NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire V. 16.1 - Page 39

On June 16, 1938, Kynette was convicted of attempted murder, assault with intent to murder, and malicious use of explosives. Allen was found guilty of malicious use of explosives, while Browne was acquitted of all charges. On June 27, 1938, Kynette and Allen were sentenced to indeterminate life terms at San Quentin. The convictions were confirmed on appeal. The convictions were the spark that ignited the recall of Mayor Shaw. 17 Davis was questioned about 60 Intelligence Squad dossiers on prominent persons and officials, such as Assemblyman S amuel Yorty, Congressman Jerry Voohris, Clifford Clinton, Supervisor John Anson Ford, and many other prominent persons. The records had been smuggled from a storehouse and turned over to the prosecution. Davis said the spying was necessary to gain an understanding of radical organizations. The prosecution contended the lapd was spending $100,000 a year to shadow persons who objected to the control of the Shaw administration by the underworld. The California Supreme Court in its opinion concluded: Throughout the trial and upon these appeals, the prosecution has repeatedly asserted that the membership of this special unit, consisting of some eighteen or twenty men, was largely engaged in setting dictaphones, spying upon, ‘tailing’ and in general conducting a[n] extensive espionage of persons who might engage in any political activities opposed to the interests of the then incumbent city administration. 16 While the Kynette trial was underway, Loren Miller, in the same courthouse, was engaged in a high profile trial himself. On February 17, 1938, George Farley, a 54-year-old African American unemployed laborer, shot to death two deputy marshals who had come to evict him from his home in the Central Avenue district. Farley and his wife had purchased the home in 1923 for $2,300, which was paid in full by 1929. The couple received a deed, and Farley was told that as long as he had the deed, no one could ever take his home from him. During the Depression, an assessment of approximately $29.00 for paving a street a block away from his home was levied on the Farleys. The husband and wife were unemployed but could not get relief, because they owned a home. In 1935 the street bonds were purchased by an investment company that foreclosed and sold the property for $150 to an investor who offered to resell the property to Farley for $1,100. When Farley did not pay, the investor had a writ of possession issued, and the deputies came to the home to evict the Farleys. The deputies entered the kitchen of the small house and began to remove pots and pans without identifying themselves or speaking to Farley. The deputies wore no badges, showed no papers, and offered no explanation to Farley. Farley retrieved an old hunting rifle and shot two of the deputies to death. A gun battle ensued in which Farley was subdued, after he was wounded. 18 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE The police chemist, Ray Pinker, testified that William “Red” Hynes of the Red Squad had encouraged him to lie about the wire in Kynette’s garage. Hynes was called by the defense to impeach Pinker by denying he had made the statement. This was not Hynes’s first brush with corruption in a trial. Earlier in the year, he had been subpoenaed in a case involving the takeover of the teamsters by mob members. 14 Chief Davis testified at the trial. His appearance was mocked by the People’s World: “Dressed like a peacock,” it taunted, “with a gold embroidered uniform and hair that appeared to be artificially curled, Chief of Police James E. Davis today held the center of the stage at the bomb trial, and he wriggled under the spotlight.” 15 37 There was strong circumstantial evidence tying Kynette and Allen to the bombing. A foundry man testified that Kynette and another man came to his foundry seeking pipe or tubing that would break into small pieces. During a search of Kynette’s home, police found wire on a workbench in the garage that matched bomb fragments found in Raymond’s garage. The wire was a rare type, which was not readily available on the market. The wire was bought in San Francisco from a firm that had sold such wire only once in the last 10 years. Prosecution experts, including a chemist from the lapd, testified the wire in Kynette’s garage was the same as that used in the bomb. 13