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Three excerpts from Republican sources that document police brutality present in the Kansas City Police Department. Excerpts include an editorial from the Kansas City Star from August 30, 1921, a court opinion by Judge Thad B. Landon, and a statement from Attorney R. R. Brewster published on September 4, 1921. This broadside was produced to discourage Kansas Citians from voting for Kansas City Police Commissioner Matthew Foster, the Republican candidate for mayor.

Date: 
1922

Clipping from the Kansas City Journal-Post that criticizes both candidates for mayor: Matthew Foster and Frank H. Cromwell. Foster, a Republican backed by the Kansas City Star, is described as being overzealous in his pursuit as Kansas City police commissioner to "stamp out vice and lawlessness". Cromwell, on the other hand, is accused of being backed by the Kansas City Democratic machine. The Journal-Post urges Kansas City to vote and make their voice heard.

Date: 
April 3rd 1922

Report published by the Kansas City Society for Suppression of Commercialized Vice describing the actions of the society to combat local vice and to stay "the invidious and deathly march of human lechery and moral degeneracy in our midst." The group participated in the formation of the Injunction and Abatement bill through which "houses of prostitution are defined as nuisances," in taking action against Annie Chambers' "immoral resort," and in fighting "the allied evils of the liquor and drug habits" with the help of of local police and judges.

Date: 
October 31st 1923

Form letter from Joseph B. Shannon to the people of Kansas City in which Shannon provides a list and figures documenting the rise of crime and police brutality in Kansas City from 1921-24 with the police department controlled by Matthew Foster and The Kansas City Star. In the postscript, Shannon alleges that policemen were ordered to "pay monthly political assessments" and states that the past "four years of police administration cost the taxpayers of Kansas City $5,232,691.74."

Date: 
March 19th 1925

Clipping from the Kansas City Post on February 26, 1925 showing three Kansas City policemen involved in a heist. The caption states, "Confessions they stole eleven cases of whisky from a $200,000 cache they found in a garage at 7112 East Fifteenth street, were made today by these three policemen. Their signed statements involve Joseph R. Gant, accused wrecker of the Centropolis bank. They are (1) Ira H. Miller, police chauffeur; (2) Lawrence Bowers, patrolman; (3) William F. Langford, patrolman."

Date: 
February 26th 1925

Navy blue police buttoned-down uniform worn by a captain of the Metropolitan Police Department of Kansas City, Missouri. The outfit features a captain's police cap with black detail, collar letters "K.C.P.D.", three black stripes at the wrists, emblem buttons, and pleated pants with pastel blue stripes at the side.

Date: 
1925

Tenth Anniversary and "Progress Edition" of the Kansas City Call newspaper. The paper includes stories about crime and political news, social and church updates, sports stories, and advertisements for local businesses, groceries, and cosmetic products. A spread on page B-3 includes a statement from editor and publisher C. A. Franklin as well as photographs of the Call's facilities on 18th Street and its editorial and other staff. "Present Day Kansas City Far Cry From 1850" on B-4 describes the changes in the city over the last 75 years.

Date: 
July 27th 1928

Report prepared by the Kansas City Public Service Institute, under the direction of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, surveying the Kansas City Police Department.

Date: 
March 1929

Court Opinion by Commissioner Walter N. Davis for Criminal Case No. 30129: State of Missouri vs. Oscar Rowe, Appellant. Kansas City Republican Precinct Captain Oscar Rowe was found guilty of giving corn whiskey to Arch Duncan as part of a larger scheme to deprive Democratic voters from voting in the November 6, 1928 presidential election. Rowe operated an establishment at 602 Main Street, Kansas City, MO that was licensed as a soft drink parlor and cigar store, but was in fact an establishment of gambling, prostitution, and illegal liquor consumption.

Date: 
February 19th 1930

Clipping from the Kansas City Star of Tom Pendergast, Joe Shannon, and Cas Welch dressed as old women and knitting while the Kansas City Police Department plays like children on the floor. The signs on the wall show, "God Bless Our Home", "Crime never pays", and "The way of the transgressor is hard".

Date: 
1931

Clipping from the Kansas City Star on April 22, 1931 shows a satirical concept for police badges to be used by "Goat", "Rabbit", and "Hybrid" factions controlled by Tom Pendergast, Joe Shannon, and Cas Welch, respectively.

Date: 
April 22nd 1931

Clipping from the Kansas City Star on February 15, 1931 showing Tom Pendergast, Joe Shannon, and Cas Welch enjoying Home Rule of the Kansas City Police Deparment while trading police action figures. The spectator comments, "What more do they want?"

Date: 
February 15th 1931

Letter from Lewis Goodson to Ralph Lozier hoping for Lozier's and Tom Pendergast's assistance in keeping his job.

Date: 
April 1st 1932

Letter from Ralph F. Lozier to Lewis Goodson. He informs Goodson that he has written to Judge Henry F. McElroy and James M. Pendergast in support of Goodson's continued employment on the Kansas City Police force.

Date: 
April 8th 1932

Unknown Republican publication without volume or issue identification with excerpts from several St. Louis newspapers about the corrupting influence of Tom Pendergast in Kansas City, including the accusation that he chose the Democratic nominee for Governor. Crimes committed by Johnny Lazia and others are also described. The last page is titled "Pendergast Gang is Strictly 'Business'" [this portion could not be scanned due to adhesive].

Date: 
1932

Clipping from the Kansas City Star on March 16, 1932 showing the Kansas City Police Department saluting Henry F. McElroy.

Date: 
March 16th 1932

Kansas City Police Department radio logs from the morning of June 17, 1933 during the Union Station Massacre. These transcriptions were used in support of the defendant in Criminal Case No. 35160: State of Missouri vs. Adam Richetti. The report describes the suspects as "very neatly dressed."

Date: 
June 17th 1933

Kansas City Police Department mugshot of organized crime figure Giovanni "John" Blando, including a physical description, listing his occupation as bar owner, and recording an arrest for arson on December 7, 1933.

Date: 
December 7th 1933

Letter from John E. Robertson to Guy B. Park regarding violence and election fraud taking place at a March 6th primary election.

Date: 
March 13th 1934

Letter from Rich Correll to Governor Park referencing an attached editorial which excoriates the Kansas City Star for its supposed anti-Democratic leanings.

Date: 
April 20th 1934

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.