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Tape: Mrs. Bond Says Only Heard Hearsay About Young And Cocaine

June 10, 1987

ATLANTA (AP) _ The estranged wife of civil rights activist Julian Bond told police in March that she had only hearsay knowledge of alleged cocaine use by Mayor Andrew Young, according to a tape recording obtained by a television station.

A widely publicized police memo has said that Alice Bond told investigators she once saw Young doing something which later was explained to her as cocaine use. Young has denied using cocaine, and his lawyer, former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, has said the memo inaccurately portrayed Mrs. Bond’s comments about the mayor.

WAGA-TV on Tuesday night broadcast a tape of part of a police interview in which an investigator brought up Young as he asked about cocaine users. Mrs. Bond replied, ″No, no,″ then added, ″I can’t tell on everybody.″

Asked further about Young, Mrs. Bond said she knew only of ″recent hearsay″ regarding Young using cocaine.

″I was told I saw it ... but I don’t remember seeing it,″ she said.

WAGA-TV quoted unidentified police sources as saying Mrs. Bond made the comments described in the police memo in a later interview which was not recorded on the tape obtained by the television station.

In a portion of the tape broadcast by the station Monday night, Mrs. Bond said she went to police to stop people who were supplying her estranged husband with cocaine. Bond also has denied using the drug.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether city officials obstructed justice in handling Mrs. Bond’s allegations.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Lankford said he told the grand jury Tuesday that Mrs. Bond came to him with her allegations and he referred information to the Metro Drug and Vice Squad.

But Robert C. White, the sheriff’s representative on the multi-agency drug squad, said Lankford provided no information and only contacted the squad to inquire if the address of a woman named by Mrs. Bond as a drug dealer was within Fulton County.

He dropped the matter when told the address was in DeKalb County, White said.

Lankford told The Atlanta Constitution he stood by his original statement.

″If there’s a conflict, it’s with Metro Drug and Vice. I know what I passed along,″ the sheriff said.

Atlanta Police Chief Morris Redding also testified Tuesday.

″He appeared voluntarily to answer questions,″ Redding’s attorney, Bruce Kerwin, said in a brief statement. Neither he nor Redding would say what the testimony was.

Kerwin said Redding broke no laws in the city’s handling of Mrs. Bond’s allegations.

Mrs. Bond met March 19 with Atlanta narcotics officers and FBI agents, telling them of her husband’s alleged cocaine use. Redding subsequently transferred the Atlanta officers who met with Mrs. Bond off the case, an action labeled routine by police officials.

Redding briefed Young on March 24 on the allegations Mrs. Bond made to police. The next day, Young phoned Mrs. Bond about her statements. Young has said he called Mrs. Bond as a friend and asked her not to spread unfounded rumors.

Both Mrs. Bond and Young appeared before the grand jury last month. Mrs. Bond’s lawyer said she testified that Young did not try to discourage her from cooperating with police. Young would not comment on the nature of his testimony.

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