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Occupied TerritoryPolicing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power$
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Simon Balto

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649597

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649597.001.0001

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Negro Distrust of the Police Increased

Negro Distrust of the Police Increased

Migration, Prohibition, and Regime-Building in the 1 920s

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 1 Negro Distrust of the Police Increased
Source:
Occupied Territory
Author(s):

Simon Balto

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649597.003.0003

The first chapter opens with scenes from Chicago’s Red Summer race riot in July of 1919. It explores the cascade of white violence that characterized the riot, as well as the armed self-defense that Blacks deployed in response. It also tracks the ways in which both police brutality and police neglect were features of how Black Chicagoans experienced the Chicago Police Department during those awful summer days in which thirty-eight Chicagoans in total were killed. From there, it shifts in the 1920s, when segregation in Chicago became more rigid, and explores how police corruption and political corruption worked hand in hand to shape the city’s Prohibition decade. It documents how politicians especially used the police department to their advantage, in particular by variously allowing vice operators to set up shop in less politically influential Black neighborhoods, and subsequently cracking down on low-level vice offenses by Black people. It also explores the long reach of police torture of civilians in 1920s Chicago.

Keywords:   Race riot, Red Summer, Prohibition, Police brutality, Police neglect, Torture, Segregation, Police corruption, Political corruption, Vice

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