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Running the NumbersRace, Police, and the History of Urban Gambling$
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Matthew Vaz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226690445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226690582.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

“Are You Going to Let a Negro Name the Next Mayor of Chicago?”

“Are You Going to Let a Negro Name the Next Mayor of Chicago?”

Investigations and Elections

(p.31) 2 “Are You Going to Let a Negro Name the Next Mayor of Chicago?”
Running the Numbers
Matthew Vaz
University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins with the arrival of the Kefauver Committee in Chicago. The Senate Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce held hearings in the city taking testimony from the mayor, the police commissioner, and many criminal gamblers both black and white. Following the committee hearings, the Chicago City Council pursued a years long investigation into corruption in the Chicago Police Department, leading to a crisis of morale among officers. As Chicago police continue to arrest black Chicagoans for gambling in large numbers, the police largely ignore white riot mobs using violence in an attempt to preserve segregated housing. This dynamic of policing frustrated the black community and heightened racial tensions in the city. These tensions played out during the 1955 Democratic primary race for mayor, during which the campaign of Martin Kennelly and much of the press used the issue of black gambling to minimize black grievances over segregated housing and corrupt policing.

Keywords:   Kefauver Committee, William L. Dawson, Martin Kennelly, Trumbull Park Houses, Richard Daley, police corruption, police solidarity, housing segregation, policy game, organized crime

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