Thursday, February 07, 2013

Captain Henry F. Williams, Troop A, New York State Police, 1971

A few weeks ago I started to read 'A time to die' on the Attica Prison Riots by Tom Wicker. Must admit I am finding it absolutely gripping. I have a particular liking for books that give insights into other times and other places, characters that were written in that time. This picture of the police captain is very well written, makes you feel the atmosphere. Whilst it is stereotypical I find it unique and insightful. (The writer Tom Wicker has just arrived at the prison and is about to be introduced to the police captain in charge of dealing with the riot and the hostage situation, the first speaker is a police officer arriving with the writer.):

"'I'm supposed to turn you over to Captain Williams,' he told Wicker, who had read in the Times about Captain Henry F. Williams of Troop A, New York State Police, Captain Williams who had been put in tactical command of all police forces at Attica, looked to Wicker like a man who would be quite willing to issue an order to attack - not that he was military in appearance. His short sleeved white shirt was stretched tight across a sizeable paunch, he was wearing dark glasses, and - unlike most of the men in the lobby - was carrying no visible weapons. But to Tom Wicker, Captain Williams looked like a tough man indeed - there was a lot of muscle in that paunch and under the jowls a bull neck that appeared unyielding. His hair was cropped into an unfashionable crew-cut and his narrow black knit tie had an air about it of woe to hippies."      from 'A Time To Die'  p. 53

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