Was the Stoning Planned?
From the Report of American Civil Liberties Union
There is no ground for believing that every man or woman who participated in the rioting had gone to the concert area with that intention. However, there is simple evidence that many of them had exactly that purpose in mind and, with the greatest of care, had planned to that end.
A woman witness, holding paid office in one of Peekskill's churches, testifies that three independent witnesses, each of whom is willing to testify before responsible federal authorities if called upon to do so, claims that on the morning of Sept. 4th, a car driven by veterans was loading rocks in the area of Shrub Oak Park Colony. The license plate number of this car, she asserts, is 4D267.
Another witness asserts that on the afternoon of Saturday, September 3, a carload of young men drew up outside her property and began loading rocks into the luggage compartment.
Another claims that he was not present at the riot and, in fact, was forty miles or so north of the riot area on Sept. 4th. On the morning of the 4th, he stopped to talk with a State Trooper of whom he asked how it happened that he was not on duty down State, near Peekskill. The trooper answered that he had been assigned to duty elsewhere in the state and that he was not at all sorry over the fact. The two discussed the genera! purpose of the "demonstration." The witness was informed that the apparent purpose of the veterans was to take Hillside Avenue by sheer mass, to keep marching and counter-marching and to make it physically impossible for anyone to get to the concert grounds. Asked whether physical violence was publicly threatened, the State Trooper answered:
"I dunno. But somebody told me the whole road was lined with rocks."
When asked who picked the rocks, the trooper answered:
"I don't know but I hope it's the veterans."
This exchange occurred at approximately noon of the day of the riot, some hours before the concert was scheduled to begin.
A second newspaper witness reports that a mile and a half from the concert ground he saw a station wagon with baskets of rocks loaded on its running board.
The wide extent of the stoning indicates careful planning on the part of some person or persons. It can hardly be coincidence that, as cars with broken windows streamed down the county towards New York, they were met with volleys of stones in community after community through which they passed.