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The Rock Island Argus and daily union. (Rock Island, Ill.) 1920-1923, September 25, 1922, Image 16

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92053933/1922-09-25/ed-1/seq-16/

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"I
KCMBLEOFUICEMLD
Cssrs Afraid to Perform Their Sworn Duty Be
? : cause of Power Wielded by Immunity Kings
Outlawry in the Suburbs.
nniirA rienartment. the asrency to
i . i . -
ki.h k .ifin innka for nrotection. is in-a state oi com-
plete demoralization. You don't have to take my word for
thlev Ask the patrolman on your beat If he knows you
well enough so that he can confide in you he will tell you
that what I have said is the absolute truth. He will tell
you-that he doesn't dare to perform his sworn duty because
of possibility of offending some individual possessing privi
leges above the law, with reprimand, transfer or dismissal
as thanks for his zeal
Thla ia the iatlon In your po
lice deparunentttodsy. I don't wish
to orerdraw the' picture. But. I do
want to aend home to you Its vital
Import to you eata citizen and one
desirous of htvlac the aflalrs of
' your community ftlrected In tbe in
terest of the common welfare.
I am going to permit you to hear
a few of the men who have taken
oaths to impartially enforce the
laws of sour city. They are men
in whom you have the fullest con
fidence. They are your fellow-
oitizens, men with families ana
homes, men of clean personal
habits, men who wish to do the
right thing under'.any and all cir
cumstances. .'Let the speed fiends go by," said
one patrolman. "I'm holding a Job,
could call in a patrolman to man
handle a keeper of a house of pros
titution when she refused to meet
her assessment levied by the graft
combine I don't say that thing.
have reached that stage in Rock Is
land, but I'll not eay that they
wouldn't have if a halt had no,
been called on the brazenness of
your underworld kings. They have
been clothed with authority to com
mand policemen on their beats to
raid establishments whose keepers
they were seeking to whip into
line, and if an officer refused to
take orders from them he was
threatened with dismissal from his
Job. You can appreciate where
such a position places an officer
when he Is passing every hour
that's all. I might. halt a speeder, f nrritution .nd hooch
and take him to the station, and , bars nilnlng openiy, none of which
discover that I hau arrested !v. whan
privileged character. It would not
ha a case of trying to get even
with somebody. I would be merely
trying to make the streets safe for
drivers who obey the laws. Well,
I would probably be bold to mind
by own business thereafter. The
case might reach the police court,
and It might not. At any rate, I
would discover that I had com
mitted a blunder, and rustead of
being sustained for doing my duty
t might be bawled out and if I as
sumed to defend my action I might
bo sent into the woods. A police
uan in Rock Island doesnft get any
he dares molest, when suddenly he
is ordered by some one having no
connection with the department to
arrest the keeper of a resort where
the same traffic is being carried on
as is taking place in the establish
ments where he is supposed to keep
hands oft.
Do you suppose a Rock Island
policeman would give any heed to
you if you stopped him on his beat
and told him you wanted him to ar
rest the occupants of a disorderly
house? If you think he would I
suggest that you experiment with
this little sidelight on good citizen
ship. If the policeman is honest
wedit tor doing what he is sworn fae wJU that he ,g
o do The only policeman that is Bupposed to know that there
in right in Rock Island is the onella wrone eoine on in tUe
who doesn't see anything wrong , , and tnat bfore ne can act
and doesnt do anything when net wil, haye t0 8wear out a war.
does see something wrong. Thais jn ,ice Tne trutn is
not an exaggeration, I assure-you. , the po,lceman knows aU about
Officers Intimidated. j tne place, the number of women
I asked another officer if he I that are emDloved. what kind of
knew there were houses of prosti- j liquor is being sold over the bar
tution, gambling and whisky sell
ing on his beat, and he frankly con
fessed that he did. "But we are in
structed to keep away from the
houses of prostitution, the gamb
ling resorts and the bars where
. liquor is sold. I could fill the
police, station with prostitutes,
cambders - and hooch peddlers in
one hour, if I were allowed to do
' so. But I know that the thing for
Lie to do is to close my eyes and
. ?ep my mouth shut. Vice in Rock
inland is not controlled from the
city hall. Every officer in the d
pni'tment knows this, but he knows,
too, that the individuals that han
dle the underworld concessions are
doing it with official authority. Wh3
are tbe men who are controlling .hs
vice privllegeee? I don't think it is
necessary for me to mention their
names. Almost everybody know-
who they are. You canv see them
dashing through the streets daily
in their big automobiles, bought
with the tribute they collect from
the houses of prostituiton, gamb
ling resorts and hooch bars. I am
almost afraid to mention them. You
know what happened to Bill Gabel.
Well's that's the feeeling among the here,
JLicn In the department. One night I en he has working for him, of the
-.gr auer i;
and in the woman department, but
he'll tell you, if he is honest with
you, that the place is protected, and
is not supposed to be disturbed. Jf
you did decide to swear a warrant
against the, place before the war
rant was served the women would
be gone and the whisky would be
removed from the bar, so that when
the policeman called to serve the
warrant he wouldn't find any of the
things there against which you had
complained. So you see, Mr. Citi
zen, you don't have much chance
when the system is working as
smoothly as it has been working
in Rock Island. You may wonder
why I have not been naming the
addresses and owners of the places
I have been visiting in the under
world. I don't do it for the very
reason I have just referred to. I
might right now write the name of
a man who is the head of one of
the biggest establishments of its
kind in Rock Island. I couldn't say
positively -whether he is open or
closed as I write this. But I do
know he was running full blast the
night I called at his resort, I
j might print his name and number
una leu me uumuer ol worn-
5 8e
O'clock I innocentlv stroll- I amount of whislur anil heer hp sella
ed intq one of the resorts and ob- j in his establishment, of the open-
eerveu mai u was aiier cjosine ness with which he carries on his
time and that it would look better
it the lights were turned out and
tbe doors locked. The person in
Charge promptly reminded me that
ray place was on the street and not
hanging around saloons and houses
of prostitution. I agree with him,
for I realized that if I demanded
respect for my suggestion it might
cost, me my scalp, for the reason
that I know the owner of the place
doesn't have to take orders from
an ordinary patrolman."
"The trouble in the police de
partment is that the patrolman is
always up in the air, doesn't know
what to do," reemarked another
afficer. "There is hat feeling of
incertainty. insecurity; yon don't
know whether you aro doing right
or wrong, and the only time you
find find out is when you run afoul
of somebody that happens to have
r.pecial permission to disregard all
the laws of the city. So tbe wise
policeman, and the one who is get
ting by with the least difficulty, is
the one who sees nothing wrong.
I hope - the - Oabel murderers are
..aught, and I am satisfied they will
be in .time, but I would have hated
tc have been a witness of that
crime, under present conditions iu
Rock Island, for I 'am sure that I
would have had a difficult time
making my story stick. A police
man ia human, and he tries to be
honest and square with bis fel
lows, but when he is obliged to
work in the atmosphere that now
hangs over the department his man
hood Is crushed and his efficiency
destroyed."
,' ' Outside Commands.
- I have found in other cities con
ditions not dissimilar to those pre
vailing today in Rock Island, and
It have seen them corrected, but
heroic measures were required
Uon't condemn Rock Island po
Uceman tor winking at a law vio
lation. Either he has had his orders
to lay off or else he fears that he
will blunder to his own sorrow if
he makes an arrest I was assign
ed to a police department Investi
gation In an eastern city a few
yaarg ago. I discovered that the
vice rulers held such power they
business. Tomorrow he could brine
suit against the newspaper for
which I am employed to conduct
this investigation for $100,000 dam
ages, and summon the police an
printed charges to which
utterance. This has been done in
other cities, of course not with the
idea of recovering actual damages,
but for the purpose of discouraging I
newspapers from taking up warfare
against underworld operations. The
Argus expected to be sued before
it finished its Jresent campaign. It
knew that it would be impossible
to escape such an action, consider
ing the despicable characters pos
ing as good citizens with whose
tainted income it is obliged to inter
fere In attacking conditions preva
lent in Rock Island.
TIee in the OntsUrts.
One night, shortly after 11
o'clock, accompanied by my wife, I
haled a taxi and asked the pilot if
there wasn't some resort beyond
the confines of the city where some
real fun was to be had. He said
that If I were willing to trust to his
Judgment he would steer me to a
place where he knew that I would
be fully satisfied. When we arriv
ed at-the resort there were eight
couples there. Some were dancing.
All had been drinking. A dissipat
ed youth posing as an entertainer,
was articulating with boresome
nasal effect He was tottering be
fore a table at which two couples
of young people, all somewhat
worse for overindulgence in liquor,
were seated. One of the girls was
puffing away at a cigaret The sing
er was telling about how the moon
light makes you funny when you're
with your honey, or something.
One of the girls suddenly was tak
en sick perhaps the singing af
fected her and her escort w h
into a side room. After a time she'
returned and ordered a ' whisky, i
After she got it down she said she)
never felt finer in her life, grabbed
her escort and de shed out oh the!
floor and began a dance that would '
make Bee Palmer look like a piker.
Some kind of food was served.!
We didnt car to eat. We ordered
t Ctak of wUeky. tar walea 1
paid 7ft end ma, w oratna
amnl mads, but did mot drtak
than. W had to know soma In
clination to participate ia the orgy
or we might hava been suspected ut
being not of the right caliber to
partidpaU in Ua privileges of the
establishment Wa remained until
2 o'clock. Daring the period we
wen there 1 estimated fully 20
couples came' and went Three
vounc tins were In a pitiable state
of intoxication. One of them, 1
learned, belonaed to a good family.
She was supposed to be a good
Kirl but had begun to go bad. She
imagined she was safe from detec
tion of her neighbors when she was
out in this resort remote from the
lights of the city. This place is so
located that its orgies do not dis
turb others whose homes are In '
that locality, yet It has been an ob-;
Ject of considerable complaint, but
the authorities have never yet curb
ed its activities. It is managed by
a man who has similar interests in
the city of Rock Island, and tbe un
derstanding is that he pays hand
somely to insure him against mo
lestation. I have sought to show yon here
that there is a den running full
blast within a short distance of
your home where your son or
daughter might be ruined tonight.
I am telling you that it is running
with the knowledge of your offi
cials, at least they ought to know
it is running, and if they don't
know they can take this as notice
that it is. It may not be operat-i
ing tonight because of this publi
cation, but it will be open tomor
row night, or the next night If '
you don't believe there is such a
place being operated in defiance of i
all law and decency, interest your
self to the extent of driving to the
resort and investigating for your
self. You will see some other
mother's daughter being plied with
liquor and reveling in an atmos-J
pnere tnat win speii ner eventual
ruins. You will find that the prop
erty is owned and being prostitut
ed at large profit by a man who
would have you believe that he is a
public benefactor, when in fact he
is the promoter and protector of a
vicious institution that may be de
stroying the sweetness and happi
ness of your own family circle.
Plain Outlawry. ..
You may accuse me of being a
reformer. I am not, but I am a
believer in law enforcement. I
have seen too much of the conse
quences of laxity in this direction
to be a compromiser. I have been
describing an outlaw establishment.
It has no more right to exist than
has an agency of safe-blowers. The
people who patronize such a resort
are assured that they may go the
limit, and they usually take full,
advantage of their privileges. Per
haps it is your wish that such a
place be maintained as a tempta
tion to your son or daughter. -1
don't know, but if human nature is
the same in Rock Island as it is ia
other cities when sentiment has
been aroused over just such a state
of affairs, I believe that you would
probably be in a somewhat bellig
erent frame of mind if you were
told that your son or daughter had
been inveigled into the contaminat
ing environment of such a place
tonight, and that you would initiate
some measures to remove that
temptation.
You may be asking me how your
children are to be protected against
such menacing influences. There
is only one way: force your offi
cials to do their sworn duty. Your
officials probably have tolerated
such a resort because they have
not beard from you. Therefore, it
is only fair to your officials for you
to impress upon them that you
don't wont such a trap open for
your son or daughter. Demand of
them that they suppress it. If there
are enough of you and your fel
low citizens willine to make vour
feelings known to the officials they
can't refuse to act. But if they do
refuse to act you still have . re
course m the ballot box. and can
place in office men who you believe
will respect your wishes in such
vital matters.
The city and county governments
are involved in this story. The city
auinormes are airectly accountable
to you tor permitting the com
mercialization of lawlessness.
wouldn't want to do an injustice to
any man who is serving your city
in an official capacity, but I'm tell
ing you tnat somebody down at
your city hall is responsible for the
iree nana tnat has been wielded in
this city by men from whom the
law violators receive immunity, for
which privilege thev nav rpWular
I don't wish to
tices or tketr saoUvea. They have,
oc thay think they have, eurmowit
d an dlfficmlties ordinarily encoun
tered by such operations at the
hands of the people sad omciais.
They hav so completely conquered
their underworld subjects that the
latter respond to their every com
mand no matter to what extremes
they may he ordered to proceed.
from de"vering over their money to
taking a human' life. They have,
or thing they have, convinced the
average decent citizen that their
rale is .absolute and that ray pro
test or agitation teading to its dis-
lidgement lis punishable in such
fashion as they may elect to inflict
without . qualms of - conscience or
danger of accounting, either legal
or individual -They have blasted
reputations, broken up i happy
homes.: smeared wives and mothers,
shaken confidence in business insti
tutions. In truth, they had so com
nletelv encompassed and overpow
ered the community,', or thought
they had, that they would not even
tolerate criticism of their rate: or
policies. i
I nave ben informed that even
The Argus was included ia this
blanketing. And The Argus was,
until it has awakened to its own
unconscious guilt The Argus was
supposed to remain silent under
any and all conditions. The Argus
discovered its assumed alignment
when it lightly drew the attention
of city officials to the brazen con
ditions on "Third avenne between
Twentieth and Twenty-third streets.
suggesting, ia all? kindliness and,
friendliness, that thera should bea
curbing there. That broke the as
sumed bond between Tbe Argus
and tbe vice combine.1 Forthwith
regulatory measures were -directed
at The Argus, an of which simply
had the effect of arousing the paper
to its responsibility as a newspaper
to the decent citizenship of the
community. The Argus had only
t remain silent to have averted the
present upheaval in the cimmnnity
which will not subside until there
is a complete eradication I of ta
conditions ander which Rock U.
land has for years been stagm.
ing, most of the time unrealized
their full seriousness by the mast
of the citisenshln. The Arrua i...
witliliis fn tain fmna ttm a-v.
than the reward of acknowledge,
men of having performed its dntr
to the decent people of Rock I.
land. It asks no reward other fata
the confidence of the people in tot
earnestness and sincerity of Its ef.
tort - r ' -
thorities to defend him against the graft assessments.
n.in 1. ... I-: I. MinnillV mn.1nmn :n.r nnn .
i gave J .uj uit.li &vi vjug
your county in an official rile, but
I do want to inform you that there
is somebody in your county build
ing who has afforded latitude to
persons yho are capitalizing their
power Dy autnorizmg lawlessness
from which authority thev are real
izing cash profits.
Organized Power.
The men who have Wn
izing lawlessness in this commun
ity for a cash consideration have
builded an organization of whose
dangerous proportions possibly you
are not yet fully aware. Thev noa.
sess all of the known weapons of
resistance, intimidation, exnosnre
and defense. They have become so I
firmly entrenched that they fear!
neither the people, nor the offi
cials, nor the courts. They are'
teaching your children disrespect (
of law and order. They are edu-'
eating the ordinary decent citizen
to be afraid to question their prac- j
ILLINOIS
ROOFING &
SUPPLY Co.
Get our estimate, it's FREE.
A FLEX-A-TILE SHINGLE or
ROLL SHINGLE ROOF is the
most attractive, durable, eco
nomical and FIRS RESIST
ING ROOF.
OLE FBICES IKE THE
x LOWEST ,
Ol'B WORKMEN THE BEST
Out of town work promptly;
attended to.
We do aOOF PAINTING and
general roofing.
Phone k. I. 1550
180. 13W first Ate, bV L
L.S.McCahe& Co Rock Island, III
PHONE R.I.344.
HAIL TO THE YANKS!
It's a long way to Tipperary, but Rock island's right here, with the Home Fires
Burning and a big welcome to the Boys in Khaki.
the American Legion
If you want to take home something for the wife, mother, sister, or
sweetheart, come in, we can fix you up and will treat you right.
Welcome to
. " .
TAKE HOME
SILK UNDIES
Dainty Silk Underwear grows
more popular each season.
What would please the home
folks more?
Step-in Sets Radium, Trousseau
Crepe and Crepe de chine ; flesh
jrchid $4.98' $8.50
Envelope Chemise Plain tail
ored or dainty trimmed in lace or
ribbon. Of the finest crepes, rad
iums and satins in flesh, orchid,
white and pastel shades
on
sale
Silk Gowns A wonderful selec
tion of styles, trimmings and ma
terials, at prices to please every
one,
at
$3.98 W$10
$4.98"$16.50
Attractive BLOUSES
The sleeves, cuffs, collars and trimmings conform to
Fashion's latest diction, and vary pleasingly from
the plainer styles to the elaborately beaded Paris
ian modes made of the finest materials. Give us the
size wanted we can do the rest. Moderately priced
from
4 98 to 16.50
TOILETRIES
At the Toilet Goods Counter, the favorite odors in per
fumes and toilet water as well as the well known makes
of Face and Talcum Powders can be found. The very,
kind milady uses, is here and ready for your selection.
Just the kind to take home.
Worth While
HOSIERY
Women's Lace Striped Hose
Kayser make, Italian silk. In
black or
cordovan, pair POeavU
Women's Italian Silk HosePlain
of fancy colored tops of green,
gold or purple. Black only, pair
$3.50 $1.50
Women's Pure Thread Silk Hose
Fancy lace clock, high spliced
heel, double sole. Beautiful qual
ity of silk. Black only. Each pair
nicely boxed without dO 'TIS
extra charge, pair . . P
Garments with Style and
Individuality
We present for your approval, a showing of coats and suits that represent
the greatest values that have been produced for many years. We are
proud of such garments as ours and we want you to come and get ac
quainted with the great, number of new fabrics that are used in the Gar
ments for Fall and Winter. They are beautiful and we have the most de
sirable of them. The prices we quote will appeal to your pocketbook,
and we are certain the new styles will delight you.
COATS
SUITS .
$1.75 to $198.50
$39.75 to $150.00
Jewelry Novelties
Fashion has originated many things
this season that play a big part in add
ing a becoming touch to milady's cos
tume. See a host of these novelties in
the Jewelry Section.
Jeweled Barrettes CQ A I'OC
Much in vogue . . 30C lO P 1 sCU
Bead Necklaces In a wonderful assort-
r! 35c to $5.00
and Jeweled Girdles Attractive
.... $1.45 to $3.75
-In solid gold or gold
$1.00 to $10
Bead
tssort-ment
Brooch and Bar Pins
filled, to
meet every wish
Souvenir Pennies A unique paper weight,
and a splendid souvenir on
of Rock Island, each OOC
Souvenir Spoons Plated good luck spoons.
An inexpensive Rock Island
souvenir, each OOC
Sterling Silver Spoons d 1 A 9
Df Rock Island .... P A O l0 $
Pearl Necklaces Very special, 18 and 24
inch, indistructable pearls with gold
:p..... $2.95 & $3.95
Hallowe'en Favors
Hallowe'en with its happy parties calls for
its particular kind of decorations and fav
ors, to make the affair a succes. Anticipa
tion is our great forte ; therefore you can
come here confident of seeing the very
things that will make your party all that a
Hallowe'en affair should be.
(Stationery Section.)
A New Bag
Will please any woman, lie new shapes,
linings and fittings play an important part
as well as the wearing quality of the leath
er. All this is here, and besides they are
extremely moderate in price. -
Bags .. . .. . $15 to $16.50
Vanity Boxes $125 to 5.95

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