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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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This Community Is Being Criminalized

This Community Is Being Criminalized

(p.59) 3 This Community Is Being Criminalized
Running the Numbers
Matthew Vaz
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the politics of gambling in New York City. A long tradition of demands for black autonomy in the gambling business confronted a well developed system of gambling corruption in the New York Police Department. A citywide scandal relating to police corruption beginning in 1950, led to a crisis of police morale. As successive police commissioners attempted to clean up the gambling corruption problem in the department, the rank and file became increasingly militant and defensive. The poor reputation of the NYPD as a corrupt and brutal force undercut the ability of police to maintain order in the city, culminating with the Harlem Riot of 1964.

Keywords:   Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Earl Brown, Robert F. Wagner Jr., New York Police Department, Harlem Riot of 1964, Stephen P. Kennedy, Michael J. Murphy, numbers game, police corruption, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association

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