one responsible for coming up with the idea to bomb the State of Liberty, not the defendants (United States of America, Appellee, v. Walter Augustus Bowe, Robert Steele Collier, and Khaleel Sultarn Sayyed, Defendants-appellants, 360 F.2d 1 (2d Cir. 1966)).

What is significant about the appeal is that the lawyers for the defendants stated they had witnesses who could testify that Wood had also approached them in an attempt to work with him to bomb the Statue of Liberty in 1964. Two of these witnesses identified themselves as members of the Congress of Racial Equality. These statements confirm what other CORE members have said in oral histories as discussed in the "Incognegro" articles, specifically Rafael Martinez of Bronx CORE and Stuart Wechsler of Bronx CORE.

These statements also contradict what Ray Wood is reported to have said in the book "The Ray Wood" story by Reggie Wood. On page 48, Ray Wood claimed his BOSSI/NYPD handlers ordered him to try and convince Collier, Bowe and Sayyed to blow up the Statue of Liberty at a meeting on Jan. 19, 1965. The statements of these CORE members not only confirm Bowe and Sayyed claims of entrapment but also speak to the several inconsistencies in "The Ray Wood Story". One question that should be asked is whether or not the idea to blow up the Statue of Liberty actually came from Wood's handlers or Wood himself.

From the court document:
"Collier did not testify in his own behalf, but his attorney offered to put witnesses on the stand who, he asserted, were prepared to testify that during the spring and summer of 1964, Wood had urged them to participate in certain violent action in New York City, e. g., blowing up the Statue of Liberty and sewers, and stick-ups in Harlem. He argued that the testimony was crucial to the defense of entrapment in that it would impeach Wood's testimony and show his intent toward the appellants. The Government objected to the introduction of such testimony and the court sustained the objection on the ground that the slight probative value of the testimony was outweighed by its propensity to confuse the jury and unnecessarily prolong the trial by introducing collateral issues."

"Appellants assign as error the trial court's refusal to permit Joseph Teahan, an eighteen-year old member of the Congress of Racial Equality, to testify that, in July, 1964 at a civil rights demonstration at Foley Square, Wood asked him to participate in a plan to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Three grounds of admissibility are advanced by the appellants."

"Appellants also object to the trial court's refusal to permit Barbara Loeb to testify that in June, 1964 she saw Wood at a civil rights rally and suggested blowing up the Statue of Liberty to him, and that he inquired as to what effect that would have. The grounds for excluding Teahan's testimony are more than sufficient to justify the action of the trial court with respect to Loeb's testimony."

The full court document is included at the top of this page and here is the link to it online:
https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/360/1/390905/

Creator

L. E. J. Rachell

Source

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/360/1/390905/

Publisher

History News Network

Date

Argued February 24, 1966
Decided April 28, 1966

Type

.pdf

Coverage

1966 New York City

Collection

Citation

L. E. J. Rachell, “court papers for Ray Wood and the Statue of Liberty case,” corenyc.org, accessed October 16, 2021, http://www.corenyc.org/omeka/items/show/360.

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