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Tense Calm Returns to E. Cambridge


By Peter Shapiro

The heated rage that rocked East Cambridge with riots dropped below the boiling point this week as calm returned to the white ethnic neighborhood of Lawrence P. Largey, the 17-year-old youth who died in a jail cell October 22.

After five days of burning cars and smashing store windows, the residents of the Roosevelt lowers housing project resumed their normal day-to-day schedules.

But the question which angered the community, still remains unanswered: Did police beat Larry Largey to death? An initial autopsy, conducted by state medical examiner Dr. Charles R. Robinson, reached a preliminary conclusion that an overdose of barbiturates and liquor caused the death.

Suspicions in the community have prompted a second autopsy, this time conducted by Dr. David Spain, the pathologist who performed the post mortem on Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. But the results of Spain's examination are being kept secret until the opening of a state inquest into the death on November 9.

The inquest which Middlesex District Attorney John Droney is conducting, may lead to a formal indictment of the police involved in the arrest it sufficient evidence that Largey died from a beating is found.

Meanwhile Cambridge City Manager John H Corcoran is running an independent investigation into the conduct of the Cambridge Police Department which may result in disciplinary action against several officers.

And if the Fast Cambridge community and the Cambridge City Council, which was almost irked enough to declare a state of emergency throughout the city last week, keep up their pressure, the Cambridge Police Department may soon find itself short a few men.

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