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York, Pennsylvania, Mayor Surrenders, Is Charged With Homicide for Race-Related 1969 Murder

Aired May 17, 2001 - 08:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: The mayor of York, Pennsylvania, has turned himself in to police.

We have Patty Davis on the phone with more on this.

Patty, what's up?

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Colleen, the mayor of York surrendered this morning, at district court in York, amid a crush of media. Mayor Charlie Robertson was emotional in court, tears streaming down his face. He's being charged with criminal homicide in connection with the 1969 murder of a black woman, Lillie Belle Allen, during racial-related riots here.

Robertson was a police officer in York at the time. He admits he made racial comments the day before Allen's murder. At a rally, Robertson yelled, "white power!" Court papers say the same police officer incited white street gang members to violence and gave them ammunition.

Allen, the woman who was murdered, was visiting York, from South Carolina. She was gunned down after she drove into a neighborhood frequented by white gang members.

Robertson says he had nothing to do with that murder.

Five others, including four former gang members, have been charged with her death.

Robertson's arrest -- this is interesting -- comes just two days after the two-term mayor won the Democratic nomination for yet another term. Robertson says that he will not step down, and he, in fact, will keep campaigning. He said, as he left court, I am the mayor; I will stay the mayor.

MCEDWARDS: Can he do that, Patty?

DAVIS: He, apparently, can do that. He says that he's not going to turn the reins over to anybody else, as had been speculated, while he's going through this. He most likely, he says, will get bail today, and he says that he's going to stay the mayor no matter what.

MCEDWARDS: Patty Davis, following that story for us, thanks very much.

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