Did Ed Rendell order union violence against Clinton Protesters?
1) Evening Bulletin:
Rendell, who was mayor of Philadelphia at the time, admitted in a deposition following the Oct. 2, 1998 beatings to personally inviting Teamsters Local 115 Secretary-Treasurer John Morris and instructing the union to "drown-out" the Clinton protesters.
"I specifically said I didn't want any interaction with the demonstrators. I wanted this to be extremely peaceful and extremely positive," Rendell also claimed in the deposition, which was taken two years after the fact.
Morris was caught on video by local media placing a fedora over protester Don Adams' head, signaling the Teamsters to knock him to the ground and assault him. Adams was treated at a nearby hospital for a concussion, lacerations and multiple bruises. His sister, Teri, sustained minor injuries.
Testimony from Morris' chief of staff revealed that, after the beatings, Rendell called Morris about the Teamsters who participated in the attack and said, "nothing is going to happen to these guys," and "I know how these things go." He then suggested that Morris and the Teamsters file a criminal complaint against Adams, which they did two days later on Oct. 4, 1998, alleging that he struck a woman in their group.
Even though there was no police reports supporting the Teamster's claim, the incident was caught on video, and the District Attorney's Office pursued trial against Adams, who filed suit against the Teamsters and Rendell several months later.
At one point, the Teamsters offered to drop their charges against him if he dropped his case. During that time, they launched a media campaign and accused Adams of being a woman-beater. Adams rejected the deal and was found not guilty on July 8, 1999. Five teamsters then pled guilty to various charges of assault and were granted probation, and Morris died in 2001. . . .
2) Philadelphia Inquirer really down plays the story and gives a completely different take on the evidence, though at least it covers it. It is hard to believe that both reporters were in the same courtroom:
But yesterday the content of two conversations between the men eight years ago continued to fuel a civil-rights lawsuit filed by Cheltenham siblings who contend that their free-speech rights were violated when they were beaten by Teamsters for heckling President Bill Clinton at an Oct. 2, 1998, appearance in Center City.
At issue before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday was whether a federal judge properly dismissed the suit by Don and Teri Adams.
Don Adams, 46, and sister Teri, 47, contend that members of Teamsters Local 115 ended their anti-Clinton demonstration with a beating because Rendell had earlier called Morris, asked for a union presence at Clinton's appearance, and said the Teamsters should "drown out" anti-Clinton protesters. . . .