Vendetta In New Orleans

The city panicked with fear of the Mafia when the police chief was murdered

The lamplight filtering through the haze and drizzle gave the streets of New Orleans an eerie pallor that October night in 1890. It was nearing midnight when Dave Hennessy, the city’s thirty-two-year-old police chief, left his office and headed home, escorted by an old friend, Captain William O’Connor. There had been threats on Hennessy’s life, but the popular and respected chief took them lightly. When the two men reached Girod Street, where Hennessy lived, the chief told O’Connor it was not necessary to accompany him any farther.Read more »

The Policeman’s Lot

Benevolent father figure? Bloody-handed Cossack? Slow-witted flatfoot? Irish grafter? Brave but underpaid public servant? Check your prejudice against this inquiry into police history

 

“The police … are virtually in a state of mutiny. Their hearts are not in their work, they have no pride in their office, they have the inclination to evade duty, give service grudgingly, and are constantly praying for a change. A sullen, discontented and discouraged army will not win battles. …”

A contemporary sociologist, describing the current crisis in the American police? No, it is William McAdoo. describing the New York Police Department shortly before he became its commissioner in 1904. Read more »