VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 176 POSTED ON: 1/8/2012
1 Dangerous Strangers: Minority Newcomers and Criminal Violence in the Urban West. Chap01 Introduction Beginning in the late 1960s, the nation‟s cities were inundated with what was seen as an unprecedented wave of criminal violence. In San Francisco, the average annual homicide rate rose to 18.5 per 100,000 population by the latter half of the 1970s, up from 5.9 in an equivalent period in the early 1960s. In order to come to an understanding of the criminal disorders plaguing their cities, many urban scholars began to look in earnest at violence in America‟s past. Over the next 40 years the scholars produced a myriad of studies probing the circumstances and causes of criminal violence. Some looked to the Southern United States and its supposed culture of violence, both before and after the Civil War. Others explored criminal violence in the mining camps and cow towns of the nation‟s fabled “Wild West.” Still others studied the densely populated cities of the nineteenth century urban East. The result of all the analysis was a large mosaic of studies offering a seemingly puzzling array of homicide rates in different times and places. Eric Monkkonen reports a homicide rate for New York City of 5.9 per 100,000 in the last half of the nineteenth century.1 Theodore Ferdinand estimated a rate of slightly less than 4 in a similar period in Boston.2 And in Philadelphia, Roger Lane found an average rate of about 3.3 Other studies have come up with strikingly different homicide rates in the Southeast quarter of the country. Fox Butterfield mentions a rate of 18 per 100,000 in mid-nineteenth century Edgefield County, South Carolina.4 Gilles Vandal has more recently reported a rate of 51 in rural Louisiana in the Reconstruction-era South, and 200 in the more lethal Red River counties upstate.5 On the Western frontier, Roger McGrath found a rate of 116 homicides per 100,000 population during the 1870s in Bodie, one of the two trans-Sierran mining communities he studied.6 Clare McKanna Jr. discovered a rate of 34 in Las Animas County, Colorado, between 1880-1920, and 70 in Gila County, New Mexico, during the same period.7 More recently, John Boessenecker has compiled an impressive collection of statistics which show rates upwards of 200 in many California Gold Rush communities during the violent 1850s.8 To account for the disparities, scholars looked at a large number of factors thought to affect homicide rates.9 Some have considered age and gender as contributing greatly to homicide rates.10 Others have examined the relationship between the availability of firearms and homicide.11 Much study has been expended on looking at the connection between race, ethnicity and criminal violence.12 Some scholars have noted the connection between some immigrant groups and criminal violence.13 And some have suggested that the inability or unwillingness of the established authorities – the police – to mount systematic efforts to suppress violence can contribute to high rates of homicide.14 (Appendix One contains a discussion of the different methodologies used to calculate homicide rates which to some degree explains the disparate rates.) One pivot upon which the debate about homicide causation among minority groups revolves is the question of to what extent the criminal violence emanates from the 2 culture of the group involved, as distinguished from that which is the result of mistreatment of a minority group by the majority society. This study will examine two aspects of the subject of criminal violence. Using homicide as an index of the amount of criminal violence generally, we will look at the almost 7,000 cases that occurred in San Francisco between 1850 and 2000, particularly those involving minority newcomer groups. We will then attempt to ascertain how much of the newcomer violence can be charged to the culture of the group involved and how much to their treatment by the host society. We will also consider the extent to which police practices influence levels of criminal violence. The study will demonstrate that high rates of criminal violence can be attributed more to the group‟s culture than generally believed. It will also conclude that what the police do – or do not do -- affects the level of violence in a community. Hostility and violence between newcomers and natives has a history as old as European settlement of the continent, and doubtless reaches back even farther. As far as is known for sure, the first Europeans to attempt to settle in what is now North America were eleventh century Norse seafarers. The Norsemen departed from their New World settlements after three years because of the hostility of the native people they called skrellings. According to the best information we have, it was the Norsemen who initiated the violence, but whatever its source, their hostile reception by the skrellings would be the first of many instances of “native” Americans objecting to the presence of immigrant newcomers. In the colonial era, no less a personage than Benjamin Franklin gave voice to anti- immigrant sentiments in his objection to “German boors” in Pennsylvania.15 A couple of generations later it was the “native” Protestant Americans who objected vigorously and violently to the incursion of large numbers of Catholic Irish immigrants. Out west a couple of decades later, the Irish immigrants of an earlier period objected to the arrival of nineteenth century Chinese newcomers. And so it went. In the early twentieth century, earlier European immigrants opposed the more recent immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. In our own time, some of the same sort of sentiment is being expressed about those arriving from Asia and Latin America.16 Much of the basis for resistance to immigration was--and is--economic. Nativist objections to immigration during the early days of the Republic were directed at English artisans who, it was felt, would force wages down.17 The arrival of large numbers of Irish Catholics coincided with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, and as the jobs moved from the shop to the factory and many were lost to them, Protestant natives blamed the newcomers. The same sort of concern was at the root of much of the nineteenth century anti-Chinese sentiment in California. It is now the Latinos and Asians who are seen by some as depriving “real” Americans of work. Some of the opposition to immigration also had to do with concerns that the newcomers contributed disproportionately to the incidence of crime. Benjamin Franklin also objected to the importation of British felons to the American colonies, charging that many of them escaped from servitude “and, wandering at large from one populous town to another, commit many burglaries, robberies, and murders, to the great terror of the people. . . .”18 Are immigrants in fact responsible for more than their share of violent crime? By some accounts, mid-nineteenth century Irish and turn-of-the-twentieth century Italians 3 were disproportionately violent.19 And despite Benjamin Franklin‟s concerns, German immigrants, who arrived in large numbers about the same time as the flood of famine Irish, were much less criminally violent. 20 Jewish immigrants, who arrived about the same time as the large influx from Italy, were demonstrably less violent.21 Nineteenth century Chinese newcomers to San Francisco posted the highest homicide rates of any group in the city‟s history. Yet nowadays Chinese immigrants are billed as a “model minority.” More recently, other newcomers to urban America, African-Americans – and to some extent, Latinos – have been charged with contributing disproportionately to rates of criminal violence. Figure 1.1 shows the general trend of San Francisco criminal homicide from 1850 to 2,000. 22 Figure 1.1 goes about here. The first thing to notice about the graph is that the rates in general follow the familiar U-shaped curve found in other homicide studies of Western societies from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.23 From exceedingly high rates in the violent Gold Rush years, the rates declined during the Civil War decade only to increase again in the post-war period. Rates then declined and remained fairly stable until the period following the disastrous 1906 earthquake and fire, after which they rose again. Rates declined in San Francisco during the Prohibition era and stayed down during the Depression years, spiking upward immediately following the close of World War II before declining again. In the late 1960s, the rates again rose precipitously, as they did in most of urban America, before declining again at the century‟s close. The ubiquity of the U-shaped curve cautions us to look beyond merely local conditions to explain fluctuations in the rate. In their efforts to explain the incidence of homicide, scholars have studied a number of biological, psychosocial and sociological roots of the phenomenon. Within the sociological framework, thought by many to best explain differences in homicide rates, a large number of factors have been considered to explain the rate fluctuations, including gender, age, the economy, and ethnicity. 24 The U.S. Department of Justice, in its most recently published report, concludes that,” Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime. . . they can make no meaningful comparisons.” A noble goal, but if criminal justice students were required to examine “all” variables before publishing their findings, the number of crime studies would be reduced appreciably.25 With that in mind, one way of looking at the rise and fall of the homicide rates in a sociological context is to track them against the arrival and assimilation – or non- assimilation, in some cases--of minority newcomers. Much of the study of immigrants and crime has shown, despite Benjamin Franklin‟s concerns and common belief, that immigrant newcomers are not disproportionately criminal. In 1931, The National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (the Wickersham Commission) in its Crime and the Foreign Born concluded in part, “For more than a century there has been . . . a clamorous group who tend to emphasize . . . the popularly supposed relation between immigration and crime. . . Statistics have never justified their assumptions. . . .”26 This view may be widespread but it is far from universal. In his study of nineteenth century New York, for example, Eric Monkkonen found that “Usually the killer and victims were immigrant males between 20 and 30 years old. . . . At this juncture, it is reasonable to claim,” he continues, “that homicide was an ethnic problem.”27 4 One question has to do with the origins of the violence that does occur. We can ask, in laymen‟s terms, to what extent violence can be traced to behaviors in the newcomer community itself and how much of the violence is ultimately chargeable to the treatment of the minority group by the host society? Taken by themselves, the comparative rates between the nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish, Germans, Italians and Jews would argue in favor of the traits being found in the group being considered -- unless it could be shown that the groups were treated differently.28 The dramatically different rates between nineteenth and late twentieth century Chinese, however, assuming a cultural uniformity for both periods, would seem to argue that the behavior was caused by forces external to the newcomer group. There are two main theories. On the one hand are those who point to discriminatory treatment of the minority group by the host culture as contributing more. Others point to behaviors found in the group itself, however they came to be there. Clare McKanna, Jr., for example, traces the high homicide rates he found among African-Americans in late nineteenth-century Omaha, to “the development of a subculture of violence that southern blacks brought with them to Nebraska.”29 Jeffrey S. Adler, on the other hand, in his study of African-American homicide in Chicago during the same period, leans toward the explanation that economic and social dislocation brought about by their racist treatment in the North contributed to elevated rates of African-American homicide. 30 The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. “The level of violence among arriving immigrants,” says Roger Lane, speaking of nineteenth century European newcomers to the city, “was determined both by their earlier history – that is, the culture they brought with them, especially their attitudes toward drinking, fighting, and social authority – and the state of the cities they settled into.”31 It is fair to say, though, that the preponderance of current opinion favors the idea that much criminality, particularly that committed by minorities in the United States, can be traced to their treatment by the host society.32 Ronald Flowers, giving voice to what is probably the most widely accepted explanation for minority immigrants and crime says their “distinctive physical appearance and/or migration here has been marred by subordination, subjugation, exploitation, racism, discrimination, and socioeconomic disadvantage, and, as a result, has placed an enormous burden on their propensity and vulnerability to become victims and/or offenders of crime.”33 Or as Clare McKanna argues, “the interaction of race, social status, and differing social systems. . . acted as a stimulus for lethal violence.”34 In other words, high crime rates by “people of color” can best be explained in terms of discriminatory treatment. One way of tracking the relative incidence of violent crime against the century and a half of the city‟s history is by considering the fluctuations in terms of the arrival of newcomers. Homicide rates in San Francisco soared in the early 1850s when newcomers of all types flooded into the city. Rates declined thereafter but increased again in the 1870s following the arrival of substantial numbers of Irish and Chinese immigrants. The rates went down again in the closing decades of the century at a time when relatively non-murderous Germans constituted a larger portion of the immigrant community. The next increase followed the arrival of many Italian immigrants and others in the early decades of the twentieth century, but rates again declined as the newcomers were assimilated into the larger community during the low-immigration 1930s and 40s. The next major increase followed the arrival of many African-Americans from the rural South 5 during World War II period. And the declines experienced at the end of the twentieth century can be associated in part with the increase in now relatively non-murderous Asian newcomers. By looking at a variety of groups and their different experiences at different times in the city‟s history, this study will attempt to address the issue, to the extent possible, of how much of the violence by different groups can be charged to their treatment by the host society and how much can be traced to traits found in their own community. By looking at some groups that do not normally get much attention in homicide studies, this study will begin to fill a recognized gap in homicide studies and perhaps broaden our understanding as to the origins of newcomer violence.35 What will be found is that some groups of minority newcomers to San Francisco were more criminally violent than is conventionally thought to be the case. It will also be found that the violent behavior can often be traced to behaviors emerging from the newcomers‟culture--more so than is generally conceded--than to discrimination on the part of the host society.36 With homicide studies, as with history generally--or for that matter, the law--the record holds no “smoking gun,” proving the case one way or the other. As with those other areas of inquiry, it is sometimes necessary in homicide studies to assemble cumulative evidence. By looking at a number of groups over a long period of time, it may be possible to sustain a conclusion when there is not sufficient proof with regard to any one particular group. Before getting too far along, a definition of terms is called for. First the term “minority newcomer.” Given the demographics of recent immigration, much of the current study of immigrant crime involves minority “people of color.” But as will be shown in this study, other groups – Australians, Irish, and Italians – though now fully assimilated into the mainstream society, were once very much considered to be what would now be called minority groups. According to one expert in the field, minorities are defined as “any culturally or physically distinctive and self-conscious social aggregates, with hereditary membership and a high degree of endogamy, which are subject to political, or economic, or social discrimination by a dominant segment of an environing political society.”37 The term “immigrant” has been defined as “a migrant whose move has involved crossing at least one international boundary.”38 Such a definition, if strictly interpreted, would exclude African-Americans, many of whom can trace their American roots back farther than most non-Latino whites. The late twentieth century Great Migration of rural blacks from the rural south to the urban north and west, however, was as wrenching as that of any group which crossed international boundaries, and in some cases more so.39 Hence the term “minority newcomers” will be used to encompass the successive waves of groups of new arrivals in San Francisco over the last century and a half, from wherever they originated. To make the point that much of the behavior leading to criminal violence reposed in the immigrant community it will not be necessary to show that the countries of origin necessarily had high formal rates of homicide. The Irish of mid-nineteenth century Ireland, as will be shown, had a strong tradition of interpersonal violence that didn‟t translate into a particularly high homicide rate in the old country. Nineteenth century China was plagued by widespread banditry and political rebellion, but as far as can be determined, the Chinese people at the time did not commit interpersonal homicide to any 6 remarkable degree.40 But many of the nineteenth century Chinese immigrants who did come to San Francisco, as will also be shown, were criminal gangsters, presumably more disposed to resort to violence than were Chinese people generally. 41 Sometimes the violence resulted from a conjunction of the immigrant culture with conditions in the new country which could result – depending on one‟s definition of what constituted the immigrant community – in high levels of violence. Should criminal activity of the American-raised sons of immigrants be included in our count, or should we, as does Wickersham, restrict our analysis to the foreign-born? Depending on what we choose, a very different result can be expected. Matthew Yeager and others agree with Wickersham and other more recent researchers that “the criminality of first generation immigrants has been less than for the native born.” However, he continues--introducing a very important fly into the ointment--“Complicating this picture is the much higher rates of delinquency for second-and-third generation immigrants.” 42 Criminality by the children of newcomers forms a large part of the story of urban crime from the mid- nineteenth century down to the present, and to the extent that this group is considered part of the immigrant community, their transgressions must be considered in any calculation of the criminal cost of immigration. We will revisit this phenomenon with several groups. Our examination will start with the Gold Rush founding of American San Francisco. Virtually everyone was a newcomer to the city in the boomtown Gold Rush days which saw the highest homicide rates in the city‟s history, and for which reason, according to tradition, the city‟s famed Committees of Vigilance were formed. While everyone was a newcomer, early San Franciscans singled out Australians for special criminal justice treatment. Three of the four men hanged by the 1851 Committee were Australian immigrants. Chapter Two will deal with the Australians, their behavior, and their treatment by what passed for a justice system in Gold Rush San Francisco. According to one reading of history, the choice of Australians as fit subjects for the hangman makes very good sense. “When in 1851,” according to one recent account, “it was reported that the number of murders in the raw port of San Francisco had reached over one hundred, many committed by robber bands such as the Sydney Ducks . . . . a committee of vigilance was established.”43 Others, however, contend that the Australians were “one of the most maligned immigrant groups in American history,” and that their “bad reputation [for criminality] seems undeserved.”44 In fact, while not particularly murderous, Australian immigrants did contribute disproportionately to the sort of criminal violence which aroused the passions of our nineteenth century forebears. The next chapter will discuss the crime and criminal justice experience of Latinos in Gold Rush San Francisco. Latinos have played a prominent part in the early criminal justice history of California and the West. 45 The few Latinos on the scene in San Francisco when gold was discovered were numerically overwhelmed by the tremendous immigration of mostly non-Latino white gold seekers during the Gold Rush years. And most of the Latinos who became involved with the justice system in those early years were immigrants themselves. Much of what has been written of Latinos and crime traces their problems to the host society. Robert Heizer, who is generally sympathetic to the Latinos, does note, however, that “there is a strong possibility that Mexicans did engage in more horse-stealing, highway robbery, assault, and thieving than any other group in California.”46 Perhaps, he suggests, the best explanation for this circumstance “is that Mexicans reacted more strongly against injustices that were directed against them than 7 other minority groups” because they resented their status as conquered people.47 An examination of Latino crime in early San Francisco will illuminate these issues. According to one account, Irish newcomers in the 1870s had higher levels of violence than was found among African-Americans in the 1960s.48 Chapter Four deals with the Irish in San Francisco and nineteenth century criminality. It was young Irish thugs in San Francisco--or, more properly, the thuggish sons of Irish immigrants--who contributed the most useful word “hoodlum” to the American lexicon. The upsurge in the homicide rate in the 1870s, after a period of decline during the Civil War era, can be associated in part with the arrival of post-Gold Rush immigrants from Ireland. The chapter will examine to what extent the Irish brought their vaunted reputation for violence with them and to what extent the violence was the product of their status as what Roger Lane describes as “the most desperate group of nineteenth century newcomers.49 Chapter Five discusses violent crime in San Francisco‟s nineteenth century Chinatown. Until recently, San Francisco had the largest settlement of Chinese outside of Asia. A group that is now a “model minority” was once the most criminally violent group in the city, responsible for more than 25 percent of the homicides with less than 10 percent of the population. According to San Francisco District Attorney D. J. Murphy, testifying before an 1876 congressional committee, “[F]rom seven-tenths to eight-tenths of the Chinese population of San Francisco belong to the criminal classes.”50 Filtered through prevailing modern perceptions about the origins of criminal violence, Chinese homicide can be explained as a response to the unarguably discriminatory treatment to which their nineteenth century members were subjected. From what we know about nineteenth century China, and indeed other Overseas Chinese settlements, the Chinese were not noticeably homicidal on their own turf. But it is also true that the Chinese who migrated to San Francisco at that time brought with them a well developed system of criminal extortion to which much of the intragroup violence can be traced. Much of the early twentieth century concern about criminal violence – the concern which in part contributed to a series of discriminatory immigration laws in the 1920s--centered on Italian newcomers. According to one contemporary account, “A Sub- Government has grown up within the boundaries of the United States and under the eyes of the people. Its members are chiefly of foreign birth or extraction. They hold themselves bound by no laws of the nation. They live by the knife, the gun and the bomb. They levy tribute on the citizenry, robbing, burning, slaying as they go.”51 Chapter Six will explore the Italian experience with crime in San Francisco. The Italian immigrant community was associated with the upward trend in homicide following the catastrophic 1906 earthquake which devastated the city‟s infrastructure and tore its social fabric. It was in the closing decades of the twentieth century that criminal violence rose dramatically, much of it associated with the arrival of large numbers of African- Americans, internal migrants from the rural south in the period during and following the World War II.52 African-Americans began their move out of the rural south in the late nineteenth century, a journey documented in many accounts. Chapter Seven will look at the effects of that migration on San Francisco from a criminal justice perspective. San Francisco missed out on the first “great migration,” and it was not until after World War II that large numbers of African-Americans joined the society in the West. As the twentieth century came to a close, non-Latino whites were a numerical minority in the city, now peopled largely by newcomer “people of color,” from Asia and 8 Latin America. Chapter Eight, “Violent Rainbow,” will consider the effects of that immigration. A brief “Afterword” will consider developments since the century‟s turn and offer some personal observations. An Appendix, “On Methods,” will describe how the crime categories used in this study compare with those used by others. Another, titled “On Sources,” will describe where the homicide data was obtained. When violent crime was seen to decline in the last decade of the twentieth century, students of criminal violence looked to various explanations why. Some looked to the technological revolution, which brought improved economic conditions to many post-smoke-stack cities. Others considered the decline in the numbers of murder-prone young men in the society. Among the other aspects examined was the role of the criminal justice system, including the activities of the police. It was once held that what the police did--or did not do--had little effect on violent crime rates, particularly homicide, most of which grew out of sudden conflicts between family members, friends and acquaintances. “No evidence exists that augmentation of police forces or equipment, differential patrol strategies or differential intensities of surveillance have any effect on crime rates,” report Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi in their 1990 A General Theory of Crime.53 Others view the issue differently. Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton, who is credited with having much to do with the marked decline in criminal violence in New York City in the 1990s when he headed that force, and who is being lauded for replicating that performance now in Los Angeles, recently claimed that “the penicillin for dealing with crime is cops.” 54 Actually, there has been little study of the effect police have on homicide rates except in passing. Roger Lane ascribes improved police practices as part of the reason for the decline in violence in late nineteenth century Philadelphia. Gilles Vandal explains the lower homicide rates in Reconstruction-era New Orleans than in rural Louisiana counties as being in part attributable to the fact that New Orleans had a fully functioning police department. Neither author carries the discussion much further. The Justice Department, considers “the effective strength of law enforcement agencies and administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement” among those factors affecting homicide rates.55 The issue remains unresolved. Certainly, though, much of the discussion of minority criminal violence is taken up with discussions of profiling by the police, police brutality, unlawful arrests, excessive penalties and disproportionate imprisonment. In his 1931 critique of the police, Ernest Hopkins claims that “Perhaps nothing is more directly responsible for the violent character of much present day crime than the lawless police work that was visited upon the immigrant in the past.”56 Modern observers, while concluding that things are not as bad as they once were, assert that police behavior has much to do with minority misbehavior, without making any connection between the two behaviors except in some tenuous way.57 Threaded through each chapter will be a discussion of how police practices might affect homicide rates. While not exclusively determinative as to the causes of crime, the topic deserves a place in the discussion. In its broadest sense, the discussion of discrimination as contributing to rates of criminal violence bears on the disagreement about the relative weight to be assigned to different theories of criminal motivations by different groups – that is, whether the criminal misconduct should be ascribed to the discrimination visited on the minority group by the host society or whether it can more properly be assigned to behaviors 9 emanating from the minority group. Viewed one way, the differences amount to little more than stepping in a river at a different place. What is “culture,” after all, but the result of “environmental” exposure over an extended period of time? What does it matter if high levels of African-American violence are ultimately traceable to their race‟s experience in a slave-ridden and later Jim Crow South, or instead to their discriminatory treatment at the hands of late twentieth century white San Franciscans? In fact, it matters a great deal. An important reason for looking at the history of criminal violence is to identify the errors of the past and avoid repeating them in the future.58 The disagreement about which theory is more correct, then, has an extremely practical application. To the extent that the behavior is traceable to the conduct of the host society, changes in that society with relation to its treatment of minorities can be expected to improve the situation. To the extent that the behavior reposes in the culture of the group of newcomers – however it came to be there – matters can be improved only by the cultural adaptation of that group to a less harmful set of behaviors toward all involved. There is much sensitivity about immigrant minority crime. Let it be said at the outset--and remembered when each successive group of newcomers is encountered-- that by far the majority of individuals in every group is law-abiding and came only seeking a better life for themselves and their families. A book could be written on each group--and many have--extolling their various accomplishments and contributions to American society. But this is not that kind of book. This is a book about criminal violence involving minority newcomers and thus must focus on the negative contributions of a numerical minority of each group considered. In the end, the study offers no new, tradition-shattering paradigm. But by looking at groups sometimes not considered in criminal violence studies from a perspective not generally encountered in the field, perhaps our understanding of minority newcomer crime can be nudged along on the continuum from explanations that emphasize discrimination at the hands of the majority as the principal reason for minority newcomer criminal violence toward that which finds much of it residing in the immigrant newcomer culture itself. It will also be shown that the activities of the police have had an effect on rates of criminal violence, more than is commonly believed – a positive effect when the police were assertive, and a negative effect when the officers laid back. 10 Chap02 Australians Frank Brewer had struck it rich in the California gold fields and in late May 1851 he went to San Francisco to celebrate his good fortune. On Sunday, June 1, he left his lodging house near the waterfront with a full wallet. He was seen making the rounds to a number of drinking houses on Broadway Street that afternoon and evening in the company of another man. At about midnight, his murdered body was found next to a fence at Pacific and Montgomery streets. San Franciscans were not surprised to learn that police had arrested three Australian immigrants for the crime, William Hall, George Spires, and Joseph Turner.59 A week after Brewer‟s death, a group of prominent San Franciscans formed the first of San Francisco‟s famed Committees of Vigilance which shoved aside the regular criminal justice institutions and administered justice on its own account. In the course of that turbulent summer, the committee hanged four criminal miscreants, and banished a number more, all of them members of a largely Australian criminal gang that went by the name of the Sydney Ducks. According to common belief, the Committee of Vigilance was prompted by two pressing community concerns: arson fire and criminal violence, notably homicide, both of which were thought at the time to be the particular province of Australian immigrants. On six occasions between December 1849 and June 1851, the city was devastated by major fires, thought to have been set by Australian arsonists bent on looting the town in the attendant confusion.60 According to an oft-repeated legend, San Francisco suffered 100 criminal homicides in the few months preceding the formation of the committee, many of them it again attributed to Australian immigrants.61 In simple fact, the homicide rate, while ten times that of modern San Francisco, was not nearly as high as claimed by the legend.62 And of the homicides that did occur, Australians were under-represented among the perpetrators. Nor had Australians set the fires that devastated the city, the majority of which were accidental in origin. Only if we disentangle myth from fact and supply actual body counts can Australian contributions to Gold Rush criminal violence rates be determined and their selection by the Vigilantes for special attention be explained. As will be demonstrated, it was robbery, not homicide, that impelled the vigilantes to take matters in hand.63 That difference not only serves to explain that long-gone time, but also helps illuminate some little-discussed aspects of criminal justice involvement with minority newcomers in other periods as well. When the gold was discovered on the American River in January 1848, setting in motion the great California Gold Rush, the settlement that would grow into the city of San Francisco numbered about 1,000 people, scattered along the shore of Yerba Buena Cove, running between Telegraph and Rincon Hills. The population consisted of about half Californios (Latino natives already in place before the American conquest), a few American settlers from before the conquest, and a few more recent arrivals, principally veterans of a New York regiment of volunteers sent West as soldier/settlers during the recently ended war with Mexico. As news of the strike spread, immigrants from around the world streamed in, and San Francisco quickly grew to prominence as the main port of entry for men and goods headed for the gold fields. When Malachi Fallon, who was to be appointed the town‟s 11 first Chief of Police several months later, stepped ashore from the steamer California at the deep water landing place at Broadway and Battery streets in February 1849, the town already numbered 2,000. Wood frame and canvas dwellings had begun to spring up among the Mexican-era adobes, and, with no place to store them, imported goods littered the beaches. Portsmouth Square, the old Mexican Plaza, was ringed with round-the-clock gambling and drinking saloons. Gold seekers continued to stream in. Most who came pushed on to the mines, but some stayed in San Francisco. By the end of 1849 the town‟s population is estimated to have been 20,000. For all the confusion of immigrants, the very early months of the Gold Rush were comparatively crime-free, at least in San Francisco.64 In December 1848, the trussed-up body of Emile Bertrand, a discharged veteran of the New York regiment and the victim of the sole homicide that year, was found on the beach. No killer was ever identified and the crime was quickly forgotten in the confusion of Gold Rush arrivals. The justice system found by the new arrivals in early 1849 in the first flush of the Gold Rush, a hybrid system dating to the transition from Mexican to United States rule, consisted of an alcalde (mayor/judge) supported by a lone constable. Early Gold Rush arrivals came only to make their fortune and quickly return home. Little thought was given to the establishment of permanent governmental institutions. Each was expected to look out for his own interests and personal safety. In the criminal justice vacuum in the early months of 1849, a group of young bullies calling themselves the Hounds set themselves up as the self-appointed law enforcement agency for the town. Not much attention was paid to the group until July 15, 1849 when in the timeless way of bullies they rioted on Telegraph Hill in reprisal for the earlier killing of a Hound by a Chilean storekeeper. The next day an outraged populace convened the first of the city‟s popular tribunals which tried and banished the thugs under pain of death should they return. If there was any doubt before, the affair of the Hounds convinced San Franciscans that a more substantial law enforcement system was called for. In early August, San Francisco elected a municipal government according to Mexican forms. John Geary was elected alcalde to head a 12-member ayuntamiento (council). On August 13, the council selected Malachi Fallon as San Francisco‟s first "captain" (Chief) of police. Chief Fallon was authorized to hire an assistant chief, three sergeants and thirty men to staff the city‟s first police department. Ironically, it was after the establishment of a police department that the homicide rate began to increase in earnest. Typical was the case of Reuben Withers and Frank Reynolds. In the early morning hours of Saturday, December 15, 1849, Rueben Withers, 25, scion of a wealthy New York Knickerbocker family, was among the crowd at the bar of the Bella Union gambling saloon on Washington Street opposite Portsmouth Square. Also present was Frank Reynolds, 28, a Philadelphia native. As the night wore on, the drunken conversation turned to the relative merits of New York and Philadelphia. Tempers flared. Withers pulled his revolver and shot Frank Reynolds dead. The perpetrator fled and the police were called from their station across the square, but before a proper search could be mounted, the killer made his way to the waterfront a few blocks away and hastily took passage on a ship departing for Mexico. Withers was ultimately arrested in Mexico by the U.S. Consul at Mazatlan, returned to San Francisco and placed 12 on trial in San Jose after obtaining a change of venue. There he was found not guilty after a jury trial. Over the next year and a half, up to the formation of the Vigilance Committee in 1851, the Withers/Reynolds scenario would repeat itself time and again. In all, there were 41 criminal homicides in San Francisco in the three years between 1849 and the end of 1851, seven of them in the few months immediately preceding the formation of the Vigilance Committee. The average annual rate for the period was 54.6 per 100,000, which, while not approaching the level claimed in the legend, provided sufficient carnage to slake anyone‟s appetite for blood. The best overall explanation for the high rates of criminal violence lies in the confluence of large numbers of young single males in a boomtown environment. Just about every study of criminal violence on the American frontier has shown that homicide is disproportionately the province of young males.65 “In all new mining communities,” wrote the authors of an 1881 history of Nevada, “the number of homicides is greater in proportion to population than in places settled for agricultural, manufacturing, commercial and other kindred purposes.”66 Frontier communities, they assert, attract the “restless class that can be found in every grade of society – the speculative, the miserly, those prone to gambling, the reckless as well as the staid and sober.” 67 San Francisco‟s Gold Rush population was almost all young, single males and it is from this factor alone that we can expect to encounter high homicide rates.68 Another part of the explanation for high rates in mining frontiers, at least those in the American West, lies in public and law enforcement tolerance toward criminal violence. (British colonies escaped the curse of high levels of homicidal violence. In British Columbia, which experienced Gold Rushes about the same time, the homicide rate for a like period was found to be a small fraction of the rates found by Roger McGrath in Bodie, Clare McKanna in Colorado, or for that matter that of Gold Rush San Francisco.69) Many students of American frontier violence have noted that criminal violence didn‟t raise public hackles as long as it was mutual and no unfair advantage was taken. Roger McGrath found that when young white thugs killed each other in Bodie there was little concern as long as they kept it within their own group. Says McGrath, “If two healthy young men chose to fight – with fists, knives, or guns – and the results proved deadly, few people became terribly upset.”70 The sentiment was not restricted to mining camps. “Murder, unlike riot,” reports Roger Lane, reporting on the mid-nineteenth century urban situation generally, “was not high on their [police] list of priorities. . . . Early police reports typically said little or nothing about homicide.”71 More to the point of this inquiry, however--an examination of the contribution of Australians to the violent crime rate in Gold Rush San Francisco--we do have the ethnic identity of 24 of the 33 homicide cases for which a perpetrator is known. Notably absent in the litany of saloon homicides which did plague the town during the pre-vigilante era are those committed by Australians. The Brewer killing in June 1851, on the eve of the formation of the Committee of Vigilance, is the only one that can be claimed, with a supportable degree of certainty, to have been committed by an Australian.72 Yet it was Australians almost alone who dangled at the end of vigilante ropes. Why? Following the loss of its American colonies as a convict dumping ground following the Revolutionary War, England established penal colonies in New South 13 Wales and Van Dieman‟s land, and by the middle of the nineteenth century the new colony‟s population consisted of a mix of convicts, free settlers, and “ticket of leave” men, (convicts paroled on their good behavior as long as they did not return to England). News of the California gold strike arrived in Sydney in December and the first Australian gold seekers arrived in San Francisco in April 1849.73 As with other arrivals, most Australians moved on to the mines. Some remained in San Francisco, many of whom, with experience gained working in Sydney Harbor, took employment as bay boatmen, lightering passengers and goods from ships in the stream across the mudflats to the beach. Their criminal reputation preceded them. One Sydney merchant complained that three-fourths of the passengers on all vessels headed to California were swindlers with bad reputations or people who ran up bills then ran out on them. Among the first 52 passengers to arrive on the first ship in April 1849, according to its captain, were some of the “worst rascals in Sydney.”74 Arson, believed to have been set by Australian newcomers bent on stealing in the attendant disorder, was among the reasons offered for the formation of the First Committee of Vigilance. That belief probably took root following the first of the five great fires, on December 24, 1849. Of the 70 arrested for stealing at the fire while the citizenry was occupied with putting it out, 48 were Australian immigrants.75 It is doubtless from this that the idea sprang that it was Australians who were responsible for the great fires that plagued San Francisco. There were certainly frequent press references blaming Australians for the conflagrations.76 In fact at least four of the six fires were doubtless attributable to accident or negligence. And one of the two that might have been arson was set by a black man avenging a racial affront.77 So, the question remains: why was it that it was Australians who hanged? As has already been noted, some students of the time have asserted that the Australians‟ “bad reputation [for criminality] seems undeserved.”78 Others contend that immigrant Australians were scapegoated by business leaders looking for someone to blame.79 It is true enough that there were negative feelings about the Australians. According to one contemporary correspondent, “There exists a very strong feeling here against Sydney people, all arriving from the colony being looked upon, generally speaking, as nothing better than convicts.”80 There were reasons for that sentiment other than societal scapegoating, however. Society might rail against asymmetrical penalties assessed against corporate white collar criminals these days, or violators of environmental laws, but those are not the kinds of crime that get our retributive juices flowing. “Of vital interest to the criminal justice system and to the population at large,” says one modern observer of the criminal scene, “is the occurrence of violent personal crimes, since these are the offenses that arouse fear within the populace.”81 Studies of interpersonal criminal violence – this one included-- commonly tend to focus on homicide as the measure of its incidence.82 There are several reasons for this, some having to do with technical concerns and others with universal societal values. One reason homicide is used as a general index of violent criminality is that it is the crime for which the most complete records exist.83 This is of particular value when looking at times past.84 In the absence of complete data about other types of criminal violence, homicide has been shown in most cases--but not always--to be a good index of the amount of violent crime generally.85 14 All lives are presumably of equal value before the law, but in practice not all homicide is viewed the same, and it never has been. Modern critics of the criminal justice system bemoan the fact that little is done if the victim is a person of color, a phenomenon ascribed to a lack of concern for minorities.86 In some instances that is doubtless so but there is more to the case than that. Observers have found that criminal violence, no matter what the group, is considered less outrageous when it stays within group boundaries. That was the situation with the young white men found by McGrath and Lane in the communities they studied. Similar sentiments can be found in Gold Rush San Francisco. Withers and the other saloon shooters – those who found their way into court – were typically released by sympathetic jurors. Murder was not high on the list of Gold Rush San Franciscans‟ priorities. “Except in the case of robbery,” wrote historian Hubert H. Bancroft, “a man had little fear of being killed if he stayed out of saloons.”87 Bancroft‟s exception of robbery, a crime that a “well-behaved man” might well have reason to fear, is significant. It is the rapist and the robber who people fear most. While much rape and robbery is conducted within the group, those crimes are more likely than homicide to cross societal boundaries. 88 This in part accounts for the assignment of “special circumstances” calling for the death penalty in homicides in which robbery and other serious personal felonies are involved. Bodie again offers an example. After three street robberies in February 1879, the Bodie Standard warned that the practice was getting too common and the perpetrators would wake up some morning at the top of the liberty pole.89 This in a town which regularly acquitted homicide defendants as long as no unfair advantage was taken. Simply put, forcible robbery was rare in nineteenth century urban America. With reference to another nineteenth century American city, Roger Lane comments “It is not clear either why armed robbery, now the quintessential urban street crime, was so rare in the 1890s that a holdup in the North Bronx rated front page stories in Philadelphia, with the cops eventually concluding that the gunman must have worked for Buffalo Bill.90” Elsewhere Lane says that the proportion of killings for robbery was 8.1 percent in late twentieth and 2.8 percent in nineteenth century. “It is hard to believe,” he says, “that the latter figure is an accurate representation of reality.” 91 But others found the same phenomenon elsewhere. Roger McGrath was surprised at the absence of commercial robberies and cites only 13 personal robberies in his study of murderous Bodie in the 1870s.92 Horace Bell, speaking of murder-prone Los Angeles in the 1850s, commented that “Robberies were of rare occurrence.” 93 Eric Monkkonen points out that instrumental homicides (which include those committed in the perpetration of a robbery) did not figure large in nineteenth century homicide either. His figures for New York ranged from two to five percent in the nineteenth century compared to Chicago after 1976 when there was four to eight times as much.94 And when robbery did occur, as the experience in Bodie suggests, the citizenry was ready to impose the harshest methods of redress. The hangings of the relatively non- murderous Australians begin to make some sense.95 In all, between mid-1849, just before the new police department was formed, and June 1850, there were three robberies in San Francisco. On Halloween night 1849, Joseph Ogden was arrested for the strong arm robbery of an African-American named Alex Farnum. Two months later, on January 8, 1850, a Mr. Trail was mugged on Portsmouth Square by a man named Albert Brown, who was arrested in the act by Officer Meredith. Three months later three unknown white males robbed a man bringing a load of wood to the city. That is it for fiscal year 1849-50. 15 Then the robbery rate accelerated. During the next year--the 12 months immediately preceding the formation of the Vigilance Committee--there were 26 robberies.96 In July, a boatman named William McMahon, whose occupation suggests that he may have been an Australian, was arrested for mugging a passenger named Levy. There was one robbery in August, two more in September, and four in October. In October 1850, Robert McKenzie, a Sydney Duck who was later to gain a measure of fame for being hanged by the Vigilance Committee, was arrested in company with a man named John Hughes for robbing a Chinese man on the Mission Road. 97 There was insufficient evidence to convict McKenzie but Hughes was convicted and received a ten- year sentence. In October 1850, five men, identified as Australians by their victims, boarded the brig James Caskie in the harbor and beat the captain viciously in a robbery that netted $200. There were three more robberies reported in November, and seven in December, one of them involving Robert McKenzie again. By the end of 1850 Australian criminals were known to the public through press accounts by their given names. James Hall, whose arrest opened the chapter, was involved in a robbery of a man in his house on Jackson street that month. And when the victim was cut in another street robbery attempt a few days later, the Alta asked “when will the people do something?”98 They were to get their answer before too long. January was quiet but things picked up again in February. On the third, two strong-arm robbers made the mistake of trying to mug officer Benjamin Blitz at North Beach. The next day two men knocked down a man named Jackson on Dupont Street and robbed him of $170. And on February 14, three men robbed Thomas Long of his rifle on the Mission Road. The next robbery showed where the public stood on the issue. On February 19, 1851, four men, identified by the victim as Australians, entered the store of Charles Jansen on Montgomery Street and beat and robbed him. Two days later the police arrested two Australians who gave their names as Thomas Berdue and William Windred. Witnesses identified Berdue as “English Jim” Stuart, a well known Australian immigrant criminal. At their examination before the Justice Court that afternoon a group of citizens tried to seize the defendants but were fought off. The next day, as police escorted the pair back to the jail after a show-up identification by the victim, another attempt was made to seize the prisoners, and again the angry crowd was driven off by the police. The city was plunged into excitement over the next few days. Thousands met in Portsmouth Square and formed a tribunal which put the Australians on trial in absentia. (The defendants cowered under beds in the police barracks while “the people” decided their fate.) Finally, the appointed tribunal could not agree and the suspects were left to the ministrations of the regular justice system. It was just as well, because as things turned out, though English Jim had indeed committed the robbery, the man arrested was not English Jim and had nothing to do with the crime. Following the Jansen, robbery it was thought at first that conditions might improve and for a time it seemed that they had. But the robberies started up again in May. The robbery rate for the year preceding formation of the Vigilance Committee was 86.6 per 100,000 population, substantially higher than the 52 per 100,000 that almost brought out the vigilante ropes in Bodie.99 The majority of these robberies for whom the ethnic identity of the perpetrators is known, were committed by Australians. 16 And it was not just robbery. Burglaries increased as well. In the period from 1849 to 1850, four burglaries were reported in San Francisco. In the 12 months immediately preceding the establishment of the Committee, there were 102. Burglary is not now considered an anti-personal crime. In the Gold Rush society, however, where housing was scarce, many lived where they worked, so the chance was greater of someone being on the premises when even a commercial burglary was committed. On June 2, 1851 the Alta contained a one-sentence notice which prosaically reported a burglary at the foot of Dupont Street, in which the householder (G.Burr) had driven off the thieves. In a later account, the victim himself, Gustave Bergenroth, put it much more dramatically. “I was alone on the extreme tip of the Peninsula,” he wrote, “All passing boats, to or from the Bay, were obliged to round this point; on which occasion it often happened that people came on shore, especially at night, and attacked my house.” To defend himself, Bergenroth made an inner wall of planks and filled the space with sand. He also laid a powder mine under his threshold as a last resort. “A loose plank in the floor was my greatest safeguard,” he reported “as, when beset by large numbers I could lift it up, slip into cellar and creep into the long, high grass behind the house, whence I could make a circuit behind the foe, and sheltered by stones and holes and sure of an easy retreat, I could open fire from my double barreled rifle.”100 And thus did the victim drive off the burglars. 101 Like the robbers, the burglars were disproportionately known to be Australians. On March 16, 1851, shortly after the Jansen robbery, police got wind of the planned burglary of Colonel Jonathan Stevenson‟s premises at the foot of Sacramento Street (unlike the foot of Dupont, this was in the heart of the business district.) The officers set a trap and netted a group of Australian thieves when they showed up to do the job, George Adams, William Watkins, Francis Greer (aka) Wilson, and several others. The burglars were duly convicted and placed in jail from where they soon escaped. In early June, William Swan, another well-known Sydney thief, was arrested for the June 1 burglary of a jewelry store on Dupont Street. But a couple of days later he was released by the Recorder for lack of evidence.102 Swan‟s release points to other problems facing the town. There was a widely held opinion by that time that the regular justice system was just not up to the task of maintaining law and order. "At that period of which we write," said the authors of The Annals of San Francisco, "the tribunals of justice were considered altogether insufficient for those dangerous times, and many of the individuals connected with them incapable and corrupt."103 As to the attorneys who practiced before the courts, the day after the Jansen robbery the Alta expressed the widely held belief that, "The highwayman uses his loot to pay pettifogging attorneys who get him off. Such attornies (sic) are father to the thief and the murderer."104 And as to the police, the Picayune in January 1851 remarked that "out of the immediate vicinity of gambling or drinking saloons, a policeman is scarcely ever to be found, day or night." Crime was increasing, the editor said, but criminals were not being detected and sent to court in proportion to the incidence of crime.105 It made little difference if they were. Because of the insufficiency of the wooden jails, even if convicted there was little chance that a defendant would have to serve his sentence. As was the case with the Stevenson burglary, it was a simple matter to escape from the “wooden sieves” that passed for jails. Almost daily, morning newspaper readers were greeted with stories of daring escapes from the insecure jails. 17 It was in this climate that the crime occurred which triggered the formation of the Vigilance Committee. On June 2, the day after the Brewer homicide and the Swan burglary, an Australian immigrant named Benjamin Lewis, angry that he was being evicted from his room on Central Wharf, set fire to the building and fled. The fire was quickly extinguished and Lewis was arrested by a nearby police officer, but when an indictment was presented against Lewis in District Court, Judge Parsons, on the motion of the defendant's attorney, quashed it on the grounds that the grand jury had been irregularly convened.106 That broke it. On Sunday, June 8, 100 of the leading men in San Francisco gathered to form the first of the city‟s famed Committees of Vigilance. On Tuesday, the group reconvened and entered their names in the rolls of the Committee of Vigilance. That night at 8 p.m. a Sydney immigrant, named John Jenkins entered George Virgin‟s shipping office on Central Wharf and stole what turned out to be an empty strongbox. He was seen in the act and captured by passersby who turned him over to the recently formed Committee. That same night after a hastily convened secret trial, Jenkins was taken to Portsmouth Square, where he was hanged from a beam in the old Mexican Customs house.107 There was nominal opposition voiced about the summary proceedings in the immediate aftermath of Jenkins‟s hanging, but, on the whole, the press and public approved of the Committee‟s actions. The Committee‟s interest had begun to flag by the end of June. Then on July 2, the real James Stuart was picked up by chance near the scene of a burglary on Nob Hill. After several days in vigilante custody, Stuart became convinced that he was not going to talk himself out of his predicament. In return for a promise from the Committee that if he named his confederates he would be turned over to the authorities in Yuba County, where he was wanted on a homicide charge, Stuart agreed to confess. Stuart related a tale of evil, long suspected but never told in its entirety by an insider. If there was any doubt before, his confession made it pretty clear that there was a loose confederation of Australian criminals preying on the residents of the state. In his statement, Stuart named more than 20 men as his close criminal confederates. After a trial before the executive committee at which he was convicted, and despite the promise that he would be turned over to the regular authorities, Stuart was taken on July 10 to the Market Street Wharf and hanged. At the end of July, the aforementioned Robert McKenzie, one of those named by Stuart as a member of the criminal gang, was also arrested in Sacramento and taken to San Francisco where he was held in the Committee rooms. The Committee also kept after Samuel Whittaker, who was caught enroute to San Diego and turned over to the committee. Whittaker admitted to being involved in the Jansen robbery which, he said, started out to be a sneak theft that turned violent. McKenzie also broke, admitting to two San Francisco robberies. On Sunday, August 24, the vigilantes hanged them both from the window of Vigilante headquarters. Declaring their work done, the committee then disbanded and turned the administration of justice back to the regular authorities. Why, though, did criminal predation – burglary and robbery--increase beginning in the late summer of 1850? A strong case can be made for a statewide economic downturn as contributing to increased crime from the late summer of 1850 on. The non- Indian population of California at the time of the gold discovery was about 12,000 and by mid-1850 it increased tenfold. In the rush to gold, Californians failed to develop a diverse economic infrastructure, and when in 1850 the easily obtained placer gold began to peter 18 out, it became a case of more and more newcomers chasing less and less easily acquired gold. This in part explains the foreign miner‟s tax enacted in the 1850 legislative session in an attempt to preserve the gold for “Americans.” The collection was aimed at Chinese and Latino miners though technically Australians, as well as other Europeans, were subject to the law‟s provisions. Some claimed, “rather feebly,” says Jay Monaghan, that the $50 tax prevented the poor Australians from mining and turned them to lives of crime.108 A better case can be made for economic conditions in San Francisco as contributing to the Australian crime rate. The extension of wharves over the mudflats in front of the town by the spring of 1850 reduced the need for boatmen, putting many Australians out of work. At the same time American hack men organized themselves in an effort to put their Australian counterparts out of business.109 Some have tried to make the case that the sentenced prisoners sent from the British Isles to Australia were largely political exiles. That was not so. One study of the criminal background of Australian convicts showed that two-thirds of those transported to Australia had previous criminal records for more serious crimes.110 And once there, the leopards do not seem to have changed their spots. The records are not complete but those taht do exist point to lessons unlearned. Of those tried by one Australian judge between 1833 and 1838, 54 percent were convicts under sentence, 29 percent were emancipated prisoners, six percent were free settlers and four percent were Australian born.111 Thirteen percent of the Australians who immigrated to California in late 1849 and early 1850 had criminal records (19 percent of the adult males).112 As is common with criminals any time, those arrested by the vigilance committee looked to other than themselves as the cause of their problems. Sam Whitaker claimed in his confession that he had led a law-abiding life since his arrival in August 1849, until he ran afoul of the police. He bought a horse, he said, which turned out to have been stolen. The police confiscated the $60 he had paid for the horse while the case was being processed through the courts and when he went to reclaim his money after the case was disposed of, he said, the officers laughingly dismissed his claim. It was then, he says, that he returned to a life of crime.113 Similarly, Stuart said that he had been law-abiding until he was cheated in a gambling setup.114 The enthusiasm with which both embraced the criminal life suggests, however, that their excuses were just that. And the profile of the Australian immigrant ex-convicts would seem to suggest a predisposition toward criminality. The argument attributing Australian criminality to the economic downturn is diluted by the fact that Australians comprised almost 70 percent of those arrested for theft at the 1849 fire, long before the economy went sour. On balance the assertion that Australians were universally held up as criminals does not wear well. On October 28, 1850, at the beginning of the crime wave which would in the end result in the formation of the Committee of Vigilance, the San Francisco Alta, a strong supporter of the committee once it was formed, cautioned against over blaming Sydney people and Mexicans and Indians for the crime being committed. By February 1851, by which time the Australian contribution to the crime rate was evident, however, the paper changed its tune. On February 25, while conceding that many good people came from Australia, the Alta reported that many criminals were coming as well and that the law against ship captains bringing convicts should be enforced. A fairer estimate of where Australians fit in to the continuum between law-abiding and crime- 19 prone was that of Monaghan, who summed it up as “Australians who were both honest and successful admitted that the worst people in San Francisco came from the colonies, and they blamed their own countrymen for permitting such characters to emigrate.”115 The economic downturn cannot totally be rejected as a contributing factor, but the simple statistical fact – however it came to be so – is that a group with no more than six percent of the population was responsible for over 50 percent of the forcible robberies in Gold Rush San Francisco. The activities of the regular justice system with regard to criminal violence seem to have contributed to the high rates as well. Much of the problem with crime in Gold Rush San Francisco had to do with the fact that the city simply grew too quickly. This rapid growth, faster than judicial institutions or infrastructures could keep pace – including the failure to establish adequate fire prevention measures and custodial facilities – helps account for the frequent fires and jail escapes. By some accounts the thinly staffed regular police were afraid to deal forcefully on a regular basis with Australian criminals.116 Some of the problems also can be traced to venality of public officials. In his confession, Sam Whitaker charged public officials with corruption. In one case, he said, he avoided a ten-day sentence given to him in the Recorder‟s Court by the payment of $230. He also said that he had once given Police Captain Andrew McCarty three ounces in gold, and that at the request of Captain McCarty and Assistant Captain Robert McIntire, he had gotten 12 foreigners to vote for Marshal Fallon at his election. Stuart said that McCarty and McIntire had a long association with his gang, and had arranged for officers to be elsewhere when the gang wanted to commit a burglary.117 There was other more damaging evidence against Marshal Fallon as well. Thomas Ainsworth, arrested along with George Adams in July, (and veteran of the arrests following the 1849 fire) stated that the marshal had arrested him repeatedly until he agreed to steal for him.118 And in late August, a man about to be hanged by a mob in Sacramento, with his neck literally in the noose, is said to have made "grave charges" against the mayor of Sacramento and Marshal Fallon of San Francisco. 119 To the extent that the charges are true, it could be said that police provided a negative disincentive to crime control. Perhaps a more important factor, one which bears on high rates of criminal violence in the American western frontier generally – and indeed may have something to do with the comparatively high rates down to our own time – is the attitude, held by both public officials and the general public, that interpersonal violence was to a large extent a private matter. In San Francisco, as shown in the Withers case and in any number of other instances, and as in McGrath‟s Bodie and Lane‟s Philadelphia, juries were not overly concerned if denizens of the many saloons and gambling halls took it upon themselves to shoot each other. Those attitudes extended to public officials as well. 120 Contrast that situation with that which occurred in frontier societies subject to British legal traditions. Mid-nineteenth century British Columbia, according to David Peterson Del Mar, had all the ingredients of a lawless frontier: “wide expanses dotted with settlements of unattached mobile males.”121 The typical resident, he reports, was “the miner, an unattached, mobile and pugnacious young man, precisely the sort of fellow who was apt to get into a shooting or knifing scrape.”122 Yet British Columbia during the height of its mining period had a homicide rate less than a third of those found in the mining communities on the other side of the national boundary, 16.6 for the period of 20 1859 through 1871 compared to the 48.6 to 95.5 found by Clare McKanna in the American mining camps he studied. Peterson Del Mar attributes the difference in large part--and correctly so--to the different attitudes toward criminal violence found on the opposite sides of the line. “Law preceded the settlers in British Columbia,” he says and,“the government north of the border asserted a monopoly on law enforcement and killing.” 123 “Legal and popular culture south of the line were more sensitive to individual liberty and freedom,” he says, “the right of a man to take the law into his own hands without fear of suffering much judicial punishment for it, even if that claim to freedom meant killing another man.” 124 This he suggests accounts for the disparity of homicide rates. “It was not uncommon” he reports, “for angry men in British Columbia to threaten to kill their enemies „if I ever catch you below the line.‟”125 (In a venue far removed from the frontier West or the Canadian Northwest, Eric Monkkonen wonders whether the rates of urban nineteenth century America diverged from those in England at the time because of the “feeble” punishment mechanism in New York.126) In any event, says Peterson Del Mar, “Criminals south of the line, even murderers, were more apt to escape the state‟s criminal justice system and die at the hands of groups of private citizens frustrated with the system‟s leniency.”127 And that is exactly what happened in San Francisco and any number of other nineteenth-century western communities. Whatever the case, the strict measures taken by the Committee of Vigilance in San Francisco do seem to have had some beneficial effect on the crime rate. In mid-June 1851, shortly after Jenkin‟s hanging, the Alta reported that the Recorder's Court had taken on a different appearance. Whereas in the past there had been a vast number of burglary and larceny cases brought in each morning, the paper said, now there were only a few drunks.128 And the Picayune announced a couple of months later at the height of the vigilance ascendance: "[A] great number of the most notorious cribs [on Pacific Street] have been closed. Dens, around the doors of which, but a week or two ago, great hulks of fellows, with faces marked with traces of every species of desperate crime, might have been seen lounging; and from which at night, the murderer and burglar stole out upon a mission of crime, are now deserted; and on the closed doors may be seen notices that they are for rent, or sale."129 That beneficial effect is borne out by criminal record. In the year following the tenure of the committee, robbery, burglary and homicide rates all declined. Reported robberies declined from 26 to 14 in the year following the committee‟s work. Burglary reports were reduced from 102 to 65 over the same period.130 And the average annual homicide rate declined from 54.6 per 100,000 population for the two years preceding the establishment of the committee to 32.5 for the like period following. (There was actually one more homicide in the second period--42 against 41--but when changed population figures are factored in, the rate declined. By operation of the same type of calculation, the rates of robbery and burglary would show a greater reduction than would appear from a comparison of the bare numbers. Part of the reduction doubtless had to do with dilution of the male portion of the population by the arrival of women. By the 1852 census, males comprised 82 percent of the population compared to 90 percent or more a couple of years earlier. By 1860 the ratio would be 60/40, thus further diluting the population of the most murder-prone group.) 21 And there was a difference in the type of homicide that did occur, suggesting that perhaps by taking matters in hand, the more responsible elements of the community were sending out a message that criminal misconduct generally would not be tolerated. Studies in a wide variety of times and places show that the most common situation resulting in homicide--about 35 to 40 percent of all cases--is some kind of a sudden dispute arising from trivial circumstances. (Marvin Wolfgang, in his study of Philadelphia homicide in the 1950s, attempted to establish motivational categories by means of which such issues could be compared among different places. He found an average of 35 percent of homicides resulting from what he called an “altercation of relatively trivial origin; insult, curse, jostling, etc.” While Wolfgang‟s categories are not discrete, they do provide a good general baseline with which to make rough comparisons about the circumstances under which homicide occurs.131) In pre-vigilante San Francisco, the period up to June 1851, 74 percent of the killings fell into that category. Similar findings have been replicated in a number of different studies of Gold Rush communities. (Thompson and West found that the greater proportion of homicides in their study of nineteenth century Nevada resulted from reckless bravado. “Persons meet in saloons, bagnios and gambling places, with deadly weapons on their persons; they drink, gamble, dispute when half intoxicated, banter each other, and at last draw out their weapons and for fancied causes alone slay each other.” For more than half of the 402 cases they list “[T]hose for which trivial causes or none at all, is assigned are more than one-half.” “The majority of these can be safely be set down as having begun in frivolous bravado, and never would have occurred had men not gone unnecessarily armed and congregated in places where their cooler thoughts were usurped by those begotten by the insidious wiles of strong drink.”)132 In the equivalent period following the adjournment of the committee in San Francisco, such homicides amounted to about half of the total. And of those crimes for which arrests were made, Australians no longer dominated the criminal docket.133 Gold Rush criminal violence grew out of a number of factors: the social turbulence of the time, lax or corrupt law enforcement and a climate of economic downturn. Without a doubt there was widespread anti-Australian sentiment in Gold Rush San Francisco. But any claim that “all” Australians – or for that matter “all” of any group--was predisposed to crime just does not hold water. Whether those sentiments can be looked to as a contributing factor to Australian criminality is far less certain. And the type of criminal behavior the Australians did choose to participate in--violent out-group street robberies-- is of the sort that is bound to prompt extreme reaction in any society. In the end it would have to be said that the Australians did not in fact contribute much to the homicide rate in Gold Rush San Francisco, nor did they burn the city down. But they did in fact commit a disproportionate amount of criminal violence in the form of street robberies. While the Australia from which the Gold Rush immigrants came might not have been particularly plagued with criminal violence, many of the Australians who answered the call to gold from California definitely brought criminal propensities with them. Here they came in contact with a socio/legal climate in which it was apparent that interpersonal violence was viewed with equanimity. Perhaps they concluded that the apathy extended to robbery as well. If so, they made a mistake. In that regard we can reasonably conclude that the operation of the justice system in Gold Rush San Francisco – both legal and extralegal--had some effect on the criminal record: first, by the legal 22 group doing too little and then by the extralegal Committee of Vigilance doing what many consider as too much. And while the forces of order in Gold Rush San Francisco--both official and self- designated--occupied themselves with Australian ex-convicts, another, much more murderous group of minority newcomers flew well below the criminal justice radar. 23 Chap03 Latinos At mid-afternoon on Monday, September 13, 1852, several residents of Pleasant Valley (near Second and Howard streets) watched in horror as a man, later identified as Jose Forni, chased another man down the high sand hill at that location, stabbing him repeatedly. Neighborhood residents piled out of their homes and chased Forni back up the hill where they subdued him and placed him under arrest.134 The victim, Jose Rodriquez, died within two minutes without making any statement. Forni, a non-English-speaking native of Spain, was indicted by the Grand Jury on a charge of murder and ordered to trial before the District Court. At his October trial Forni claimed that he had met Rodriquez, an immigrant from Mexico, on the top of the hill and that Rodriquez had offered to share a drink with him. He declined, he said, "and repaired to a nearby place for the purpose of nature," placing his sash containing $325 and his knife about 12 feet away. He was surprised to see Rodriquez rise up from behind a nearby hillock, he said, pick up Forni's knife and demand his money. When Forni tried to run, according to his version of the incident, the man stabbed him in the leg. Forni was able to disarm his attacker, he said, and chased him down the hill where the killing took place.135 The jury did not buy Forni‟s story and he was convicted of first-degree murder. On December 10, 1852 the killer was taken to a spot on the western side of Russian Hill and hanged in full view of 3,000 spectators, thus earning the dubious honor of being the first man executed by lawful process in Gold Rush San Francisco. Some suggested it was Forni‟s minority status that earned him this distinction. “It was a proud day for the law” wrote Hubert H. Bancroft, California‟s preeminent nineteenth century historian.” True it was only a Spaniard who was hanged, Jose Forin (sic) for the murder of a Spaniard . . . . It was a happy sight, I say, this hanging of the moneyless, friendless Spanish stranger. . . ." 136 Such thinking finds expression in modern discussions of minorities and crime generally. Speaking of California‟s nineteenth century treatment of minorities before the law, Clare McKanna concludes in his study of homicide and race in nineteenth century California that “this [justice] system, distorted by racial prejudice, ensured that minorities would pay a much heavier price than whites.”137 These findings have implications for modern minority crime as well. According to Ronald Barri Flowers in his study of minorities and crime, “any study that hopes to accurately explore the impact of crime on American minority groups must consider the associative significance of historical mistreatment of minorities and their criminality and victimization today.138 Sadly,” he concludes, “the United States is largely what it is today at the cruel and unjust expense of its minorities.”139 Writing of the Latino bandidos like those who peopled Gold Rush California, two modern commentators on the events of that time assert that they “can be described as victims of injustice. They were forced into a life that was outside of the newly imposed Anglo-American law; theirs was a banditry in the form of retribution and for the purpose of survival.”140 The idea of the minority victims of white justice has so imbedded itself in our collective understanding of minority/majority relations that one scholar who recently found otherwise was moved to title his article “A Surprising Amount of Justice.”141 (There is a curious anomaly in all this. We are willing to accept criminal violence 24 committed by Anglos in the old West--like that found in boomtown San Francisco or the wild mining camps like Bodie--as caused by some individual character flaw or because of some general societal condition – not enough law, alcohol, youth, and prevalence of firearms. Yet when “people of color” are involved, we immediately start looking for some oppressive condition imposed on them by the majority to explain their criminal behavior.)142 This chapter will look at the incidence of criminal violence attributed to Latino perpetrators in Gold Rush San Francisco, tracking the cases from their point of incidence to their final disposition. It will be found that while Latino newcomers to the city during the Gold Rush era were overrepresented among those convicted and sentenced for the commission of homicide, it is also a fact that they contributed disproportionately to the homicide rate. And an analysis of the circumstances of those killings suggests that the homicide rates, contrary to common belief, can very often be traced to other than simple discrimination on the part of the host society.143 To provide a setting in which to consider Latino homicide in San Francisco in the 1850s, a brief survey of the historical and geographical context in which it occurred is in order. The first European settlers to California arrived in the last decades of the eighteenth century, and in the next 75 years, the Spaniards (and their Mexican successors) founded a series of missions, presidios and pueblos (civil settlements) at coastal locations north to Sonoma. The European-derived population was never large during this era. In 1815 there were perhaps 2,400 gente de rezon (people of reason), as Spanish and Mexican settlers referred to non-Indian Californios. By 1845, on the eve of the American conquest, there were no more than 8,000, of whom about 7,000 were Latinos and the rest a combination of Anglo-Americans and Europeans, mostly Anglo- Americans.144 There is a prevalent view of Alta California as a Latino Arcadia before the coming of the Americans. “Old inhabitants,” reported Zoeth Skinner Eldredge, “maintain that California was a perfect paradise before the foreign immigration set in to corrupt patriarchal customs; then robbery and assassinations were unheard of,” he said, “blasphemy rare, and fraudulent creditors unknown.” 145 Bancroft agrees: "There were then no jails, no juries, no sheriff, law processes or courts," he wrote of the period prior to the American arrival, "conscience and public opinion were law and justice held an evenly balanced rule.” 146 While Latino California did not have the level of homicide that would plague the state during the Gold Rush era, it was far from a paradise. Eric Monkkonen has calculated an annual average homicide rate of 95.1 for the area now encompassed by Los Angeles County for the seven years prior to the American conquest, from 1839 to 1845, which taken by itself, would place the homicide rates for the settlement in the company of the worst of American frontier settlements.147 Monkkonen urges caution, however, about making too much of the high rate. The population of pre-Gold Rush California was simply too small (and the numbers too uncertain) to calculate homicide rates with any degree of absolute precision, a factor that also arises with other groups and societies which will be encountered. There is an ongoing debate in western history circles about just how wild America‟s “Wild West” really was. On one side is Robert Dykstra, in the forefront of those who argue that the West was not nearly as violent as characterized in popular books 25 and films. Roger McGrath, Clare McKanna and others show very high rates of homicide in any number of mining camps and cow towns. Dykstra and his supporters respond by assigning these high rates to what they call “the fallacy of small numbers.” Citing Dodge City‟s single homicide in 1880, Dykstra says, since Dodge City, “contained a resident population of merely 1,275 that year, the single killing yields a statistically huge ratio of 78.4.” 148If the shot had missed, says Dykstra, the rate would have been zero, but since it didn‟t Dodge City that year had twice the rate of the most murderous city a century later. 149 On balance, those arguing for a more rather than less violent West have the best of the argument. But without getting into the details of the debate here, it can be said that a very few homicidal events in a very small population will multiply into deceptively high rates. The problem is compounded even further in trying to estimate rates for the much smaller settlement of San Francisco in the Latino era. By 1800 there were about 200 gente de rezon residing on the San Francisco Peninsula and by the time of the American conquest there were perhaps 150 living in Yerba Buena village, the little port settlement from which the city of San Francisco would grow.150 There were occasional homicides in Latino San Francisco, most notably the 1828 murder of two children by Francisco Rubio, whose execution brought on a revolution which brought down the colonial government and sent the Mexican governor packing.151 But there was simply not a sufficient population in Latino-era San Francisco upon which to base rates for comparison with later, much more populous, eras. It is sufficient to say at this point, despite the utopian pronouncements of Eldredge and Bancroft, that pre-Anglo Californios were not strangers to criminal violence. (The issue of questionable homicide rates based on very small populations will be revisited in later discussions, particularly those related to nineteenth century Italians and African-Americans.) As news of the gold strike spread outward in 1848, among the first to hear the news were Mexicans and the residents of the Pacific ports of South America. Thousands of Latinos headed for California. Ten thousand or more headed overland from the Mexican state of Sonora to the southern mines where they lent the name of their state to the principal mining camp. Thousands more took ship from port cities in Chile and Peru, landing in San Francisco. Latinos, then and now, are often lumped together, both in public consciousness and criminal statistics, as one monolithic group. Bancroft, it will be noted, made no distinction between Forni, who was indeed an immigrant from Spain, and Rodriquez, who was from Mexico. In fact, the cultural diversity between different Latino groups is analogous to the differences between residents of different European countries.152 The members of pre-Gold Rush Latino population of California were principally Hijo del Pais, the California-born children of earlier Mexican immigrants. The first arrivals from Chile were European businessmen who had established themselves in port cities of the South American country. They were quickly followed by Latinos of every occupation, from skilled miners to prostitutes, from Valparaiso and Talcahuano.153 Among those who joined the Gold Rush from Chile, according to Jay Monaghan, were some of a group known as rotos, "landless vagabonds who worked occasionally and robbed often, proving themselves dangerous highwaymen or excellent guerillas.. . Reckless, vindictive fighters, these ragged gangsters cared little for their own lives and not at all for the lives of others." 154 Most of the Chileans, as did other nationality groups, moved on to the mining regions. Others settled on the southwestern slopes of Telegraph 26 Hill in San Francisco. In early 1849 San Francisco had a definite Latino flavor. When the first Australian ship bearing immigrants arrived in April 2,1849, they were greeted on the shore by large numbers of Latin Americans, few of whom spoke English.155 As already mentioned, there was little criminal violence in San Francisco during this period. In that, San Francisco was almost unique in California at the time, a factor that is demonstrated by a brief examination of the geographic distribution of Gold Rush criminal violence. Currently, homicide is predominately an urban phenomenon.156 That was not always the case.157 Many studies of criminal violence, from medieval England to almost modern times, show higher rates of murder in more sparsely settled areas.158 While concentrated aggregations of people might provide greater opportunity for conflicts leading to violence, less settled areas provide a corresponding opportunity to avoid detection. And criminals were well aware of the distinction. In December 1848 a group of vicious bandits murdered and robbed ten people in the isolated San Miguel Mission in what was one of the worst mass murders in the state‟s history. Several days later, as the killers made their way south, they came upon a Californio horseman. The self-appointed leader of the group instructed one of the band to kill him, to which the bandit replied, “Do you think I am a God damn fool to kill a fellow right in the settlements?” 159 The ability to get away without detection depended not just on the absence of witnesses but also the comparative paucity of law enforcement officers in the rural areas.160 If law enforcement was not up to the task in San Francisco, it was virtually non- existent in the hinterland. When Gold Rush newcomers flooded into the inland mining regions, virtually untouched by European settlement in the Latino era, they at first adopted and adapted, as had San Francisco, Latino forms of local government. Alcaldes with executive and judicial authority were elected, and the American office of sheriff was tacked on to provide law enforcement services. But with the scattered nature of the settlements and mobile population, there was neither the disposition nor the ability to bring together large concentrations of police like the 30-officer force in San Francisco, which, for all its problems, could be expected to respond in respectable force when called on to do so. In the gold regions for several years, communities were pretty much on their own when it came to keeping the peace and enforcing the law. Consequently, the non-urban homicide rates in the gold regions ran much higher than those in large urban areas. A number of studies have found much higher rates in non-urban areas of nineteenth century California. 161 In response to those who might bring in the “fallacy of small numbers” argument, the rates sustain themselves even when the population base is extended to include the entire state. Comprehensive statewide homicide statistics do not exist for the Gold Rush period but those which do point to disproportionately higher rates in non-urban areas. The analysis of homicides from a tabulation compiled by a newspaper in 1855 renders an adjusted rate for the state of 133.0 per 100,000, based on a population total of approximately 300,000. 162 San Francisco‟s rate that year was 29.9. The spatial configuration of the non-urban mining regions also resulted in a characteristically different homicide profile from that encountered in a strictly urban setting. Most urban homicide, as discussed in the last chapter, arose out of sudden drunken conflicts in saloons, often over a woman or a real or fancied insult. And as we also found, there was very little robbery, and almost no robbery/homicide. Much of the mining camp violence involved young, often drunk males working out their difficulties 27 with gun and knife as well. But there was another common type of killing, rarely found in any nineteenth century large urban settlement. Much of the killing found in the non-urban areas of Gold Rush California, as found by Boessenecker and others, was committed by robber bands who ranged through the sparsely populated areas of the state looking for isolated individuals and small groups of travelers, settlers and miners who they could kill and rob with impunity. It is obvious from even a cursory examination of the record that much of that robbery/murder involved Latinos.163 The situation is exemplified by the legend of Joaquin Murrieta. According to a widely accepted version of the record, Murrieta, a young miner who had come from Sonora, Mexico, as part of the early movement to the southern mines, was summarily driven from his claim by Americans who raped his wife, hanged his brother, and ran him off after administering an unwarranted flogging. It was this outrageous treatment at the hands of the Anglos which set him on an avenging course of murderous banditry.164 Just how murderous were Gold Rush Latinos? There is no shortage of studies to show that Latinos have long been discriminated against by the American justice system. Clare McKanna attributes the disproportionate representation of Latinos in California‟s nineteenth century prison population to their economic and political dislocation and the difficulty they found in the justice system. There are many other studies.165 Comparisons that restrict themselves merely to penalties assessed fall short of adequacy. Unless we compare the actual incidence of violent crime committed by minority groups to that committed by the majority group, such conclusions are of limited utility. Until recently we have had little hard statistical data upon which to analyze comparative amounts of Latino criminal violence by incidence. According to Robert Heizer, “scholarly and popular conclusions regarding the experiences of minorities in Western justice systems are based on frequently repeated anecdotes or analyses of particularly violent crimes.”166 Some say that the Latino newcomers were not disproportionately crime-prone. “The criminalization of the Chicano resulted not from their being more criminal or violent but from a clash between conflicting and competing cultures, worldviews, and economic, political and judicial systems,” says Alfredo Mirande.167 Others comment on the dearth of information about Latino violence. According to one recent observer, “There is little information to draw on in attempting to explain Latino American crime causation because of the dearth of empirical research that addresses Latino Americans as a group or investigates any of their specific subgroups.” Another comments that there has been limited research on Latino involvement in crime.168. Ramiro Martinez has recently published a work that discusses Latino homicide rates in a modern urban setting in his Latino Homicide: Immigration, Violence, and Community. Clare McKanna has assembled statistics for Latino homicide in seven mostly rural California counties between 1850 to 1900 in his Race and Homicide in California: 1850-2000, but his line of inquiry took him in a direction in which he did not find it necessary to calculate the figures in rates per 100,000 of population. An analysis of a newspaper tabulation of 1854 criminal homicides shows that 16 percent of the homicides in California that year were committed by Latinos (of those for whom the race of the offender is known).169 This against an estimated ten percent of the population.170 Extracted as they are from uncertain sources and calculated on equally uncertain population figures, any statistics about Gold Rush-era Latino criminality are of 28 questionable exactitude. Thus what is left, for comparison purposes, are a few statewide statistics of the incidence of Latino homicide during the Gold Rush era which, taken together, suggest a disproportionate incidence Latino homicide. (The best explanation for disproportionate crime commission by Latinos, some assert, “is that Mexicans reacted more strongly against injustices that were directed against them than other minority groups” because they resented their status as conquered people.171) More complete statistics on Latino homicide, as well as more detailed information about the dispositions of the cases, are available for San Francisco of that era than for the state as a whole, so it is there that this examination will be conducted. As always, a caveat is in order. As has been shown in any number of studies, figures achieved for one locality are best applied to that locality; trying to transfer the findings to another jurisdiction or the nation at large can lead to serious misunderstandings. So the conclusions arrived at in what follows should not necessarily be assigned to Latino homicide elsewhere, or as representative of Latino homicide generally, except as part of a much larger discussion. What is the anecdotal record for San Francisco? Latinos seem to have been brought to the bar of justice in disproportionate numbers, at least according to the contemporary Annals of San Francisco. Mexicans, the annalists aver, “In proportion to their numbers show more criminals in courts than any other class.”172 Such a conclusion could be attributed to the biases of the authors or to discriminatory practices by the police and courts, of course. But even observers sympathetic to the cause of minority rights, albeit from a distance, agree that “there is a strong possibility that Mexicans did engage in more horse-stealing, highway robbery, assault, and thieving than any other single group in California.”173 By early 1849, the first large numbers of seaborne arrivals from the Atlantic states began to show up in San Francisco. It was, as has been mentioned, in the enforcement vacuum created by the virtual absence of an effective police force that the Hounds arose. The thugs went about shaking down residents, particularly Latinos, under the guise of collecting money to pay for their self-appointed "law enforcement" services. Not much notice was paid to the extortionist bullies until June 20,1849 when a young Hound, Belden Beatty, was shot fatally by a Chilean “due to some misunderstanding” in a Hounds foray to Chilean Quarter on the slopes of Telegraph Hill.174 A few weeks later, on Sunday, July 15, after a day of drunken revelry, the Hounds attacked "Chiletown" in reprisal for Beatty‟s killing. All through the night, the gang rampaged through the settlement, shooting, raping, and robbing the Latino residents of the tent city on the hill, one of whom, Ronald Alegria, later died from his wounds. The next day, a belatedly outraged citizenry assembled in Portsmouth Square and organized a citizen police force to bring the gang to book. The citizens formed the first of San Francisco‟s public tribunals, which over the next several days, tried the Hounds leaders and banished them from San Francisco under pain of death should they return. In the disordered state of affairs at the time, the Hounds victimized all, but particularly Latinos. In that, they gave physical expression to widely held sentiments of the time. The authors of the near-contemporary Annals of San Francisco display the casual racial and ethnic stereotypes common in nineteenth century America. Among the others they described in San Francisco were: 29 Multitudes of the Spanish race from every county of the Americas, partly pure, partly crossed with red blood--Chileans, Peruvians and Mexicans, all with different shades of the same swarthy complection (sic), black-eyed and well- featured, proud of their beards and moustaches, their grease, dirt, and eternal gaudy serape or darker cloaks; Spaniards from the mother country, more dignified, polite and pompous than even their old colonial brethren; „Greasers‟ too, like them. . . . 175 There is no question but that the “affair of the Hounds” gave expression to anti-Latino sentiments in San Francisco, but the question is: did those sentiments translate into higher rates of Latino criminal violence? The answer to that question lies in an examination of the Latino violence that did occur, and how it was disposed of by the justice system in San Francisco. Because of the manageable amount of data – a phenomenon which will not recur for other groups later in the more populous city – we are able to consider every case of Latino homicide occurred in early San Francisco. In all, there were 20 criminal homicides recorded as having been committed by Latinos in San Francisco from 1849 to the end of the 1850s. October 1949: A drunken Chilean kills an unnamed black porter in a drinking tent near the beach.. March 1850: A group of Chileans stab and kill a Frenchman leaving a brothel on Pacific Street. June 1850: A Chilean, Domingo Basquez (sic), fatally stabs another Chilean, Labri, in dispute over cigar. July 1850: Louis Bernal, a native of Matzatlan,shoots and kills Carmelita Bertrand in a saloon at Broadway and Stockton streets. October 1850: A Chilean prostitute, “Big Mouth Mary,” kills an Australian prostitute named Loiuse Taylor in the same saloon where Bertrand had been killed in July. January 1851: Hosea (sic) Fernandez kills a French sailor in a drinking and dancing saloon at Pacific and Kearny streets. March 1851: Jose Feliz kills "Captain" Elijah Jarvis in the Mission in love triangle involving Jarvis‟ wife. October 1851: Miguel Luches, an associate of Joaquin Murrieta, is killed in a knife fight at North Beach by a man named Marcelino. November1851: Jose Contreras, a native of Chile, fatally stabs a friend, Clemente Sequel (sic) in a drunken dispute. April 1852: Blas Rivas is arrested for killing a man named Joaquin in a drunken dispute at Davis and Clay streets. September 1852: Dolores Martinez, a 19-year-old prostitute from Mexico, kills Serolla Olle in a Kearny street “house.” September 1852: Forni kills Rodriquez. September 1853: A Peruvian named Jose Maria kills a black man named John Williams in a drunken dispute on Pacific Street. November 1853: Francisco, a Chilean, is killed by Polonio after leaving a "house" on Pacific Street. May 1854: Antonio Perez is robbed and strangled at her Union street house by four Latinos. 30 August 1855: Jose LaFuente kills Maria Martinez in a domestic dispute. October 1855: Antonio Salgado kills Miguel Castro in a fight over a woman. April 1856: Francisco Robenos kills Jose Calderon in a drunken dispute on the Presidio road near Washerwoman‟s Lagoon. December 1857: A man named Olea kills Jose Rondo in a quarrel on Montgomery Street. December 1859: Leandro beats his wife to death in their home on Clay Street. When considered together with the other homicide cases, there are striking similarities in the circumstances of the Latino killings in San Francisco and those perpetrated by non-Latino whites. Two of the cases involved robberies, one by Forni for which he hanged and the other by four Latinos who murdered and robbed Antonia Perez at Union and Stockton in 1854 and were never caught. Two of the homicides were sex triangles, one of which had a non-Latino white victim. Two were cases of intimate partner murder and 13 involved some type of dispute, ten of them occurred in or near saloons, brothels or stemmed from some sort of drunken quarrel. (That is 68.4 percent involved some kind of a trivial dispute, much as was common in the larger society at the time.) As to underlying reasons for the Latino violence, there is certainly something to charges of discriminatory treatment of minorities at the hands of the majority in Gold Rush California. When General Persifor Smith arrived in California to take charge of the Army department in 1849, he announced that the mines belonged to Americans and that foreigners had no legal right to be there. The army had no capacity to enforce his edict but it did not go unnoticed by miners arriving later from the Atlantic states. The situation was exacerbated when the easily obtained placer gold began to run out. The Latino community, both the Mexicans and Chileans, contained many skilled miners who set about driving quartz shafts into the hillsides to the chagrin of their less skilled American counterparts. Out of this came the enactment of the 1850 foreign miners tax, the enforcement of which was attended by much violence. However, it is hard to make a supportable case for ethnic discrimination as accounting for Murrieta and others like him turning to a life of murderous banditry. There is no evidence that Murrieta was flogged, much less that his wife was raped. “Murietta has been portrayed as a social bandit who waged war against the hated gringos by robbing and killing them,” reports Roger McGrath. “In truth,” he concludes, “there was nothing social about his banditry. He robbed and killed those who had money, be they American, Chinese, or Mexican. He killed nearly as many Chinese as whites and robbed and murdered several of his fellow Mexicans.” 176 And the multi-ethnic composition of the many California bandit gangs described by John Boessenecker in his Gold Dust and Gunsmoke also points away from a “social banditry” explanation for all the murderous robbery. As often as not, as Boessenecker points out, Latino Californians took leading roles in hunting down the bandidos.177 This doesn‟t exclude discrimination as contributing to Latino criminality, but, as will be mentioned later, the existence of almost identical Latino robbery gangs in the Mexican state of Sonora at the time, offers the possibility that the behavior came north with the newcomers and flowered when a similar law enforcement vacuum was encountered. In a 31 broader sense, the general economic condition, as also discussed in the preceding chapter, may well have had something to do with the increase in thefts and robberies in a society experiencing an economic decline, but that does not make the crime “social.”178 A cursory look at the nativity of those punished by imprisonments in San Francisco might suggest that Forni‟s 1852 execution indeed represented a pattern of discriminatory treatment of Latinos by the Anglo justice system. During the 1850s, Latinos were represented in prison commitment on homicide charges at more than twice their percentage of the population from San Francisco.179 Overall for the period from 1850 through 1859, 15.6 percent of those punished for homicide by hanging or imprisonment were Latino (5 of 32) against their approximately six percent of the population.180 But penalties compared to population figures tell only part of the story.181 And a partial understanding of the circumstances of individual cases can mislead us. One author recently juxtaposed the failure of the authorities to do anything about Anglo thieves at the May 1851 fire even though a Mexican woman was shot with impunity. “The horror of the night was increased,” she says, quoting a contemporary diarist, “by a man shooting a poor Mexican woman named Carmelita without any cause.” “[T]his,” charges the modern observer, “while looters went free.” In fact, neither the killing of Carmelita Castillo nor the disposition of her case had anything to do with her ethnicity. She was killed by her live-in lover, William Lawley, in an intimate partner homicide. And he “went free” by killing himself.182 A closer look at the totality of the circumstances of Latino homicide --by its incidence rather than by comparing arrest or penalty figures to the population--suggests a more equal proportion of incidence to punishment, at least as they apply to urban San Francisco. During the same period that Latinos comprised 15.6 percent of those punished for homicide, they were named as the responsible in 15.1 percent of the criminal homicides for which the ethnic identity of the perpetrator is known, a close statistical match. And by looking at the particulars of the cases, perhaps we can discern that the reason for their disproportionate representation had to do with other than racist discrimination. Cerelia, killer of the unnamed black servant in 1849, escaped into the Gold Rush confusion. So did the killer of the French sailor in March 1850. After the man he stabbed was cut, but before he died, Basquez was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to three months in jail. He was re-indicted for murder following his victim‟s death but the defense claimed the previous conviction for assault was a bar to further prosecution. Big Mouth Mary decamped as well. Jose Feliz, murderer of Jarvis, was later killed in a drunken fight at the Sanchez Rancho in what is now South San Francisco. All these perpetrators put themselves beyond the reach of the law so not much could be done with them. Given the spotty record-keeping of the time, we do not have a complete disposition in every case. Of those caught in the toils of the justice system, some dispositions are unclear, such as the case of Hosea (sic) Hernandez for killing the Frenchman in the dancing saloon on Pacific on January 21, 1851. In the case of Blas Rivas for killing Joaquin on April 29 1852, a warrant was issued for the perpetrator‟s arrest after he departed. In the case of Jose Contreras for killing Clement Sequel in November1851, he was convicted of manslaughter and committed to San Quentin prison 32 for three years. Big Mouth Mary may have slipped away, but Dolores Martinez was not so lucky. She was sentenced to a year in San Quentin, which she served. What the figures show more than anything is that in the early disordered days, while the justice system struggled to gain its footing, many killers – not just Anglos-- were going unpunished for a number of reasons. And when individual cases are examined, we get the picture that there was not necessarily a blanket sentiment against Latinos that resulted in their disproportionate conviction and sentencing for criminal homicide. After two trials for killing Carmelita Bertrand in July 1850, at the first of which the jury could not agree, Bernal was found not guilty. The Alta might not have been thoroughly satisfied with the final verdict but reported magnanimously that in a case where a human life is at stake, none of the forms prescribed as proper by the people should be dispensed with, even if a guilty man should go free. And this of a native of Mazatlan. In the October 9, 1851 case of Marcellino and two others, arrested for the North Beach killing of Miguel Luches with 20 stab wounds in an affair of honor, they were released because of insufficient evidence. A number of cases involving Latino participants beyond those in which Latino perpetrators were charged with criminal homicide also serve to shed light on the interaction between Latinos and the Anglo justice system. Latino perpetrators were as likely to be adjudged not guilty on the grounds of self- defense as whites when the facts of the case warranted it. On June 22, Diego Sandoval, recently released from prison, took to terrorizing a Latino tailor named Alamoz. On June 22, Sandoval confronted the tailor and demanded $3. Alamoz backed up and when Sandoval approached with a bowie knife, shot his tormentor dead. The killing was adjudged to be self-defense. On November 3, 1852, two months after Forni killed Rodriquez and a month before he was hanged for it, the Alta reported that John Chappell (Johnny Cab), a boatman from New York, was cut and killed by a Mexican, Abellardo Torres, in a "house" on the corner of Murderer's Alley (between Dupont and Stockton). Testimony was given at the Recorder‟s Court that Chappell had been spoiling for trouble and insulted Torres‟ wife and attempted to shoot Torres. Chappell‟s bad reputation doubtless worked against him. Still, the Torres couple, dwelling as they did in a brothel, cannot be considered particularly upright citizens either. Yet Torres was quickly cleared of criminal responsibility for Chapell‟s death on a finding of self -defense. While there are gaps in the record and incomplete information in some of the other cases, in the Forni case there is sufficient detail to make a determination. Despite what Bancroft might suggest, the reason that Forni hanged was that the case, alone among all the homicides committed in San Francisco up to that time, Anglo or Latino, was the only one wherein all the elements of a capital crime were present. Forni was not hanged because he was a Spaniard, but rather because his was the only homicide in Gold Rush San Francisco in which the authorities had all the elements of a provable capital murder case, and the will to see the case through to a successful conclusion.183 Testimony in the Forni case showed that Rodriquez had recently received wages of $280 and that Forni knew about it. On his arrest, $312 was found in Forni‟s possession. One of the witnesses who first brought the defendant to bay at the top of the Second Street hill was able to testify to Forni's guilty attempt to get rid of evidence. When he first came on Forni at the top of the hill, the witness said, the defendant was 33 running his knife in and out of the sand, as if desperately trying to remove remnants of the blood stains. Witnesses who arrested him said that Forni was armed with his own knife, and that Rodriquez' knife was still in its scabbard on his belt. The hat of the murdered man was found on the top of the hill with two cuts and blood stains, showing he had received the wound on the head before he was seen running down the hill. There may be much that Anglos need to apologize for in their treatment of the native peoples they found on their way West. But not for hanging Forni. And there are some indications, as there were for the Australians who ran afoul of the law, that the behaviors leading to the criminal violence came with the newcomers. There do not seem to be any formal statistical compilations of homicide with rates per 100,000 of population for Chile and Mexico for the 1840s or 1850s, but it is clear from the anecdotal record that those places were not strangers to criminal violence. The violent activities of those Chileans who found themselves in the toils of the law in Gold Rush San Francisco sound much like the homegrown Chilean "landless vagabonds who worked occasionally and robbed often . . . . [and who] cared little for their own lives and not at all for the lives of others." Historian Hubert H. Bancroft describes the Mexican state of Sonora at the time as plagued by bandido gangs. Police were largely unknown in the region from which many of the Mexican miners originated, he wrote, and “banditti became so bold at times as to enter a town and rob a store in open day; and if they confined their operations to the road, the authorities were not quick to molest them.”184 Whatever else contributed to their lawlessness, says Leonard Pitt, the California bandido must be understood also as a product of social upheaval in Mexico.”185 During the uncertain period following the 1820 Mexican Revolution, bandit chieftains roamed the Mexican countryside he says. “The resemblance of the California bandits to their Mexican counterparts was unmistakable.” In their later study of Mexican violence Wolfgang and Ferracuti found a set of conditions in which homicide rates grew. Noting that violent behavior was imbedded in the Mexican folkloric tradition, they concluded, “Where the use of violence is taken for granted and homicide is a common form of death [as it was and is in Mexico], subcultural values encouraging the use of violence can surely be assumed to be present.”186 While not discounting discrimination, and all the travails that were visited on them in Gold Rush San Francisco and California, then, it must be recognized that much of the criminal violence committed by Latino newcomers to Gold Rush California can be credited as well to traits found in the culture in which they originated. And as to majority group discrimination creating Latino criminality, says Bruce Thornton: “The story of Joaquin [Murrieta] is an exceptionally clear illustration of the limits of identity politics, which assigns individuals to stereotypical racial categories usually based on their being victims of historical oppression.”187 During the five years from 1855 through 1859, Latino homicide dropped precipitously to an average of one killing a year. Thereafter, it just about disappeared off the scope in San Francisco. In the remaining 40 years of the nineteenth century (1860 through 1899) Latinos committed just 14 of the almost 900 homicides during that period. The best explanation for the decline probably has to do with a declining Latino population in the city. Because of the problem with getting exact figures for the Latino population, we can at best make an educated guess. But from what we know the population declined statewide over the nineteenth century.188 The decline in Latino 34 population was probably even more pronounced in San Francisco, for as one near- contemporary writer put it, “The native Californians [read Latinos] . . . as a rule, betake themselves to the country, and find more pleasure in their quiet and somewhat romantic pastoral life than mingling in the bustle and tumult of the city.”189 It appears that what happened--in San Francisco at least--is that Latinos were displaced at the low end of the economic ladder – where the preponderance of criminal homicide can always be found--by working-class Irish and Chinese newcomers. 35 Chap04 Irish In the early morning hours of November 18, 1858, William “Tipperary Bill” Morris, a 28-year-old-native of Ireland, entered John Evans‟ saloon on Pacific Street near Dupont (Grant Avenue). There he engaged the waitress, Elizabeth Riley, in small talk in Irish. At some point the conversation must have then switched to English, for when Morris asked Riley if she would like to “drink a glass of piss,” another patron, Richard Doak, the 23-year- old mate of a recently arrived bark, remonstrated with him. Morris told Doak to mind his own business and, to emphasize his point, brandished a large revolver. Evans, the establishment‟s proprietor, ordered Morris out of the place. Morris left and waited outside. When Doak departed shortly thereafter, Morris shot him down as he cleared the street door. Police immediately identified Morris from his description and frequent previous contacts with the authorities. Morris was arrested and placed on trial in the Fourth District Court in April of the following year, where he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to hang. On June 10, 1859, William Morris was taken to the yard of the Broadway Street County Jail and hanged. With his hanging, Morris completed the 60 percent of those hanged by legal authority in San Francisco in the 1850s who were Irish natives, a group that then comprised approximately 15 percent of the population. By most accounts, the nineteenth-century Irish in America were a particularly violent group.190 Roger Lane estimates that the nineteenth-century Irish in Philadelphia, with about 20 percent of the population, were responsible for from 23 to 30 percent of homicide indictments.191 In some communities, according to Lane, the Irish had rates of homicide of more than two and one half times their proportionate representation in society.192 According to Eric Monkkonen, Irish murderers were also over-represented in mid-nineteenth-century New York, where he found a homicide rate of 37.5 per 100,000 for adult Irish-born males.193 Elvin Powell claims that the Irish in the 1870s had higher levels of violence than found among African-Americans in the 1960s.194 The references to Irish combativeness of an earlier time are too widespread to be explained in terms of simple prejudice. Sean McCann describes Irishmen as “Quick-tempered and yet still a brooder on hidden angers, has never been short of a fight, right or wrong, through any stage of history.”195 The roots of Irish predisposition for physical conflict resolution seem to run 196 deep. Says Posionius, first century Greek historian, describing a Celtic feast: “These Celtic warriors were wont to be moved by chance remarks to wordy disputes, and the irritations could increase to the point of fighting.”197 Without too much imagination, we can visualize the same behavior in Roger McGrath‟s Bodie, Roger Lane‟s Philadelphia, and even post-Gold Rush San Francisco. This chapter will examine criminal homicides by the Irish newcomer community in nineteenth century San Francisco, one of the most Irish of cities in the nation. We will find that the general violent reputation of the nineteenth-century urban Irish is well deserved. But given the nature of the data upon which previous estimates of Irish homicide have been based, it is far from certain that Irish violence resulted in fatal outcomes in San Francisco to the degree apparently encountered elsewhere. 36 I estimate that Irish-surnamed people were the victims in from 30 percent to 48 percent of the criminal homicide that occurred in San Francisco between 1860 and 1900, at a time when the total Irish community composed on average about 30 percent of the city‟s population. While much of the violent behavior can be credited to the newcomers‟ treatment by the host society, much also can be traced to cultural traditions brought from the old country. And the activities of the nineteenth-century police in San Francisco seem to have had effect on the overall homicide rates. Figure 4.1 shows the overall homicide rate for each decade of the late nineteenth century. Figure 4.1 goes about here. Before examining each of the periods individually, however, it would be useful to get some technical issues out of the way. There are a number of problems, definitional and otherwise. First it will be necessary to define what constitutes an immigrant community. Should we restrict our definition strictly to direct immigrants or should we include their American-born children? Because this issue will reappear with other newcomer groups, a digression at this point is in order. In contemporary discussions about the cost of immigration, it is generally agreed, for example, even by those who support unrestricted immigration, that the medical and educational costs of the children of immigrants are a legitimate charge against the immigrant community (even as they argue that these costs are more than offset by the taxes paid by immigrant workers.) Therefore, any discussion of crime and immigrants should properly include the contributions of their children to the immigrant crime rate. To do otherwise would be disingenuous. Many observers such as George Wickersham in his Crime and the Foreign Born, have found that “such comparable statistics of crime and population as it has been possible to obtain indicate that immigrants are less prone to commit crime than are native Americans.”198 Many others, while concluding that the first-generation immigrants of some immigrant groups were not particularly crime-prone, have found that their second- generation offspring often contribute disproportionately to crime rates. 199 The theory propounded to explain this phenomenon is that the children of immigrants, who are often forced to settle in marginal areas of the cities of their new homes, find themselves caught between the old-world values of their immigrant parents, and those of the new community to which they are not yet fully assimilated. Out of this tension, some children of immigrants turn to crime and violence.200 Certainly, much of the criminal violence perpetrated by members of the Irish urban communities was committed by the immigrants‟ American-born offspring. The problem this situation presents for homicide researchers is that the records of victimization, upon which most homicide studies are based, identify their subjects by country of birth, if at all. By using this means it is thus possible to clearly identify those Irish who were born in Ireland, but not their American-born children. The population upon which Eric Monkkonen bases his estimate of Irish homicide in New York is thus restricted to those Irish who were born in Ireland.201 This method of counting the immigrant community eliminates the inclusion of the American offspring of the immigrants in the discussion. It also inhibits the sorting out of how much of the violence is attributable to cultural values in the immigrant community and how much of it is 37 traceable to the treatment of the newcomers by the host community. To the extent that the homicide was committed by the immigrants themselves, it might point to behaviors they brought with them, but if the first generation is law-abiding and the second not, it would point to conditions in the host society as creating the environment responsible for the violence. We will return to this issue again, so at this point it is not necessary to explore the phenomenon in detail, except to note that it occurs. Another method of determining the extent of the Irish immigrant community-- that used by Roger Lane in his studies of Philadelphia violence--involves identifying its members by their surnames. 202 When we consider the Irish community in a nineteenth century urban context, we are generally referring to those Irish Catholics from the South of Ireland who came in large numbers following the disastrous Potato Famine. So this method presents problems as well. As Lane found out and reported, the Irish, to an extent not matched by other groups, shared surnames with other nationalities. Over the centuries of foreign intrusion, a large number of English and Scottish names had taken root in Ireland. The most notable example was the large group of Ulster Protestants from an earlier immigration who came to refer to themselves as “Scotch Irish” and had little in common with the Catholic Irish.203 The Scotch Irish had a well deserved reputation for violence in their own right.204 By one estimate, one-third of California‟s Gold Rush population was Scotch Irish.205 The problem for the homicide researcher is that many of the Catholic Irish shared surnames like Smith, Lane, even Wilson, with these Scotch Irish immigrants as well as others from England, Scotland and Wales. All of which combines to make the precise ascertainment of the dimensions of the Irish community and its contribution to homicide rates problematical. (One begins to understand why no one has made a substantial attempt to quantify nineteenth-century Irish urban violence to date.) There is one more point to be made about differences between the Irish community in San Francisco and those in some eastern cities before any comparison can be made between rates. One version of the story of nineteenth-century urban America as it played itself out in eastern cities was of the violent competition between nativist Protestants and immigrant Catholic Irish for a larger piece of the political and economic pie.206 In the West, where there was no tradition of ethnic exclusion and all arrived at about the same time, it was to each according to his ability, at least compared to the impacted cities of the East. Irish Catholic Malachi Fallon was appointed Chief of Police by a group of leading businessmen in 1849, most of whom were other than Irish Catholics. Two years later, in Boston, the entire night watch of the police force resigned when the first Irish police officer was appointed on a court order. It was not until the 1880s that Boston had its first Irish Chief of Police. R.A. Burchell concludes in his study of the San Francisco Irish. “By contrast with elsewhere,” he asserts, the Irish were “comparatively successful and fortunate.” 207 According to the theory that discrimination causes alienation, which results in high rates of criminal violence, we would expect that this would explain the apparently higher levels of Irish homicide in those eastern cities where the Irish had a harder time of it at the hands of their nativist tormenters. There is probably something to that possibility, but given the difficulty in determining the size of the Irish perpetrator population in any one city, let alone our ability to compare such populations among cities, it would be next to impossible to make such comparisons between cities with any measure of precision. 38 One gets the sense, however, that there was less Irish homicide in San Francisco than in some eastern cities, and certainly less than those with rates two and a half times their representation in the general population as cited by Roger Lane, however that came to be the case. Irish-named perpetrators were involved, as were others, in San Francisco‟s Gold Rush homicidal violence. In June 1851, Sam Gallagher fatally shot a gambler named Lewis Pollack who had humiliated him publicly and bedded down his woman. In 1854, Thomas Foley killed his employer, John Dunn, in a drunken dispute over wages. Also in 1854 William Shepherd, an Irish native, killed his girl friend‟s father, presumably because he would not let them marry. In January 1856 Isaac Graham, also Irish-born, killed Nicholas Brooks, a shipmate on the steamer Columbia, after a long-running dispute turned deadly. In May of the same year, Irish American County Supervisor James Casey killed newspaper editor James King of William (the “of William” added to his name to distinguish him from others of the same name in his native Maryland). King‟s killing was to have the most far- reaching effect of any Irish homicide, triggering as it did the establishment of the Second San Francisco Committees of Vigilance. In mid-1856, San Francisco‟s famed Vigilance Committee reorganized itself, again wrested control of the justice apparatus from the regular authorities, hanged four men, Casey among them, and banished several dozen political thugs. Almost to a man, the political operatives banished by the committee had Irish surnames. As shown in figure 4.1, the general homicide rate declined dramatically beginning in the late 1850s, reaching a low point of 8.7 in the late 1860s. It then almost doubled again by the late 1870s before going into a late-century decline shared by other American cites generally. As a group comprising one-third of the city‟s population on average during this period, the Irish were inevitably involved in every fluctuation in the rate. The decline in homicide generally in San Francisco in the late 1850s and 1860s can be attributed to a number of factors having nothing to do with the ethnic makeup of the city. In purely statistical terms, there was an increase in the population in the percentage of proportionately less murderous females and children. By 1860 the male /female proportion shifted from the 90/10 of earlier years to 60/40, which diluted the proportion of the group of more murder-prone young males. Mineral discoveries elsewhere also doubtless exerted a “pull” which drew the murderously inclined out of town. The 1858 Gold Rush to Canada‟s Frazier River drew San Franciscans to the new fields, among them many of the saloon hangers-on who contributed so much to the earlier homicide rates. The next year saw the opening of Nevada‟s Comstock Lode, which doubtless attracted more murderously inclined San Franciscans. San Francisco‟s gain was Virginia city‟s loss.208 Supporters of vigilance also claimed credit for the crime reduction. There were other factors at work as well. Until recently it has long been held that the police can‟t do much about the incidence of homicide in that most of the killing stems from personal issues over which the police have little or no control.209 In our preoccupation with the argument generated about whether the West was “wild” or not based on Robert Dykstra‟s findings about nineteenth-century cattle towns, we can lose sight of the point he was driving at. Dykstra‟s point is that it was the absence of adequate law enforcement that caused the high rates prior to 1874, and that when a regular law enforcement presence was established, the rates went down.210 The same sort of 39 phenomenon can be observed in San Francisco and elsewhere. 211 When the first Committee of Vigilance adjourned in 1851, it returned the management of governmental affairs to the regular authorities. The Second Committee did not make the same mistake. Following the adjournment in August 1856, its members established the Peoples political party which ran the town effectively for the next ten years, during which the homicide rate declined markedly. 212 How they accomplished that purpose is exemplified in the career of Martin Burke. In 1858, Martin Burke, who had served as the head of the Police Committee on the Executive Committee of the Committee of Vigilance, was elected Chief of Police. Burke took to the job enthusiastically. He later wrote of his ascension to office, “I made up my mind that I should be the most unpopular man in the city at the end of the year, but determined to have my own way and do which I thought fit irrespective of what anyone thought of it.”213 This attitude was translated into the police practices he employed, as expressed in an early annual report: “Much of the time and labor of the officers” he claimed, “is devoted to the prevention of crime by following up of criminals, and by keeping so strict a surveillance over them, that they prefer leaving the city to submitting to it.” His attitude toward due process is embodied in his comment that “I was rather autocratic in those days and did not keep exactly within the law.”214 When compared to other San Francisco police chiefs around his time, Burke comes across as particularly hard-nosed in his attitudes and practices with regard to crime and vice enforcement, a factor which may have contributed to his premature departure from office following the 1866 election.215 It was following Burke‟s departure from office that San Francisco‟s homicide rate almost doubled. The city‟s population trebled in the 1860s, fueled in large part by the arrival of large numbers of working-class Irish, fleeing service in the Civil War that a rich man could avoid by the payment of $300. By 1870 the Irish-born and their children comprised approximately 30 percent of the city‟s population. The overall rate of homicide in the 1870s was 13.2 per 100,000, and that involving white victims alone was 10.5. 216 Victims with possible Irish surnames accounted for 53 percent of the white homicide cases, while the Irish – both Irish and American-born – comprised 35 percent of the white population. That translates into a rate of 16 homicides per 100,000, one and a half times the homicide rate for whites in general and one and a half times the representation of the Irish in the total population. But were all the “Irish” victims really Irish? Sixty-one percent of the “Irish” victims had names that are clearly Irish in their origin, O‟Grady, Murphy, Gillen, and such. But that leaves almost 40 percent with what Roger Lane calls “crossover” names, those which could be Irish or could be some other resident of the British Isles. Are we to assume that George Knight, William Johnson, Frank Green, and Thomas Williams were necessarily Irish just because they might have been Irish? In the end, there is no way to tell for sure. 217 We can properly assume that some of them were probably Irish, but we must also consider that some were just as likely English, Scots, Welsh or Scotch-Irish. All we can say for sure is that the Irish proportion of homicide was probably somewhat more than their 35 percent of the white population at the time. One common way to estimate the amount of crime, and more importantly the way a group is treated by the host society, is to examine their representation in the prison population compared to their proportion of the society as a whole. Prison records, 40 showing as they do the technical place of birth of the incarcerated subject, restrict our ability to identify Irish subjects to those born in Ireland, and thus provide only a partial if somewhat useful tool. At first blush it would seem that Irish natives were disproportionately imprisoned. In the 1850s, 25 percent of those hanged or imprisoned for homicide in San Francisco (8 of 32) were Irish-born when that group comprised 15 percent of the population. During the 1860s, immigrant Irish natives, who made up 17.2 percent of the population, contributed 23.4 percent of those sentenced to prison or hanged for homicide, somewhat more than their representation in the community. Irish natives on average comprised 14.7 percent of the population in the 1870s and yet contributed 19.6 percent to the prison incarcerations and hangings. When taken as a whole for the nineteenth century, the Irish-born component of the punishment population was fairly proportionate. In one-third of the 1,014 cases of criminal homicide in nineteenth century San Francisco (324 cases) someone was sentenced to prison or executed. Fifteen percent of those (49 of the 324) listed their place of birth as Ireland. Native-born Irish constituted a mean average of 13 percent of the city‟s population overall during the entire span of the nineteenth, century making their conviction and sentencing rate a fairly close match. It could be argued from the proportion of native Irishmen among those legally hanged in the 1850s – 60 percent with the same 15 percent of the population – that they had been singled out for special attention.218 But an examination of the circumstances suggests that, as in the case of Forni, their crimes came within what would be considered capital cases by their contemporaries. Evidence presented at trial convinced the juries in every instance that the crimes were premeditated. Nineteenth-century Americans might have tolerated killings in drunken fights but had little patience with those who planned their crimes. So, in the end, we are unable to make the argument that Irish killers were discriminated against in the justice system, any more than were Latinos at the same period. And the number of cases is really too small--three of five cases--to make any statistical projections. Again there were factors beyond the immigrant ethnic composition of the city to explain why the homicide rates increased during the 1870s. During the Civil War, the San Francisco economy boomed as local manufacturing facilities grew to provide goods made scarce by the war, providing the jobs which, it can be argued, helped keep violence down. In the post-war period the economic boom came to an end even though immigration did not. By the early 1870s, the Nevada silver boom had just about run its course, just as the state‟s agricultural industry suffered from a drought. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, by providing a way to import goods cheaply, impacted the local manufacturing and shipping industries, just as thousands of workers who had helped with the construction were thrown into the labor market. It was during this period that groups of alienated young men came together in the "hoodlum" gangs which terrorized San Francisco all through the decade and beyond. Burke‟s replacement, Police Chief Patrick Crowley noted them with dismay in his 1872 annual report. “There exists one evil which I mention with regret,” he reported in his annual report “it is the disposition on the part of many young men and lads to commit acts of violence and mischief.” 219 It was in San Francisco in the 1870s the word hoodlum was coined.220 41 Like the young gangsters of our own time the hoodlums spent a great deal of time settling disputes among their various factions. On September 27, 1874 a young hoodlum named Murphy killed another named Caldwell. On December 7, 1874 another hoodlum named Frank Curley was killed by a notorious Hoodlum named Frank McEvoy. On July 4, 1876 three hoodlums named McCarthy, Dennis, and Hicks killed a man named Page at Third and Mission streets. Ten days later, Thomas Taafe came upon five young hoodlums dancing a jig at Dupont and Union streets. He made some remark about the dancing and three of the five stabbed him to death. On Sunday August 6,1876, Patrick McCarthy, David Condon, James Mugan, and several other young members of the Hayes valley Gang went “wilding” in southeastern part of the city which ended that night in the killing of an Irish immigrant named John Earle. 221 Much of the hoodlum violence in San Francisco was directed at the Chinese. Some of the enmity was doubtless simple racism.222 But much also can be traced to economic competition.223 The 1850 foreign miners tax was enforced mainly against Chinese and Latinos, as we have seen. By 1851 Chinese launderers undercut white laundrymen, many of them Irish, and supplanted them in the economy.224 The Chinese launderers, reported the Pacific Tourist in the 1880s, set prices to “keep wages high enough to secure the most money, and low enough to sicken the Irishman that competes with them.”225 It may be in the finest tradition of laissez faire American political economy but such practices can still be counted on to engender resentment. 226 By 1860, with 5,000 residents, the Chinese comprised about six percent of the city‟s population. Thereafter about 5,000 arrived annually until 1868, when following the adoption of the Burlingame treaty which provided for unrestricted immigration, the pace picked up. Between 1869 and 1876, the annual number of arrivals from China averaged 15,000.227 It was during this period, significantly, that anti-Chinese agitation increased. Perhaps it was inevitable.228 Much of the white enmity at the time was based on the belief that Chinese were sojourners, here to make a “pile” and return to China.229 Recent scholarship has shown that the Chinese, with their going-back-and-forth to and from China actually constituted what is called a “trans-Pacific culture.”230 The distinction between “sojourner” and “trans-Pacific” culture would doubtless have been lost on an out-of-work nineteenth century white man. 231 It was in this climate and during this period that young hoodlum gangs made several fatal attacks on the Chinese. On June 9, 1871 a group of young hoodlums including 14 year old Matthew Harrington attacked Ah Hee, an inoffensive Chinese man who kept a cigar store at Fourth and Brannan streets. Observers saw Harrington hit Ah Hee over the head with a four foot long board, injuring him fatally. The next year on July 29, 1872, a group of late teenaged hoodlums, including a young thug named William Bryan, invaded the Chinese truck garden at 20th and Harrison Streets. When the gardener, Ah Wing, remonstrated with them, the young thugs beat him to death. In May 1873 Wong Cheong Tuck was killed at 822 Clay street by Robert Manning and John Brennan. There were several more white on Chinese killings over the next 15 years, most by young hoodlums, some of whom were identified and arrested and some not. Violent anti-Chinese agitation reached its peak in July 1877 when a labor meeting called in support of striking railroad workers in the east went sour and turned into a week long anti- Chinese riot. It soon became evident that the badly outnumbered police would not be able to contain the violence, so former leaders of the Committee of Vigilance and 42 leading citizens formed a 5,000 man “pickhandle brigade” with which to counter the mob. In the end, several rioters were killed by police gunfire and one Chinese died, burned up in a wash house in the Marina District, set afire by local hoodlums. In all there were 11 Chinese murdered by whites in nineteenth century San Francisco compared to 12 whites killed by Chinese. Taken together, the interracial White/Chinese killings in nineteenth century San Francisco account for slightly more than two percent of the criminal homicide, a very small portion by current standards of interracial homicide. Still, any fair reading of the press of the time will demonstrate that non-fatal white attacks on Chinese were much more common than the reverse.232 Mainstream commentators may not have wanted to face it but much of the hoodlum violence was caused by young Irish-Americans. Said B.E Lloyd in his 1876 Lights and Shades in San Francisco, describing the typical hoodlum gangster, “He is of no particular nationality; but if he is not American born, he is Americanized.” 233 Literally true perhaps, but that is only half the story. The openly anti-Irish editor of the Illustrated Jolly Giant was more explicit. “The „hoodlums‟ of San Francisco,” he reported with characteristic venom, “are unquestionably the offspring of Irish Roman Catholic parents, partly educated in the Catholic schools of this city. They possess all the independence of an American citizen with the effrontery of the devil.”234 The paper might be ignored for its anti-Irish positions generally, but even more responsible groups came to the same conclusion about the preponderance of second generation Irish among the hoodlum gangsters. Said H.C. Bennett, Secretary of the Chinese Protection Society, formed in San Francisco in 1869 to defend the Chinese against street attacks “It is a significant fact in this connection,” he reported, [abuse of the Chinese] “that every person arrested is an Irishman, and the children who give the officers the most trouble are of Irish parentage. 235 There were other than Irish hoodlums, of course, but as is obvious from the recitation of hoodlum names contained in this discussion most had an Irish connection of some sort. Another way to look at the contribution of an ethnic group to the homicide rate when the data is incomplete is to compare the rates of different ethnic groups, in this case the Irish and the Germans. For all of Benjamin Franklin‟s concerns, the Germans were not a particularly violent group. The Germans and the Irish in San Francisco had roughly comparable numbers of nineteenth century immigrants making such comparisons feasible.236 Just about every study which mentions them has lower rates for Germans than other ethnic groups and those which compare them to the Irish show the Irish to have had about twice the rates of the Germans.237 That was the case in San Francisco as well. According to Coroners‟ tabulations, Irish born victims in the period from July 1879 through June 1885 accounted for 17.6 percent of the homicide victims at a time when Irish natives made up 11.5 percent of the total population.238 Germans, with approximately 9 percent of the population provided 8.4 percent of the victims.239 Overall, for the half century the Irish show themselves to be more murderous than the Germans. Between 1850 and 1900, during a period when their numbers in the city were fairly comparable over the long run, the Irish had twice as many punished for homicide, 50 against 25.240 During the 1880s native born Germans comprised 9 percent of the population, they contributed 10.4 percent of the victims, and 10.7 percent of those hanged or imprisoned. 43 A comparable analysis of Irish and German homicides from 1850 through 1900, for which the circumstances and nativity of perpetrators are known, gives a hint as to the reason for some of the differences. For the Irish, the principal reported circumstances were that 44 percent involved drinking or saloon arguments.241 Another 19. 4 percent involved disputes which may or may not have involved alcohol, and another 19.4 percent involving domestic violence. The rest are spread among general causes. The Germans on the other hand, while no strangers to their beloved beer, seem to be less affected by it. For Germans the principal motivation was domestic violence, at 42.8 percent. And only 7 percent involved alcohol.242 Several observers have pointed out that Germans were better able to adapt to the new world.243 Many of the Irish who came were landless peasants, ill-suited for competition in the complexities of urban life. Germans for all their language difficulties were better able to assimilate economically.244 But any assertion that Germans were less violent because they were better equipped to handle the vicissitudes of immigrant life begs the question. Does anyone argue that they were necessarily better received than Irish immigrants? If so, any better treatment, it could be reasonably be argued, had more to do with the way they behaved on arrival than any inherent preference for Germans over the Irish. As the century came to an end, both the Irish homicide rate and that of the general white population declined. In the 1890s Irish surnamed homicide victims accounted for 45 percent of the white total. (At that time Irish were 27 percent of white population.) The overall homicide rate for all whites was 6.75 per 100,000 in 1890s and for Irish it was 11.1. We encounter the familiar problem in deciding whether those with Irish surnames were in fact Irish. (53 of the Irish surnamed were had distinctively Irish names and 47 percent were crossovers.) Both Irish homicide rates and those of whites generally declined by about one third from the 1870s to the 1890s, but the ratio of the rates between the two groups remained about the same at 1.6:1 in the latter period (assuming as always that all the crossovers were indeed Irish.) When these figures are put together with those which demonstrate to a certainty that the Irish born portion of the community were over- represented among homicide victims and had marginally disproportionate rates of incarceration for homicide, it is reasonable to conclude that nineteenth century Irish San Franciscans were more homicidal than non-Irish whites. There is no evidence, however, to suggest that they had homicide rates approaching anything like the two and one half times their representation in society reported elsewhere. The case can be made that much of Irish nineteenth century urban violence can be traced to circumstances they found in the new world. The hostile greeting of Irish Catholic newcomers by nativist Protestants in the urban East has been reported on extensively. And the fact that Irish violence rates were probably lower in the West, where they were not subjected to such a hostile reception as in the East, would suggest that forces external to their community were a factor in their rates of violence. Economic deprivation – another structural consideration--seems to have had something to do with the rise of Irish hoodlum violence in the 1870s. Recently the view that nineteenth-century Irish were particularly violent has been called into question. According to Carolyn Conley, the homicide rate for late nineteenth century Ireland was only two thirds that of England and Wales.245 Such findings would 44 seem to support the contention that any disproportionate Irish rates of violence in the United States would more properly be traceable to condition found in their new home than to any inherent traits in the Irish people or their culture. But a close examination of the phenomenon of violence, both as Conley found it in Ireland, and as it occurred among the immigrant Irish community in the United States, suggests that in fact a large part of the violence can be traced to old country traditions. One of the problems measuring violence in an earlier time--as has been amply noted by anyone who studies the subject--is the paucity of hard data on the amount of non-fatal homicide. It is for that reason that we use homicide as a general index of the amount of criminal violence. Conley found that to be the case in her study of late- nineteenth century Ireland. “Given the Irish reluctance to cooperate with the system and the official incentive to inflate the crime figures as a justification for coercive measures,” she says, “the dark figure of unreported crime in Ireland is particularly impenetrable.”246 In the end Conley concludes, “the numerical data must be viewed with skepticism.”247 If there was not so much homicide there was another type of prevalent Irish violence which was not so amenable to counting. Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century rural Ireland was characterized by a tradition of faction fighting, in which, seemingly spontaneously, large groups of Irish would meet in gangs of up to 1,000, and fight for reasons which are not always readily apparent to the modern observer.248 The heyday of faction fighting was prior to the period Conley studied and the very period from which most of the Irish came that are credited with contributing so much to mid- nineteenth century urban American violence. Though reduced in its extent, Conley found manifestations of this sort of violence still prevalent in the period of her study. She found “a long established cultural tradition” of “recreational violence” in the Ireland she studied, much of which apparently didn‟t make its way into the formal reporting system. “Regardless of the weapon,” she reports, “a brawl at which no one sustained a serious injury was usually beneath the notice of the authorities.” 249 This predisposition to indulge in recreational violence was also observed in Irish American communities. Frederic M. Thrasher, reports in his study of Chicago gangs. “Among the Irish fighting has been described as sort of a national habit. .. . Irish gangs are probably the most pugnacious of all; not only do they defend themselves, but they seem to look for trouble.” 250 But any arguments that much such violence went unreported would not account for the lower rates of actual homicide Conley found in late nineteenth century Ireland. There is no reason to believe, any more than for anyplace else, that homicides in late nineteenth century Ireland were unreported. The comparatively lower rates of Irish homicide in this period might in part be accounted for by the Irish choice of weapons of assault. Conley did find that the Irish were inclined to use other than traditional assault weapons--that is knives and guns--when they engaged in violence, which, it could reasonably be concluded, resulted in fewer fatalities per assault.251 Because of the Irish tradition of eschewing the use of more deadly firearms and knives, we can reasonably conclude that the ratio of deaths to violent incidents in Irish encounters was probably lower than would otherwise be expected. It is simply much more difficult to kill someone with ones fists or feet than with a firearm or knife, so we can reasonably assume that there must have been a great deal more blunt force violence by the Irish which did not result in fatal consequences.252 45 Others have noticed the same peculiarity in Irish violence in the United States. Testifying before Britain‟s Royal Commission on Capital Punishment in February 1951, Professor Thorsten Sellin claimed that “Irish immigrants in the United States used to get into all sorts of fights, but their homicide rate was always low because they fought with their fists and brass knuckles, and not with knives and revolvers.” The largely Irish hoodlums in San Francisco, reported Herbert Asbury in his Barbary Coast, “seldom carried a firearm but depended upon his fists, a stout hickory bludgeon, a set of brass or iron knuckles. . . .” 253 The same phenomenon was observed in other nineteenth century communities with a large Irish component. Largely Irish “Butte [Montana] was never a „Wild west‟ town in the accepted sense,” says Jack Black in You Can’t Win, writing of the town in the early 1890s . . . . “The miners were orderly, hard workers, deep drinkers, and fair fighters. They had none of the cheap, shouldering swagger of the „gold-rush‟ miner. Nearly everybody owned a gun, but the bullying, gun-toting, would be bad man and killer never flourished in Butte. When one of them got peeved and started to lug out his „cannon‟ some hard-fisted miner beefed him like an ox with a fast one to the jaw, and kicked his „gat‟out into the street where small boys scrambled for it. The mines were worked by Irishmen and „Cousin Jacks‟ (Cornishmen), who settled their differences with good, solid blows and despised the use of weapons.” 254 The ratio of knives and guns to other weapons by nineteenth century Irish San Franciscans compared to other ethnic groups seems to bear out these claims. An analysis of the nineteenth century homicide cases in San Francisco, shows that Irish assailants were less inclined to be armed with conventional assault weapons at the time of the encounter. Twenty percent of Irish homicides involved attacks with other than firearms or bladed instruments. The equivalent figure for Latinos was 10 percent and for Chinese it was 10 percent.255 (To the extent that there is this divergence between the number of assaults and homicides, we might question the universality of using homicide as an index of general levels of violence for all groups). In the end Conley is doubtless correct about the lower rates of actual homicide in Ireland than England Wales, or for that matter the United States. But that can be explained in part by the fact that Irish in Ireland tended less to use deadly weapons rather than any indisposition to do violence. Conley‟s finding go more to explain different types of violence rather than their amounts. Indeed, from Conley‟s own description of events, it appears there was far more recreational violence of the sort which resulted in so much carnage in the United States--once firearms and bladed instruments were added to the mix-- than was found in other societies.256 Why did homicide decline in the United States in the closing decades of the nineteenth century? Probably the most widely accepted theory is that of Roger Lane, that it was the contemporary urban industrial revolution in most of the country which pushed homicide rates down from their antebellum peak 257 Part of this, he claims, was the assimilation of the previously disorderly Irish into the workforce. Lane points out that the Irish, once the most murderous major group in Philadelphia, saw a declining rate there as well.258 He explains why. “The city‟s Irish, once infamous for their violence, over the late nineteenth century went to parochial school, got their knuckles rapped when they got rambunctious, and graduated into jobs in factories, offices, and most famously civil service…..” 259 In other words, it was their assimilation into the industrial workplace 46 which brought about the decline. Improvements in police practices had a beneficial effect as well. Lane also points out that in the post-bellum years, the “big urban police departments won the battle for the streets” with the introduction of the call-boxes, signal systems and patrol wagons. 260 Those forces were at work in San Francisco as well, though perhaps in different proportions. We cannot look to a strictly economic explanation for the decline. The 1893 depression was the worst in the nation‟s history of any up to the big Depression of the 1930s. The exclusion of Chinese workmen with a series of laws beginning in 1882 may have relieved some of the social tensions which can result in violence. San Francisco saw improvements in the ability of the police to respond to violence as well. Following the 1877 riot, the size of the force was trebled and over the next two decades, patrol wagon and call box systems were introduced and district stations were built which decentralized police out of the downtown business district. To be sure there were other forces at work as well. Irish natives declined as a percentage of the Irish population and the proportions of men to women shifted in favor of more women.261 At the same time, the proportion of less murderous Germans increased in the population as the numbers of Irish began to decline.262 But also it was a different type of immigrant coming from Ireland in the last part of the century, a reality which must be factored into any discussion considering the relation ship between the immigrants behavior as contributing to violent crime rates as compared to the discrimination they receive at the hands of the host community in the 1870s as opposed to the 1890s. One recent Irish American scholar describes the Ireland from which most mid- nineteenth century immigrants came--those who contributed disproportionately to the rate of criminal violence. “A kind of raucousness, punctuated by violence, also marked life in rural Ireland in the early nineteenth century,” he says. “Fairs were particularly infamous for drinking and fighting.”263 Yet he goes on, speaking of the same people at the end of the nineteenth century, “Ireland had changed; it was no longer the raucous, rural slum of the early nineteenth century. It was a more ordered, disciplined place by the beginning of the twentieth century. And because it had changed, the immigrants who came from Ireland in the late nineteenth century were better clothed, better educated, more disciplined, and more knowledgeable about the kind of society they were entering.” That judgment about a changed Irish community is confirmed by Conley‟s research as well. The homicide rate in Ireland for the decade immediately preceding the Potato Famine-- the period during which those emigrated who would account for the most Irish violence in America--was six times that found by Conley in the last decade of the period of her study. 264 And even in the latter period, reports Conley, “Much of the violence appears to have been more recreational than rebellious and may have had as much to do with Irish traditions as with political and socioeconomic grievances.”265 The same might be said of Irish American violence at the time. In the end, because of the fact that they tended to eschew the use of deadly weapons, there was probably more Irish violence in nineteenth century urban America than is strictly reflected in homicide statistics. As with other groups Irish rates of violence were affected to some extent by their treatment by the host society. And because of their comparatively benign treatment in San Francisco by the host society, San Francisco rates of Irish violence did not attain the levels found in some eastern cities. Still, there are 47 strong indications that Irish immigrants and their offspring were more violent than immigrants from other European countries in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. And much of the violence can also be traced to behaviors the Irish immigrants brought with them to the new world. If the second generation are included in the Irish community--as they should be--some of the delinquency leading to the violence can probably be traced to the intersection of old world parental values and those of their immigrant sons. And at every step of their assimilation into American society, the activities of the police department doubtless had an effect on levels of Irish violence. 48 Chap05 Chinese Sometime in late 1864, according to a contemporary news account, Chun Wong, a 53-year-old Sacramento laundryman, “purchased, according to the custom of his countrymen, a Chinese woman of the public class of her importer, paying $200 or $300 for her.” The woman, Sun Choy, set up housekeeping with Wong until Wong‟s friend, Ah Lie, entered the picture. As will sometimes happen in such situations, the friendship between Ah Lie and Sun Choy ripened into something else, and early in 1865 the two took off for San Francisco. It was there that Wong found them in March. After several meetings, it was decided that Lie could keep the woman if he reimbursed Wong for medical expenses he had incurred for her in Sacramento. Wong returned several times for his payment but Lie continued to put him off. Wong made one final visit in late March when, according to his later testimony, he was attacked by both Lie and Choy. In self-defense, Wong said, he pulled his bowie knife and fatally stabbed Choy. Lie testified that there had been no such attack. Unfortunately for Wong, Lie‟s account was corroborated by two police officers who happened to be present in the house at the time of the cutting. Wong was sentenced to hang and on July 6, 1866, he was taken to the corridor of the Broadway Jail where the sentence was executed, thus earning him the dubious distinction of being the first Chinese hanged in San Francisco.266 In all there were 392 homicides involving Chinese residents in the 12 decades from 1850 to 1969 in San Francisco, 86 percent of which occurred in the six decades between 1870 and 1930. During that period, with an average percentage of the population in the single digits, the Chinese contributed 19.9 percent of the homicide victims to the city‟s total, more than three times their representation in the larger society -- and a far higher rate than could be credited to the reputedly pugnacious Irish. Figure 5.1 displays the Chinese homicide rate for San Francisco compared to white rates for the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. 267 Figure 5.1 goes about here. This chapter will examine Chinese homicide in San Francisco in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and attempt to determine to what extent the criminal violence can be credited to their treatment by the host community and how much can be traced to traits found in the immigrant community. To understand why those high rates occurred, the question becomes not so much: "Why did nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chinese immigrants kill each other in such large numbers?” But rather, "Why did the Chinese beginning killing each other around 1870 and stop suddenly in the early 1920s?” That is the focus of this chapter. Nineteenth-century Chinese American society was characterized by a seemingly impenetrable (to the eyes of the occidental inquirer) array of group associations, most with roots in the old country. Foremost were the family associations, open to all with the same family name, whether directly related or not. In California and other overseas locations settled by large groups of Chinese, associations were organized according to district of origin. These companies, or hui-kuans, headed by merchants from the various districts of the old country, provided a host of immigrant services to the newcomers. It was these groups which coalesced in later years into what was called the Chinese Benevolent Association or, more familiarly, the Six Companies. Then there were the 49 tongs, not all of which were criminally oriented. Some were organized along the lines of workers guilds to apportion work and regulate competition among the various trades and some were formed from among those with no strong family or district connections to oppose the hegemony of the family and district associations. It is among these latter groups that the criminal gangs found their principal foothold. Underlying much of the discord in nineteenth-century Chinese affairs in Chinatown was the conflict between the Manchu governmental establishment and the rebellious elements of the Han Chinese who found a much more comfortable home in overseas settlements, away from the direct scrutiny of governmental agents.268 To further complicate matters, many Chinese held memberships in both criminal and non-criminal associations.269 It is important to an understanding of nineteenth-century Chinatown violence in San Francisco that the patterns of violence were remarkably similar, albeit on a much reduced scale, to the communal feuding rooted in surname and native-place rivalries which afflicted Southeastern China of the period.270 (One is reminded of the communal faction fights which characterized rural Ireland at about the same time.) At least in the early days in San Francisco, the Chinese were just as likely as others to kill over seemingly trivial disputes. In one case a man was teasing his friend and things got out of hand, resulting in the friend‟s death. In May 1856 Gong Ah Pong killed Ah Choy in a trivial dispute in a laundry at Filbert and Kearny for which he was sentenced to 10 years in San Quentin.271 In March 1862, Ah On struck Lee Ah Choe with a flat iron a workplace dispute in the laundry at Pacific and Powell. In other ways, however, homicides involving Chinese differed from those committed by non-Chinese. For one thing, none of the Chinese cases listed saloons or drinking alcohol as a precipitating factor, a major circumstance accompanying killings by whites. A few Chinese came to their death in opium dens but given the soporific effect of opium and its affordability at the time, there was little reason to kill over drugs. Another difference is that many cases involved women in ways not found to the same degree in the non-Chinese society. The high Chinese homicide rates can in part be explained in simple demographic terms. According to one estimate, of the 12,000 Chinese in California in 1852, seven were women.272 As with most gold seekers who came in the early 1850s, Chinese men came by themselves. More women followed but, for a number of reasons which will be discussed, the Chinese community in California maintained the same widely disparate ratio of men to women which, when encountered in white mining camps, resulted in inflated homicide rates.273 Gender parity was not achieved until the last decades of the twentieth century. Chinese contract laborers in many of the Asian countries to which Chinese went looking for work serviced themselves with local prostitutes. Some married local women and never returned to China, forming the basis of many of the Chinese communities which still inhabit the non-Chinese countries of that region.274 In San Francisco in the early 1850s, Chinese prostitution prospered as it did in the white community. The first Chinese vice operators were independent entrepreneurs, and the first of those was a woman named Ah Toy, whose antics, reported assiduously in the daily press, amused the largely male readership in the very early Gold Rush years. But soon the darker side of the industry manifested itself. In the spring of 1851, Norman Assing (Yuen Shen) a leading merchant in the Chinese community, opened a brothel in competition to Ah Toy, and 50 when the Committee of Vigilance convened that summer, he attempted to have Ah Toy deported as a lewd woman. As early as 1851, the Alta noticed that some of the new arrivals were extorting money from their fellow countrymen.275 The February 5, 1853, issue of the Alta reported that two Chinese were in court for extortion. “These two rascals,” the paper reported are "part of a gang" that compel the Chinese women to pay $20 a month under threat of being murdered or having their houses burned down. The situation became clearer when, in January 1854, City Marshal Brandt Seguine raided a Chinese commercial building on Jackson Street and arrested 159 Chinese men. What Marshal Sequine and his men discovered was the first outward evidence of the movement of criminal Triad gangs from China to the United States. According to complaining witnesses, it was this group that was extorting money from Chinese prostitutes.276 A reputable Chinese businessman testified to the existence of a secret society “who have been in the habit of collecting taxes from the Chinese brothels, at $10 a month per prostitute, payable each two weeks in $5 installments.” Also, he courageously added, “I have since heard that the same party had demanded $100 each from the Chinese merchant, in Sacramento Street.” The judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence. The Chinese Triads, formed centuries earlier by Han Chinese to fight Manchu invaders, had, by the mid-nineteenth century, largely degenerated into criminal gangs which, among their other activities, controlled emigration from southern China. In California, the Triads dominated Chinese vice operations. In China, agents of the Triad societies, which came to be called tongs in their American form, would tour the rural areas of China and buy extra daughters, or hire them, or kidnap unwitting females and transport them to the United States, where they were required to work as prostitutes to pay off their “fare.” The women were maintained in dirty cribs for the pleasure of Chinese and American men. Few of them lived long enough to discharge their debts.277 The larger society in San Francisco in the early 1850s overlooked vice by whomever it was conducted. By mid-decade, however, white women joined their men and society began to change. One of the strong sub-themes underlying the agitation leading to the second vigilance committee was the effort, mounted mostly by women, to eliminate the vice area around Dupont Street. In keeping with what were then considered enlightened nineteenth-century attitudes about vice, hardliner police Chief Martin Burke believed that prostitution and gambling could not be extirpated but that they could be controlled. In keeping with that thinking, Burke mounted a career-long campaign to ameliorate the worst aspects of vice. While in his first annual report in 1859 he grudgingly admitted that there was little that could be done about the vice in general, he took a strong stand against prostitution involving the Chinese. "With regard to Chinese prostitutes," he wrote, “common humanity dictates that a law should be made for the protection of these miserable beings, who, whether sick or well, willing or unwilling, are compelled by their degraded owners, to submit to every pollution dictated by corrupt minds, and sanctioned by the avarice of the keepers of these unfortunates.” 278 In 1864, Police Captain Douglass, under Burke‟s command and assisted by leading Chinese merchants, returned illegally landed prostitutes to the ship that had brought them here.279 In 1865, an attempt to relocate Chinese prostitutes away from the central business district was thwarted by white attorneys hired by the tongs. The Board of Supervisors did, however, pass an ordinance that required blocking the view to the 51 brothels from the sidewalks around the streetcar lines. In 1866, the Supervisors passed an ordinance placing the Chinese brothels in the hands of the Health Department. Legislation was also proposed to make it an offense to visit a Chinese house of ill fame for fornication or lewdness.280 When Chief Burke complained that the Health Department had not cleaned up the brothels, his days as head of the department were numbered.281 For all the trouble with Chinese prostitution, there was little Chinese homicide in the 1850s and 1860s. By the late 1860s and early 1870s, conditions changed. Fueled by post Burlingame Treaty immigration, the Chinese population in California swelled. With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, thousands of Chinese and Irish workmen were turned loose in a declining economy. Many Chinese fled harassment in the hinterlands to the relative safety of San Francisco. Among those who came from China, disguised in the mass of economic immigrants, were members of the Triad gangs, suppressed in China following their defeat in 1864 with the other Taiping rebels.282 Still, few Chinese women came. The city‟s Chinese population, 3,000 in 1860, grew almost tenfold to 26,000 by the mid-1870s, when Chinese men still outnumbered women by 20 to 1. Most of those women were prostitutes.283 It was the perfect prescription for trouble.284 In the eight years from 1861 to1868, there were two homicides committed by Chinese in San Francisco. In the next eight years there were 39. In January 1869, Ah Kow, who, according to press accounts “had a bad reputation among his own people” and was said to have killed two men in Trinity County, killed Tim Moon Ping. The murder, said the Alta on April 4, 1869, “arose out of the late difficulties about imported Chinese women.” In September 1869, two homicides were committed by Chinese the same day. One stemmed from a dispute in a gambling hall and the other in a workplace dispute in a washhouse on Market near Second Street. On December 18, 1870, Ah Hee killed Huen Chek off Dupont Street over a $20 debt. In October 1871, Ah Sing killed Sam Quin at Clay and Waverly in what was classified as a robbery. Money figured prominently in the killings of Chinese newcomers, more so than for other groups, either as a result of some kind of a dispute or from robbery or extortion attempts gone wrong. As discussed previously, few nineteenth-century San Francisco homicides, or those in urban America generally, had money as their motivation.285 But with the San Francisco Chinese, money was clearly involved in some way in 37 percent of the cases for which the circumstances are known. And it is safe to assume that money was often at the bottom of the 27 percent of Chinese homicides explicitly identified as tong disputes.286 Some were over debts for buying and selling women, as in the case of Sun Choy. Some were out and out killings for failure to pay extortion and others involved disputes between tongs representing tailors or shrimp fisherman over exclusive commercial rights. The 1874 Pat Choy killing shows the nexus between women and money which accounted for much of the Chinese homicide. On October 14, 1874, Ah Sin, the proprietress of a brothel on Washington Alley, killed Pat Choy by forcing opium down her throat with a syringe because the prostitute was not bringing in enough earnings.287 The first tong war in San Francisco, between the Suey Sing and Kwong Duck tongs, is said to have started over a prostitute called the “Golden Peach.”288 52 In 1875, in an effort to control the importation of prostitutes, the U. S. Legislature, with the support of the Chinese Six Companies, enacted the Page Act, which prohibited the importation of Chinese women except for the wives of merchants. While well-intentioned, the law only served to exacerbate the situation by making females an even rarer commodity. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act which excluded the immigration of Chinese workmen became law.289 The large and rapid increase in the Chinese population from the early 1870s not only resulted in conflicts with Irish workmen and hoodlums but created tensions in the Chinese community as well, which can be said to have resulted in some of the Chinese on Chinese violence. In 1885, the American press reported an attack by 12 armed Chinese on a Dupont Street merchandise store. “Nobody knew the cause of the battle,” the press reported. What it all started with, we are otherwise informed, was the attempt of the member of one tong to open a laundry in violation of the “ten door rule” which, by a guild agreement, prohibited laundries within ten doors of each other.290 The tongs became involved in the business dispute and things escalated. Much nineteenth century Chinese violence was attributable to attempts within the Chinese community to apportion finite economic resources within a growing population. There are indications that some of the tong killings may have been attempts by individuals to break away from control of the Chinese establishment. Several of the tit- for-tat killings in the 1890s involved disputes between “union” and “non-union” tailors. Could it be that some of the newcomers, sensing the difference of opportunity in the new world, chose to break with tradition and strike out on their own, thus angering those who previously controlled their affairs? 291 To the extent that this was the case, the killings must be attributed not to white discrimination but to access to the opportunities the new society offered. This may be the as-yet unwritten aspect of Chinatown history. Much recent scholarship about San Francisco‟s Chinatown, led by a group of young Chinese scholars, has attempted to correct the previously distorted view of the immigrant Chinese. But in their zeal to adjust the record the new scholars must be careful not to swing too far in the other direction. One of the topics covered is the roots of the gender imbalance to which so much of the homicide can be traced.292 How that came to happen is important to any assignment of responsibility for the conditions which ensued. The prevalent modern belief is that the gender imbalance was primarily due to exclusionary restrictions placed on the Chinese community by the white majority.293 According to one recent scholar, the predominately male Chinese population was “due in part to legislation that prohibited the immigration of Chinese women.”294 According to another modern interpretation, “As a result, [of the immigration policies excluding women], the early United States policy measures and laws which prohibited Chinese men from having their wives with them in this county are believed to have contributed heavily to their crime history.”295 In fact, the prohibition against the emigration of Chinese women was rooted in Chinese custom and law.296 In a memorial to President Grant in 1876, the presidents of the six Chinese companies and the Chinese YMCA offered as the primary reason why Chinese women did not come in greater numbers that it was “contrary to the custom and against the inclination of virtuous Chinese women to go so far from home. . . .”297 Without a doubt in later years, after society was shocked into acknowledging the problem by the large number of homicides related to the enslavement of Chinese women, 53 strong legislative measures were taken to exclude women who were seen as the cause of the killing. But in the early years, the distorted gender imbalance from which the killing originated can be traced to Chinese custom and law.298 It was not until conditions had degenerated badly by 1875, that the Page Act, which excluded other than merchants‟ wives, was passed into law. And the informal attempts to exclude prostitutes before that enactment were not the exclusive initiative of the white authorities.299 It is the same thing with the origins of the tongs. According to some accounts, the tong gangsters emerged out of conditions imposed by the host society. According to one standard account of minority crime “Their emergence in the United States came with the early immigrants from southeastern China who were routinely and severely persecuted by the dominant group in American society. The tongs were formed in Chinatowns across the country largely as a result of this mistreatment.”300 In fact, as has been mentioned, the criminal Triad gangs formed in China and came among the first immigrants. Following the defeat of the Taiping rebellion, the Triads came to California in even greater numbers. The extent to which Triad gangsters have been involved in Chinese criminality has only become known in the last several decades.301 The conviction of Fong Ah Sing for the 1881 murder of a prostitute named Cum Choy illuminates another issue that comes up with regard to Chinese homicide. Because of an 1854 court decision prohibiting uncorroborated Chinese testimony against whites, we are told, the marginalized Chinese turned inward, and formed their own informal judicial tribunals which sometimes imposed capital punishment because the Chinese felt unwelcome in the regular courts. 302 In fact, the criminal gangs were exacting tribute long before the 1854 decision, and throughout the nineteenth century, the Chinese showed no disinclination to use regular American courts. Lucy E. Sayler shows that, “By the time the Chinese exclusion was passed in 1882, the path to the courts had been well marked and leaders in the Chinese community spoke with ease and familiarity about the rights owed them under treaties and the Constitution.”303 The Chinese showed no reluctance to work the courts once a suspect had been arrested. Companies and tongs kept white attorneys on retainer against the day that one of their members would be arrested and, once at trial, supported spirited defenses. Even those without company support did not go without representation. The appeal file for Chin Mook Sow, who was defended by a court-appointed lawyer after he killed Yee Ah Chin in December 1875, at the height of the anti-Chinese agitation, measures more than four inches high. And it seems that there was more to the restrictions on Chinese testimony than simple racism. Simply put, the Chinese had a different way of looking at the law which conflicted with American ideas about Justice. In his recent Race and Homicide in California, Clare McKanna cites a well known Chinese proverb: “An indictment cannot be got up without a lie,” to illustrate Chinese attitudes toward perjury, and to explain the common practice in China of paying witnesses for testimony.304 We can see how these customs played themselves out in the Fong Ah Sing case. Fong Ah Sing was convicted-- and eventually executed--on the testimony of three Chinese witnesses who put him at the scene of the crime. Fong Ah Sing claimed that he had been framed by the false testimony of Chee Kung Tong members with whom he had a disagreement. After Ah Sing‟s conviction, according to Prosecutor Frank Stone, white witnesses came forward who claimed that Ah Sing had been elsewhere at the time. When Stone, who later took up what proved to be an unsuccessful attempt to exonerate Ah Sing, confronted the lead 54 prosecution witness with the new evidence, the witness told him he could provide as many witnesses as were needed. The Alta of November 28, 1853 reported that “Notwithstanding the severity of this oath, the evidence of the Chinese taken in court is not generally of a very reliable character, and the Recorder is often obliged to discharge prisoners against whom there is nothing but Chinese evidence, on account of contradictions and discrepancies which are always discovered in their testimony.” At the trial of Ah Moon for killing Chung King, reports the Chronicle of March 24, 1877, “the case, as usual with all Chinese trials, involves any amount of perjury.” Three witnesses put the defendant on the scene. Two others put him at a party elsewhere. “One defense witness offered to testify for either side, whoever would pay the most.” The arguments that Chinese turned to private justice because they were reluctant to use white courts and that their testimony was excluded merely on the grounds of racism do not stand up to close scrutiny. Another way of looking at the treatment of minorities by the host society, a method used previously in connection with other groups, is to examine the relative proportion of those punished. Of the 564 people imprisoned or executed for homicide in San Francisco from 1870 to 1930, 79 were Chinese. Table 5.2 shows the relationship between the incidence of homicide committed by the Chinese and their proportionate punishment. Table 5.2 goes about here. While Chinese homicide rates always exceeded their percentage of the population, the proportion of those punished was almost always in line with the percentage of incidence, at least until 1910. This, on its face, would seem to point to generally fair treatment by the justice system. But there is a seeming anomaly. In San Francisco, 64 percent of the Chinese sentenced on homicide convictions were given life sentences or hanged, while for the non-Chinese population, the corresponding proportion was 34.8 percent. Chinese were thus twice as likely to be hanged or to receive a life sentence, a startlingly disparate ratio which cries out for explanation.305 Others have noticed this phenomenon as well. Clare McKanna in his recent study of homicide in a number of nineteenth-century California counties concludes, on the basis of the severity of penalties assessed against the Chinese, that minorities were discriminated against by white-dominated justice systems. “Chinese inmates had the highest life sentence rates of any group among the aggregate prison population,” he reports, “with 46 percent of all Chinese inmates receiving life sentences.” In San Francisco, he adds, “60 percent received life sentences.”306 Finding that life sentence rates for whites were 20 percent lower than for the Chinese, McKanna concludes that the “most logical explanation would be racial prejudice,” and ends with the explanation, “It appears, especially in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, and Calveras counties, the prosecutors may have used life sentences as a way to get these Chinese „deviants‟ off the streets.”307 Without discounting nineteenth-century anti-Chinese sentiment on the part of whites, there is another explanation for the disproportionate Chinese sentences. As we have seen in earlier chapters, society treated instrumental homicide, including robberies, more seriously (as we do today) than those arising out of sudden passion (expressive killings). As with other groups, the principal reason that the Chinese received more 55 severe sentences is that they committed more of the type of crimes that would properly result in such sentences. 308 As mentioned above, in at least 37 percent of the cases of Chinese homicide for which the circumstances are known, money was involved, either as in robberies, extortions gone wrong, or disputes over ownership. From what is known about the 27 percent of the Chinese homicides resulting from tong conflicts, it can reasonably be assumed that many of them were of the same sort. So, we must first look to the nature of the offense rather than to discrimination to explain disproportionate sentencing patterns. And an examination of some of the cases in which people were hanged confirms that judgment. The second Chinese to hang in San Francisco was Chin Mook Sow for the December 10, 1875, killing of Ah Chin at Washington and Stockton streets. Early reports were that the two men were fighting over a woman.309 In a deathbed statement, Ah Chin claimed that money was the cause of the attack. He told officers that he had loaned Chin Mook Sow money earlier and when he refused to “loan” him more, the defendant stabbed him. 310 Chin Mook Sow was convicted, but might still have escaped the ultimate penalty until it was revealed that he was the same as a man named Muck Sow who had escaped from San Mateo 12 years earlier after having been convicted of murder there. Next to hang was Ah Duck in December 1882. Ah Duck comes across as a one- man Murder Incorporated. He was known as a hit man and by general belief he had killed eight men in seven years. He was convicted of the murder of Wong Sheing Hing on Washington Street on November 11, 1877 in a fight between tong gangsters for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. His fatal mistake was to kill his cell mate in San Quentin in a dispute over opium for which he was finally hanged. Lee Sare Bow was hanged in 1887 for the 1882 contract hit of Chew Ah Chick, who had given evidence against three men who had attacked Chick‟s wife. On December 29, 1888, Leong Sing went to his death on the gallows for the murder a year and a half earlier of his uncle, Yung Teng, who had refused his demand for money. In February 24, 1894, Lee Sing was hanged in San Quentin for the 1893 killing of Chee Kow at Jackson and Stockton streets in the midst of one of the many tong wars in a week in which there were three killings in the Chinese quarter. For once, there was much independent evidence (white witnesses and his arrest by an officer immediately after the killing, who found him in possession of a firearm.) Taken together, considering the circumstances surrounding the nine Chinese hanged in the nineteenth century (25 percent of those hanged against 19.9 percent of the homicide committed by Chinese) it would be as difficult to support the notion that they were hanged out of racial animus as it would be for Latino or Irish killers, as shown in previous chapters. From a reading of the cases, Chinese homicides were almost never committed in the heat of passion, unlike those of the non-Chinese with whom the rates of severe punishment are compared. That does not exculpate the host society – particularly its agents of law enforcement – from responsibility for conditions contributing to Chinese violence. In 1876, at the height of the anti-Chinese agitation and after the homicide rate had begun to rise precipitously, the state Legislature convened a series of hearings on Chinatown. Among the subjects investigated was the relationship of the police to Chinese vice. Witnesses testified that gambling and prostitution were controlled by criminal gangs and that there was police collusion.311And there were indications that police involvement was not a new problem. On February 1, 1851, Norman Assing, the brothel keeper who tried 56 to get Ah Toy deported by the Vigilance Committee, “gave a grand feast at his private home in San Francisco,” attended by, among others, “a number of policemen.”312 In this context, the presence of the two police officers in the brothel in which Chun Wong killed Sun Choy can perhaps be understood in a different light. And by 1869 we find Captain Douglass, who had escorted prostitutes to ships returning them to China in 1864, was now escorting women from the docks, to the “houses to which they had been consigned.” The Alta on February 24, 1869, announced the arrival of a ship with 396 Chinese women who were greeted on the wharf by Captain Douglass and a detail of 18 officers who escorted them to “destinations fixed by companies” (emphasis added). When the Examiner questioned this use of police resources, the Chronicle, on October 23, 1869, attacked the Examiner for suggesting that Captain Douglass (without naming him) “is always on hand when the steamer arrives with a posse of hand picked men -- whether on or off duty -- to see that the arriving Cyprians get to the correct locations.” The Chronicle joined with Captain Douglass in denouncing the Examiner’s recommendation that the Police Commission investigate. There are few heroes in the story of nineteenth- century Chinese vice and crime. One of the provisions of the McCoppin Act--the legislation that trebled the size of the police department following the 1877 riot--abolished the Chinatown Special Police system, and in its place provided for the organization of the fabled Chinatown Squad. So that appropriate control could be exercised, the unit was assigned to the Chief‟s office instead of the geographic commander. To thwart any ideas of their profiting informally for letting vice activities go unpunished, squad leaders were changed every few months in the hope that the turnover would keep them honest. For 90 years, the squad would be charged with keeping the peace and enforcing vice laws in the Chinese quarter. In February 1891, following a spate of Chinatown killings--and frustrated by the department‟s inability to bring the killings to an end--Police Chief Patrick Crowley ordered raids of dubious constitutionality on the headquarters of Chinatown‟s tongs. It was the first of several such campaigns. Sergeant William Price assembled 16 police officers, equipped with axes, and led them from tong headquarters to tong headquarters, breaking up furniture and roughing up tong members found there. When the groups repaired the damage, Price returned and wrecked the premises again. Over the next several months, the gangs found it wise to relocate away from Sergeant Price and his axmen. It is hard to tell whether the hardliner tactics would have eventually prevailed. Within a few months, Price was stopped by court orders. And there were actually more Chinese murders in the year following the Price raids (ten) than there had been in the preceding year (eight). Homicide declined in the next year but when it increased again in 1893, the raids were resumed. Over the next 30 years, the high homicide rates continued with puzzling tenacity. A number of factors emerge out of the mist of misdirection and misunderstanding. One explanation for the failure of the strong enforcement measures to bring the killing to a halt lies in the inherent hypocrisy of the situation. In 1894, the Chief Clerk of the Police Department, William Hall, the top aide to Police Chief Crowley, was dismissed, along with virtually the entire Chinatown Squad, in one of the first of many well publicized police scandals involving collusion between the Chinese vice lords and police officials over the next several decades.313 (Again we find parallels in China. Lax 57 public officials actually contributed to the disorders in the Ch‟ing period. According to Harry Lamely: “They usually extracted bribes and fees from both sides, and sometimes found the intake so lucrative that they failed to adopt preventative measures against future outbreaks.”314 A standard explanation for minority criminal violence is that a group that is socially, legally and economically marginalized by the majority society turns to homicide as a way of resolving conflicts unaddressed by the regular justice system. But of nineteenth-century Chinatown, we might ask: marginalized by whom? Playing in the background in San Francisco‟s Chinatown were old-world conflicts about which non- Chinese San Francisco was largely unaware. For example, much of the conflict between the Chinese Consul General, appointed by the Manchu regime, and the anti-establishment Tong officials was doubtless rooted in old-country Manchu-Han disharmony. It will take scholars steeped in an understanding of the Chinese nineteenth-century political culture with a command of Chinese languages to sort out all the connections. When they do, they will find the adumbrated story in the record of Chinese homicide. Threaded throughout the half-century of Chinese violence is the ongoing conflict between two of the major Chinese companies, the See Yups and the Sam Yups. The more numerous See Yups, mostly working men, came in conflict with the wealthier Sam Yups, who largely controlled the Chinatown economy. The conflict can be discerned in the pitched battles between rival companies in the gold country in the 1850s, and it continued through all the many associational disputes of the remainder of the century. It was among the See Yups that arriving Triad criminals found a safe haven. In the late 1880s the conflict between the two groups increased. Much of the killing in the 1890s, centered on this conflict until the matter was tentatively resolved with a See Yup victory in 1896.315 Other circumstances also contributed to the high Chinese homicide rates. Several of the killings in the late 1890s can be traced to feuds between families and to labor disputes, such as the killing of Mock Foo by Chin Noon in the Washington Street Theater in October 1898 in a conflict between union and non-union tailors. Some of the killings resulted from problems brought to San Francisco from Alaskan canneries where many Chinese went for seasonal work. In our quest to find reasons for violence in Chinatown by examining the way the Chinese newcomers were treated by the host society, we cannot lose sight of the Chinese perspective. It can be argued that some of the Chinese killing can be attributed to the fact that, from the Chinese point of view, that the police were not severe enough, and as a result offended Chinese took matters into their own hands. Sam Ching, a Six Companies detective thought so. Regarding the leniency of the white courts shown to Chinese offenders, he said in 1896, “In China, a man who kills another is detected and executed in pretty short order. Here a man can kill President Cleveland and if he have money enough can with the aid of lawyers prove himself insane, that he took the life of the president because he thought him a cow or horse.”316 It wasn‟t just the little people. Following the January 1897 assassination of Fong Ching (Little Pete), the most prominent gangster/businessman in Chinatown, Fung Wing Hang, the Chinese Consul General in San Francisco, laid responsibility for the killing directly at the door of police department. Three years ago the police adopted a most effective course of continually raiding and breaking up the highbinder headquarters. It will be 58 remembered that Sergeant Price was in charge of the squad at that time and he and his men were merciless in their raids upon the dens where crime was being hatched. I will admit that there were times when the officers made mistakes and raided places occupied by peaceable and law- abiding Chinese but that is to be expected, all things being considered, and the Chinese residents who believed in law and order made no complaint. These raids resulted most beneficially. They had the effect of breaking up all of the highbinder societies and driving the hatchet men and murderers into the country. For months after that no murders or crimes of importance occurred in Chinatown. Then for some unaccountable reason, the police ceased to be vigilant and it was not long before the highbinders began to reassemble and trouble was brewing.317 The Consul General reported that several months earlier that he had informed Police Chief Crowley that “the troublesome element” was becoming active and that some sort of outbreak was imminent. He asked the Chief to resume the old raiding system, he said, but the Chief said he could not because he was under bonds (from previous law suits) not to willfully destroy property for fear of losing his sureties. The apparently lower incidence of homicide among Chinese settlers in British colonies--as among white settlers in Australia and British Columbia--may have been in part attributable to the more certain punishments administered by British authorities, compared to their more tolerant American cousins. In this context, homicides involving Chinese newcomers can in part be charged to the same laissez faire attitudes, which, it has been argued, contributed to high rates generally.318 By many accounts, the tong wars subsided at the beginning of the twentieth century and the rates of violence subsided. 319 In fact, as is evident from a review of Figure 5.1, Chinese homicide rates continued to rise in San Francisco in the first decades of the new century. From an average annual rate of 30.8 in the 1890s, the Chinese rate climbed to 50 in the first decade of the new century. Notable in contributing to the high rate in the latter period was the 1909 “war” between the On Yick Tong and the Yee Family. The “war” started, as was common, when a member of the powerful Yee family enticed away the wife of a member of the On Yick Tong. Before the war was over, nine lay dead.320 In the decade of the 1910s, the Chinese homicide rate climbed to an all-time high average annual rate of 74.7 per 100,000 population. Following a number of killings in 1913, the tongs came together and formed a peace committee, an effort doubtless prompted in part by a police blockade of Chinatown in which officers were posted on street corners to warn tourists out of the area. Still the killing persisted. Throughout the decade, reports of tong war killings interspersed with investigations into police graft dominated the press discussion of Chinatown. In 1917, there was a tong war in which 57 Chinese were killed statewide.321 We must note, as a strictly mathematical proposition, that soaring rates in the first two decades of the century were in part caused by the reduction of the population denominator. The actual number of homicides committed by Chinese remained about the same, 6.1 on average per year in the 1890s and 1900s, and 6.8 in the 1910s. But during the same period, the average Chinese population of about 20,000 in the 1890s declined to a low point of 9,000 in the period from 1910-1920, thus inflating the rate per 100,000 population. Dykstra‟s concerns about the fallacy of small numbers again comes to mind. But the fact remains that in 59 proportion to the size of their population, it was more dangerous to be Chinese in San Francisco in the 1910s than the 1890s. Then in the 1920s, the Chinese homicide rate plummeted. During that decade, the annual average rate of Chinatown homicides declined from almost 75 per 100,000 population to 24.1 (n. 29), and in the 1930s declined still farther to 7 (n.12). A number of reasons have been offered to account for the sudden decline. According to some accounts, the tong gunmen simply died off and were not replaced. This might be construed as one positive aspect of the discriminatory Exclusion laws.322 That possibility is borne out by an examination of the composition of the population. The percentage of young Asian males as a portion of the total Chinese community was about the same in San Francisco in the 1930s as it was in earlier decades, but it was different type of immigrant. By the end of the nineteenth century, overseas Chinese communities had become havens for young Chinese intellectuals escaping persecution from the Manchu Dynasty.323 Among them was a young man named Sun Yat Sen, who, aided by the Triads, finally defeated the hated Manchus and in 1911 formed the Republic of China. With a less repressive Republican regime in control in China, there was less reason to oppose the establishment. And in place of the immigrant gangster was the “paper son” who came to get an education and make a living.324 Still, for a time it appeared that the killing would continue unabated. In 1921, San Francisco was in the throes of one of its recurrent “tong wars,” this one between the Suey Sing and the Hop Sing tongs. According to the later account of Lew Wah Get, an official in the Suey Sings, the war started, typically enough, over a woman. The Suey Sings had imported a slave girl,but the Hop Sing claimed her and refused to compensate the Suey Sings for expenses incurred. What followed was the highest-ever single annual homicide rate for Chinese San Francisco, 155 per 100,000. It was in March of that year that Chief of Police Daniel O‟Brien assigned Sergeant Jack Manion to head the Chinatown Squad with orders to do what was necessary to clean things up. The straight-talking police officer later recounted how he brought the homicide rate down. By rigorously enforcing the vagrancy laws against all those with “no visible means” of support, and re-arresting them repeatedly, he said, he drove the tong gangsters out of the city and kept them out. But those sorts of methods would deal only with the street-level criminals. To get at the root of the problem, Manion used another technique. He later related that on one occasion he was sitting in on a peace meeting attended by members of all the fighting tongs. After agreement was reached and the peace agreement was signed, according to Manion‟s account, he snatched the paper off the table, folded it, and placed it in an inner pocket.325 “I now have here all officials of all tongs which I will give to my Chief to keep,” he told the assembled leaders. “This means no more killings or all tong officials who signed this paper will be deported back to China.” 326 It may be that the tong leaders believed Manion would follow through on his threat. Police and other criminal justice officials often claim credit for crime decreases, whether they had anything to with them or not. Manion‟s claim could be construed as self-serving, but the record and statistical evidence seem to back him up. All homicide rates declined in the 1920s, for reasons which will be discussed in the next chapter, but the Chinese rate declined much more dramatically, beginning immediately after Manion 60 delivered his ultimatum in December 1921.327 In the five years immediately preceding the ultimatum, 155 whites were murdered in San Francisco, as were 35 Chinese. In the next five years, it was 133 whites murdered to nine Chinese. Thus the white rate declined 14 percent in the period immediately following Manion‟s ultimatum, compared to a 74 percent decline for the Chinese. Perhaps the most telling evidence of the effect of Manion‟s methods, though, came in the summer of 1926 when the Hop Sing and Bing Kong tongs went to war again. During this war, which ran from July to November, 26 men were shot statewide, 18 of them fatally. None of the killings occurred in San Francisco‟s Chinatown where Manion was managing affairs. 328 To be sure there were other forces at work to reduce Chinatown violence. Ivan Light points out that the normalization of gender ratios in both the Chinese and white communities reduced the demand for vice services even as the tourist and restaurant industries attracted more white customers to Chinatown.329 Tong leaders as well as merchants, sometimes the same persons, had a vested interest in a peaceable community so that customers would not be frightened away, and the two groups combined to bring about an end to the violence. In reporting on the cessation of hostilities in the 1921 tong war involving four fighting tongs, the San Francisco Examiner tallied up the cost. “Forty men have been killed in this war,” the paper reported, “and the loss of business to Chinatown is estimated at more than a million dollars.” 330 Light is doubtless correct in his conclusions but his was a gradual process which perforce took place over a period of years. The sharp decrease in the early 1920s suggests a more dramatic cause for the reduction. So in the end, we return to the question of how much responsibly can we assign to the host society for Chinese criminality, how much is chargeable to the immigrants themselves, and what effect did police behavior have on the situation. On the issue of mistreatment as a cause of the violence, there was no shortage of harassment before 1870.331 Yet it was not until the post-1868 surge of immigration that the Chinese homicide rate soared. If the violence had been a result of host society mistreatment, one could reasonably assume that the earlier rates would have been higher than they were. San Francisco prides itself on its reputation for tolerance of diverse ethnic groups and lifestyles. The nineteenth-century experience would seem to fly in the face of that reputation. There is no doubt that there was a great deal of enmity between the Chinese and white workingmen in nineteenth-century San Francisco. But it must be remembered that it was San Francisco that Chinese sought as a refuge when vilified, harassed and murdered in the countryside. Anti-Chinese sentiment was typified by the Los Angeles riot in 1871, where 22 died and where the police are alleged to have winked at the attacks.332A year earlier in San Francisco, Police Chief Patrick Crowley showed up with the entire police force to help Officer David Supple--who was Dublin born it might be added--to quell an anti-Chinese riot mounted by young hoodlums against a Chinese washhouse. In 1877, after white citizens became outraged that a Chico farmer had contracted with the Ning Yung Company for a group of farm laborers at a time when the local economy was in severe decline, a group of white men entered the Chinese dwelling and shot down six laborers and set their shack afire in what came to be known as the Lemm Ranch Massacre.333 In 1885, 51 Chinese strikebreakers were killed in Rock Springs Wyoming. And in 1887, ten Chinese were killed at Log Cabin Bar in Oregon.334 Notably 61 absent in any of the listings of nineteenth-century Chinese massacres is any reference to San Francisco. That can in part be explained by the presence in San Francisco of a strong police force which, for all its other failings, did a better job than others in protecting the minority newcomers. On balance, nineteenth-century Chinese in San Francisco excluded themselves, and were excluded--with fatal consequences.335 Ironically, it was that legally sanctioned exclusion by white laws which prevented the importation of criminal gangsters, along with changed attitudes in Chinatown brought about by the departure of the Manchu regime in China, and a determined effort by the authorities, which finally brought the killing to an end. Jack Manion didn‟t do anything much different from what Sergeant Price and others had tried before. Behavioral changes in the Chinese community along with a different type of immigrant led to the change. 62 Chap06 Italians Retired San Francisco Police Lieutenant Lou Calabro was raised in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn in the 1940s. It was there that he learned of the public perception of disproportionate Italian criminality. “The persistence of the image of the Italian as criminal,” comments one leading scholar of immigration history, “from the Black Hand assassin with a stiletto at the turn of the century, to the Prohibition Era gangster with machine guns, to the so-called Mafia and Costra Nostra of today, makes it one of the more enduring ethnic stereotypes.”336 To be sure, there was no shortage of Italian criminals in Brooklyn when Lieutenant Calabro was growing up, but from his personal experience Calabro knew there were plenty of criminals from other ethnic groups as well, and the vast majority of Italians were as law-abiding as anyone else. So, when assigned to duty in San Francisco‟s city prison in the early 1960s, Calabro made it the first order of his personal business to go through the arrest log book which listed the name, charge, and nativity of every arrested prisoner, looking for Italian names. He was puzzled and relieved to find few. Had he made the same sort of survey a half century earlier, Lieutenant Calabro would have found a somewhat different picture. This chapter will examine criminal violence by Italians in San Francisco. The analysis will show that Italians in San Francisco had twice the homicide rate of non- Italian whites in the early decades of the twentieth century. Even so, those rates were far lower than those of Italians in large eastern cities. And the intercity differences can in part be explained by conditions that existed within the Italian communities in the respective jurisdictions, more so than by any mistreatment by the non-Italian host society. Italians joined the California Gold Rush with everyone else, albeit in fewer numbers than many other groups. In 1851, by one account, there were 600 Italians in San Francisco, one-tenth the number of Frenchmen, Germans, or natives of the British Isles.337 By 1860 San Francisco‟s Little Italy, centered on Dupont Street north from Vallejo, boasted perhaps 400 residents.338 Others ran truck farms in what are now the outer Mission and Bayview districts. Italians do appear on the criminal records of the day though not in large numbers. Perhaps most prominent was Genoa-born gambler, Charles Cora, who in 1856 killed U.S. Marshal William Richardson in a controversial street affray that helped bring about the second vigilance committee. (According to a contemporary Chilean account, it wasn‟t a Chilean who killed the Hound Belden Beatty in June 1849, but one of a group of Italian priests who somehow had made it to Gold Rush San Francisco and were lodged on Telegraph Hill. There is doubtless more to history than we will ever know.339) In October 1858 an Italian named Giribildi (sic) was convicted and imprisoned for fatally stabbing an Irishman named Richard Smith in a fight outside a North Beach saloon. In January 1863 Pietro Lecari, an Italian rancher whose property adjoined San Bruno Road, was the victim of a hit man hired by his wife and business partner. In June two Italians were killed in the “Farallones Egg War” with a competing seabird egg collecting company. A week later, Marie Freschi, an Italian prostitute, was murdered on Waverly Place. And in July Carlo Odiaro cut the throat of a man named Pissano in a personal dispute. (We get a hint that there may have been more to the case than was made 63 public at the time. One of the killers in the Lecari case a few months earlier was a native of Italy whose name, as reported in the records, was Francisco Pizzano.) In the 1870s, there were seven Italian homicide victims. Three of the cases involved fights in saloons or on the street. In 1875 Mary Loretto, killed her seducer, Gus Galli, as he prepared to depart the city. In one case, that of Police Officer Joseph Coppola, the perpetrator was his Irish-born wife, Catherine (nee Crowley). The cross- ethnic nature of that case was offset by the 1874 killing of a Chinese man in Spofford Alley by Giancomo Boero. In the 1880s San Francisco logged in only one Italian homicide victim and four homicides with Italian perpetrators. In the 1890s it was seven Italian victims and 12 named as perpetrators. The small Italian population at that period and the spotty nature of the incidence of the killings makes any attempt at statistical analysis difficult. We are reminded yet again of Dykstra‟s “fallacy of small numbers.” The five Italian killings in a few months in 1863, given the small Italian population, would have translated into an annual rate of more than 300 per 100,000.340 By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the Italian population had grown sufficiently to allow for meaningful analysis. In the opening decades of the twentieth century, as shown in Figure 6.1, urban homicides rates (and the national rate generally) began to rise. Figure 6.1 goes about here The fact that the trends for all jurisdictions moved in the same direction, at least in the first two decades of the century, suggests that there were similar forces at work driving the rates generally. Some of the increase, at least for some of the jurisdictions, has been credited to the inclusion of previously unreported vehicular manslaughters and abortion deaths.341 Part of the increase can also be credited to high rates committed by 64 Italian newcomers.342 Chicago Italians in 1910 had a rate of 41 per 100,000 population, four times the overall Chicago rate for the period.343 In turn-of-the-twentieth century Philadelphia, Italian-born immigrants had a homicide incarceration rate--the measure used by Roger Lane to establish comparative homicide rates--more than twenty times that of non-Italian whites.344 The figures for Italian homicide perpetration in New York in 1915 computes out at a rate of 22.9, five times the overall rate of incidence for that city (4.39).345 And Italian immigrants contributed 62 percent of the homicide incarcerations in Massachusetts in 1920 at a time when they comprised three percent of the state‟s population. 346 Depressed economic conditions in southern Italy in the closing decades of the nineteenth century, the demand for cheap labor in the United States and the reduced cost of steamship fares combined to create the second great wave of nineteenth-century immigration, this time from Eastern and southern Europe.347 In 1890, the Italian community in San Francisco (Italian- and American-born) numbered slightly more than 8,000. By the turn of the century that number had increased to 13,000. By 1910 the population more than doubled to 29,000, and by 1930, 57,000 Italians called San Francisco home. Any analysis of early Italian criminal violence must consider the fact that in many respects late nineteenth and early twentieth century Italian immigration was similar to that of the Chinese. For one thing, most of those who came from Italy were young single rural males who came to make a stake and return home.348 Limited by language barriers, the newcomers depended on countrymen familiar with American ways, padroni , to find them work and otherwise act as intermediaries with the host society, again not unlike the Chinese companies. Very often the padroni victimized those they purported to serve. And in the end, as with the Chinese, concerns about the negative effect of Italian immigration on American society led to exclusionary immigration legislation aimed in part at restricting the number of Italian newcomers. Also among the Italian newcomers we find out-and-out gangsters, like the tong gangsters, who oppressed their own people, extorting money from them, fully confident that their victims would not involve the American authorities. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Italian immigrant communities were preyed upon by criminal gangs, associated in the public mind with Italian “mafias” or “Black Hand” organizations.349 Beginning in the 1890s, accounts of Italian homicides in San Francisco were increasingly associated with suspicions that a mafia was involved. When Antonio Lalla was arrested for slashing a woman‟s throat on First Street in 1892, he was identified in the press as one of the mafia men who had been involved in the assassination of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessey.350 In another case, the 1899 killing of Joseph Sierro by Filipo Fertita in a dispute between fishermen, newspapers speculated that the killer was involved with the Mafia. Such reports had some foundation in reality. On April 22, 1911, a bomb exploded on the threshold of a baker named Cassou, who had previously ignored a demand for $2,000. In 1914, there were several Black Hand incidents.351 In September 1915, two officials of the Union Sicilione were arrested for trying to extort money from the president of the Western Fish Company and an agent for the Alaska Packing Company. Two months later, Black Handers tried to extort money from Achille Paladini, President of the Fish Trust.352 In October 1916, Frank Palozotta's home at 628 Chenery Street in the quiet Glen Park district was bombed.353 65 The most notable Black Hand case in San Francisco occurred on Thanksgiving Day 1916. Gaetano Ingrassia, a successful North Beach masonry contractor, decided to take a walk on Columbus Avenue following his holiday dinner. It was a calculated risk. Ingrassia had recently received threatening letters from Black Hand gangsters. He had reported the threats to the police who gave him a permit to carry a firearm for his protection but suggested that he keep his head down while they worked the case. Not one to be cowed, Ingrassia went for his regular post-prandial stroll that night, and as he passed the ice cream parlor at 735 Columbus, he was attacked by three members of the Pedona family. Ingrassia hit two of his assailants in the exchange of gunfire but he himself was killed. Joseph Pedona and Antonio Pedona senior, and Antonio Junior were promptly arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment at San Quentin. (A year later in November 1917, Ingrassia‟s son-in-law, Mario Alioto, uncle of the future mayor Joseph Alioto, was killed on the same spot by Antonio Lipari, a friend of the Pedonas. Giuseppe and Ignazzio (sic) Alioto armed themselves and went to Hall of Justice to shoot Lipari, who, they claimed, was a Black Hander. Police deflected their attempt.) While Italian gang killings certainly nudged the homicide rate in San Francisco upward in the early decades of the twentieth century, they were insufficient in number to drive the rates by themselves. As always, there were a number of other factors beyond ethnic participation to influence rates of violence. The defining event in early twentieth-century San Francisco, an event which affected every aspect of the city‟s life, was the April 1906 earthquake and fire, which left the city a devastated ruin. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, thousands of residents, their homes destroyed and their jobs gone up in smoke, fled the city. In a stroke, the city‟s population was reduced by half, from 350,000 to 175,000, and with no tax base with which to pay them, 20 percent of the city‟s Police Department were forced to take leaves of absence.354 As newcomers of all types streamed in--some opportunists looking to take advantage of disaster conditions, others looking for honest work to help with the rebuilding--the city experienced a social upheaval to match the geological cataclysm it had suffered. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the city was visited by a major crime wave. In 1907, San Francisco had a homicide rate of 15.4 per 100,000 population, its highest homicide rate since the deadly late 1870s, a rate not reached again until the 1960s. A number of other indicators point to the disordered conditions of the time. Murderers who commit suicide after killing their victims--usually males in domestic situations--are a rough measure of domestic violence. In the five-year period from 1910 to 1914, such cases increased 88 percent over the five preceding years. (up from 9.8 to 18.5 percent of the total homicides).Weapons use increased as well by 10.9 percent (65.7 to 72.9 percent of all cases) during the same period. In the decade immediately following the disaster, the robbery homicide rate more than doubled compared to a like period before (from 2.6 to 5.9 per 100,000). More police were murdered in the few years immediately following the disaster than had been killed in more than a half-century preceding it. Taken together, these statistics point to the existence of a very violent period, not unlike the disordered Gold Rush era. 66 While none of the above factors can be shown to involve Italian immigrants particularly, as Figure 6.2. shows, Italian rates made up part of the overall increase in the early decades of the century. Figure 6.2 goes about here. For most of the period the Italian rate was twice that of the non-Italian whites, high but nothing like those in the East where it is reported that the Italian rates exceeded the overall rates of non-Italian whites by as much as twenty times, in at least one jurisdiction. (Somewhat different things were being compared. In Philadelphia Lane compares the incarceration rates of Italian born convicts to those of non-Italian whites. In Chicago and San Francisco, the Italian community being considered was comprised of both Italian-born victims and those born in the United States. But in Chicago, the Italian rate is compared to the overall group, which includes the high-rate Italians and blacks. In San Francisco, the comparison group is of non-Italian whites. Were it possible to compare the Chicago group with an identical San Francisco group, the disparity between Chicago‟s five times higher rate and San Francisco‟s twice higher rate would be even more pronounced.) It has been posited by some, as we have seen, that high rates of criminal violence by minority newcomers can be traced to their treatment by the host society.355 That seems to be the opinion of Ernest Hopkins, who, in his 1931 critique of the police, at a time when there was a great deal of public concern about foreigners and crime, claimed that “Perhaps nothing is more directly responsible for the violent character of much present- day crime than the lawless police work that was visited upon the immigrant in the past.”356 That sentiment was echoed by a Massachusetts Immigration Commission report, which asserted that “Police corruption, which takes the form of protection of criminals, enables an Italian, or sometimes criminals of other nationalities, to develop in an Italian colony the „Black Hand‟ system of blackmail.”357 On the other hand, there is fairly general agreement that late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italians came from a violent tradition.358 "The propensity for violence of the southern Italians was not a symptom of social disorganization caused by emigration,” says Rudolph Vecoli, “but a characteristic of their Old World culture.”359 In fact, as with other groups, the violence can be traced to some combination of the two factors.360 Perhaps by examining the phenomenon as it occurred in San Francisco as compared to elsewhere, we can add a bit to the discussion of the nature of immigrant violence.361 The fact that both Italian and non-Italian white rates rose and declined together in San Francisco, converging by the mid-1930s, suggests that some factor, other than the mistreatment of one group, may have been at work. Many of the post-quake newcomers to San Francisco were Italians.362 An important fact to understand about Italian immigration is that there was more to the new immigration than simple numbers. Most of the mid-nineteenth century Italian immigrants had come from the relatively prosperous northern provinces. These newcomers seem to have assimilated fairly well into the larger society without provoking much concern about a tendency toward criminal violence. The late-century immigrants, on the other hand, came for the most part from the poor, and reputedly more violent, southern provinces of Sicily and Calabria.363 Part of the immigration story for any group is how earlier arrivals smoothed the way for later arrivals, either by informal means or by the formation of immigrant aid 67 societies.364 A less familiar part of the story is that older immigrants, having partially assimilated, sometimes distance themselves from the embarrassing crudities of the later arrivals. It is a common occurrence. On Palm Sunday 1847, Irish newcomers in Worcester, Massachusetts, rioted against their earlier arriving countrymen, upon whom they depended for housing and jobs, but from whom they were alienated by cultural differences.365 Turn-of-the-twentieth century New York German Jews often shunned their more exotic co-religionists newly arrived from Poland and Russia.366 In San Francisco, while community services were established for the newcomers, enmity against those from southern Italy also found expression in the northern Italian community.367 To some extent in San Francisco, says Deanna Gumina, “The pioneers, the Genoese, Tuscans and others who could have served as guides to those who came later, rather shunned the [southerners] and kept to themselves.”368 It was the combination of two factors – the magnitude of the inflow of newcomers from southern Italy, and the distanced relationship between the older, northern-based Italian immigrant establishment and the newcomers from the south--which helps explain in part the widely different homicide rate in various Italian immigrant communities. By 1910, Chicago‟s Italian community, which was approximately the same size as that in San Francisco in 1890, grew to be three times larger. Part of the reason had to do with simple geography. San Francisco is farther away from Italy, and one more train ticket for an impoverished immigrant to buy constituted a negative incentive, particularly for those who intended to return to Italy. One attraction, as for immigrants of all types, was the availability of many low-skilled jobs. Many southern Italians were attracted to Chicago to work on the growing railroad industry of the time. San Francisco‟s railroad infrastructure had largely been completed decades earlier by Irish and Chinese laborers, and while some low-skilled jobs remained, the main opportunities for employment lay elsewhere. “It did not take long for the word to get back to Italy,” reports Deanna Gumina, “that unskilled Italians had better chances in the heavily industrialized Eastern cities which were far more capable of employing cheap labor than the new urbanized areas of California.”369 Such jobs became available in the rebuilding period following the 1906 disaster and many Italians, in fact, came to San Francisco then, but by that time the predominant pattern of immigration to Chicago and other eastern cities had already been established.370 One result was that Italians had a different experience with criminal violence in the two cities. In San Francisco, as seen in the case of the killing of Ingrassia, justice was swift and certain. “[Ingrassia‟s] death was not in vain,” reports Sebastian Fichera, “ for others took up the battle where he left off; the police made arrests, witnesses testified, juries convicted. With the cooperation of North Beach residents, the relevant institutions worked in the way they were meant and the problem, if not solved, was certainly brought under control.” 371 In Chicago, on the other hand, the established Italian community, previously dominated by stable northern Italians, was overwhelmed by the influx of newcomers from the south.372 In addition to the endemic hostility between north and south, any community resources to aid the newcomers in Chicago were taxed beyond their limits. The community “lost much of its original solidarity and became increasingly racked by strife,” says Fichera. 373 Instead of hanging together to fight common problems, the Italian community in Chicago fragmented and withdrew inside itself. One result of these differences, claims Fichera, was a disparate incidence of criminal violence. 68 Fichera‟s reading of the situation is borne out by the comparative records of criminal violence in San Francisco and Chicago in the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1907 Chicago, respectable Italians formed a “White Hand society,” which identified Blackhanders to the police and helped convict them. “A large number of criminals apprehended through its efforts went free,” reports Fichera, “some escaped conviction altogether; others sent to prison were being released after one or two years.” And the upshot was that “the few witnesses who had risked their lives by giving testimony against the gangsters, soon found themselves at the mercy of the ex-convicts.374 “Both the paroled convicts and the witnesses were now residents of the same neighborhoods,” he says, and “not surprisingly,” the program failed. 375 “In North Beach, on the other hand,” Fichera continues, “the community‟s strength was the underworld‟s weakness for the gangsters never found the kind of cover to which they were accustomed in Chicago.” On evidence of witnesses, the gangsters were sent to prison. More to the point, unlike in Chicago, they remained in jail, and thereafter Black Handers virtually disappeared from San Francisco.376 In San Francisco, the convictions in the Ingrassia case showed that the police and immigrant community could work together and when they did the gangsters could not stand up to them.377 And the police efforts in San Francisco were supported by the general public and the press. “If, as alleged, there is a „Forty Strong Gang‟ on North Beach,” reported a contemporary newspaper, “it should be included in the „clean up‟ now under way. It is well known that there is among the Sicilians a very turbulent element which is accustomed to act together in rather loose organizations for all sorts of criminal enterprises and it is evident that some of that element has immigrated to this country, of which some have found their way to the city and the North Beach. They all have revolvers and never hesitate to use them. And they use knives as readily as revolvers. “As they must be known, one way to deal with them is to search every one of them as a known criminal whenever he appears on the street, confiscate all deadly weapons of every kind and send them to jail for carrying them concealed." 378 Between January 1, 1910, and March 26, 1911--during which period there were three homicides committed by Italians in San Francisco--Chicago suffered 38 unsolved Italian killings. During the thirty years from 1890 to 1920--a period when there were a total of 74 Italian homicides in San Francisco of all types--there were some 400 murders in Chicago attributed to the Black Hand alone.379 In one three-month period in 1913, according to a contemporary newspaper account, there were 55 bombings in Chicago‟s “spaghetti zone,” compared to 14 in the San Francisco Bay Area for a four-year period about the same time.380 Even taking population differences into account, Chicago Italians were substantially more violent than those in San Francisco in the first two decades of the twentieth century. And in the absence of contrary explanations other than those discussed below, Fichera‟s scenario makes compellingly good sense. It was during the Prohibition era--from the passage of 18th Amendment and the enactment of the Volstead Act in 1920, which prohibited sale of alcoholic beverages, and its repeal in 1933--that the reputation of Italian immigrants for criminal violence grew to full flower. It was during this period that American crime went through a generational and ethnic succession in crime, as younger criminals replaced their elders and members of more recently arrived ethnic groups replaced mobsters from earlier groups. Reference to Figure 6.1 shows that homicide rates increased generally (though not in San 69 Francisco), in some cases quite dramatically, during this period. Chicago‟s homicide rate, already high, rose 18 percent in the first five years of Prohibition, while San Francisco experienced a 47 percent decline during the same period. 381 It was reported that in the period from January 1921 to mid-1925 Chicago suffered 422 unsolved homicides, of which 242 were gang killings. 382 In the first ten months of 1926, 42 more men died in a “booze war.”383 By one estimate there were more than 500murders in the Chicago gang wars. 384 Part of the reason for the diverging rates of bootleg violence may have had to do with geographic location. Chicago was closer to the heavily populated Midwest than San Francisco and was therefore situated to participate in all the jurisdictional disputes that proximity naturally entailed. But there were other reasons as well. Another aspect of the difference between the two cities was that in Chicago much of the violence was accompanied by ethnic succession from Irish to Italian run gangs. The Irish-to-Italian succession in Chicago was marked on one end by the 1924 killing of Irish gangster Dion O‟Banion and at the other end by the 1929 Valentine‟s Day massacre, which put an end to the largely non-Italian Bugs Moran gang.385 Both incidents were credited to Italian gangsters. In Detroit, Italian gangsters in the end virtually exterminated the Jewish Purple Gang, thus contributing to the high Prohibition-era homicide rate in that city.386 In New York during the 1920s and 30s, Italian gangs supplanted the Irish gangs on the waterfront by murdering the Irish dock bosses.387 There was no equivalent conflict in San Francisco. In addition to the ethnic succession in New York and Chicago, another aspect of the violence was generational criminal succession. In those cities, the introduction of prohibition laws sometimes forced a split between the younger gangsters--those born in the United States of immigrant parents (such as Alphonse Capone) or those born elsewhere and brought here as children by immigrant parents (such as Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Owney Madden and Meyer Lansky) who wanted to branch out in the larger community versus the older generation of “Mustache Pete” gangsters who tended to be satisfied with remaining in their own communities.388 There is, however, no explicit evidence of any such generational succession in San Francisco. That is not to say that Prohibition did not contribute to San Francisco‟s homicide record. Some of the killings during the period resulted from the usual fights and domestic incidents. Several, also, occurred during robberies, some of them of “soft drink parlors,” a contemporary euphemism for a speakeasy. Speakeasies, or “blind pigs,” ran with virtual impunity in San Francisco during the Prohibition era but there was a distinct disincentive to tolerate violence in general in the operations. Admission was by permission and it would have been in the interest of a proprietor to exclude the more boisterous and potentially violent patrons who might draw the unwanted attention of the authorities. In the 1920s the Italian homicide rate in San Francisco--while still more than twice as high as that of non-Italian whites--dropped by half, from 14.9 per 100,000 population in the 1910s to 7.9 in the 1920s. Much of the killing that did occur was apparently involved with the illegal liquor business. In February 1924, Rosalina La Fata was killed when coming out of a café at Filbert and Powell streets. Mimi Imperato, a known bootlegger, was kidnapped from his Union Street café and was being “taken for a ride” when the police “Shotgun Squad” intervened and arrested Pietro La Fata, among others.389 70 In April 1925, the press reported on the shooting death of Giovanni Alfredi, a recent arrival from Portland, shot with a silencer at Main and Bryant streets. (Witnesses saw a flash but heard no sound of gunfire). There was suspicion, never proved to certainty, that maybe the victim had been involved with bootlegging in some way.390 Genaro Ferri, an Italian immigrant lately from Chicago, and said by police to be heavily involved in the illegal liquor rackets, was shot to death in his Lombard street home on November 24, 1928. Police claimed that Alfredo Scarisi had killed him in a dispute over control of the rackets. Before the authorities had a chance to talk to Scarisi, however, his murdered body was found with that of Vito Pileggi, a fellow gangster, on a road near Sacramento. A week after the Scarisi killing, Mario Filipppi was shot to death in the basement of his restaurant at 18 Sacramento Street. Joe Brasci was arrested for the crime but was released for lack of evidence. In July 1929 Joe Bocca, known as “the Sicilian Strong Man,” and believed to be a member of the gang that killed Scarisi, was found shot and stabbed to death in his auto, it‟s motor running and lights on, in the then sparsely settled sand dunes at 39th and Noriega. After Bocca‟s killing, Italian gang-related killings declined for a while Lane attributes the dramatic decrease in Italian homicides in Philadelphia between the first decade of the century and the 1920s to their assimilation into the industrial economy, as he does for the Irish a generation earlier.391 And San Francisco‟s vaunted, and much deserved, reputation for greeting newcomers tolerantly also was a factor. The reception the turn-of-the-twentieth century Italians received in San Franciscans is analogous in a way to that described for the Irish in an earlier chapter. There doesn‟t seem to have been the high level of antipathy visited on newcomers of any type in San Francisco that often seems to be the case in some eastern cities. That factor may account in part for reduced feelings of alienation which may in turn account for less criminal violence by the newcomer group. While not disregarding the assimilation argument, we can also look at other factors that contributed variously to declining homicide rates. For one thing, the rates in San Francisco went down across the board during the 1920s, suggesting that the cause was more than the assimilation of any one group. As will be recalled, the Chinese rate declined dramatically during the same period, and no one would argue that the Chinese were assimilated into the broader economy at that time. As with the Chinese, and indeed the Irish in the late nineteenth century, the changing nature of immigration had something to do with the downturn in San Francisco in the 1920s and beyond. In the case of the Italians, it had to do with a dramatic change in the flow of immigration. In the earlier, high-murder period--the period up to 1914--on average 200,000 Italian immigrants a year arrived in the United States. By the latter period--between 1922 and 1928--during which Lane reports such low rates, the annual rate of arrival from Italy averaged 27,000 a year. By that time, the murderously disposed members of earlier groups would have been pruned out of the immigrant community either by imprisonment or execution. And as with the Chinese Triad gangsters, a new crop of murderers would have had a difficult time getting here past the new immigration restrictions. (The same sort of situation occurred following the much criticized Mariel boat lift in 1980, by means of which Fidel Castro is reputed to have emptied Cuba‟s jails and mental hospitals and dumped the inmates on the United States. In the years immediately following the boat lift, Miami‟s homicide rate skyrocketed but as criminal 71 Marielitos found themselves in jail or dispersed around the country, and no more arrived, their contribution to the city‟s homicide rate declined dramatically.)392 It can also be argued that changing police practices may have had something to do with the declines as well, at least in San Francisco. From the outset of this discussion, we have considered the effect of law enforcement practices on rates of criminal violence. The immediate reduction in Gold Rush era rates was in part effected by the vigilance committees--law enforcement surrogates, if you will. Further reductions in the 1860s can be associated in part with the hard-line enforcement methods of Chief Martin Burke. Following increases in the 1870s, rates were further reduced in the closing decades of the century, at a time when Police Department staffing was trebled and the patrol wagon callbox system was introduced. Then, when 20 percent of the Police Department was furloughed in the aftermath of the 1906 disaster, a crime wave followed. One argument against putting too much stock in improvements in police service as a reason for reduced rates of criminal violence is that the police improvements in San Francisco were a local phenomenon, while the noted reductions in violence and the assimilation into the industrial economy occurred nationwide. But, as with many other social phenomena, police practices follow fashions. The late nineteenth-century introduction of improvements, such as the callbox/patrol wagon system, were implemented around the nation following their introduction in Chicago in the early 1880s. It was much the same thing in the 1920s, at which time all departments adopted aggressive patrol practices employing automobiles. The universality of this innovation might help to explain why the rates declined consistently from city to city. One of the crimes that aroused particular concern in the early twentieth century was the increased incidence of robbery. It is difficult to estimate the amount of robbery with any precision in the pre-Uniform Crime Report (UCR) days prior to the late 1930s. We can, however, use the incidence of robbery homicides as a rough guide to the amount of robbery. In the period from 1880 to 1900, robbery homicides accounted for 3.8 percent of homicide totals in San Francisco, not unlike the two to four percent found by Monkkonen in nineteenth-century New York City.393 Between 1900 and 1920, that percentage grew to 5.7, and in the following decade it almost doubled again to 10.2 percent of all homicides, before falling in the 1930s to 5.2 percent. In reporting on crime conditions nationally at the outset of Prohibition, the Examiner listed as one of the causes of the increase in crime “The inability of the police to cope with the increasing use of high powered automobiles for the escape of bandits, and a more general knowledge of the use of death dealing weapons.” 394 What the paper was reporting on was a profound change in nature of predatory crime, which has influenced the way police respond to criminal violence down to the present. With the introduction and proliferation of individually owned automobiles, criminals obtained a heretofore unimagined mobility, allowing them to pull a robbery and be well on their way before officers, almost all of whom were on foot, even knew that a crime had been committed. In response, police departments began to equip themselves with automobiles in the early decades of the century. But prior to the advent of radio communications, the vehicles were often positioned at station houses from which they were dispatched in response to calls for service.395 Depending as it did upon telephoned notifications from the public that a crime was in progress, followed by a telephone call from police headquarters to a district station 72 so that a car could be dispatched, the system was only marginally effective. The culprits could still be on their way before the police mobilized to respond. In response to the 1919 crime wave, San Francisco Police Chief David White ordered a change. Instead of keeping the vehicles in the stations awaiting a call about a crime, he ordered them out to proactively patrol the streets from sunset to sunrise.396 Next, the department established mobile "shotgun squads," teams of shotgun-armed detectives who prowled the city in automobiles on the watch for emerging problems, with orders to keep in frequent telephone contact with their headquarters, while. Michael Mitchell, who was later to become Chief of Police, described what the job was like. One night in 1918, he reported, as he and his partner were informed, when they called in, that a robbery had occurred at 17th and Sharon Streets.397 Knowing that holdup men in the past had dumped their getaway cars near the Post Office on Seventh Street, the officers went there, and sure enough, there was the robbery car. In the chase that followed, according to Mitchell‟s description, “I shot the rear tire and we kept right behind the stolen car.” The officer emptied his shotgun into the fleeing vehicle which finally rolled to a stop. They they arrested the driver who had been struck in the back and head with shotgun pellets. Nowhere in his account does Mitchell mention that any order had been given to the car to stop. Such practices were in keeping with police theories of “crime prevention” at the time. Detective Sergeant Thomas Hyland reported in 1924 on the activities of the Crime Prevention detail. “To date we feel we have succeeded rather satisfactorily in ridding this city of a large number of known „yeggs,‟ „thugs,‟ „stickup men,‟ and other human „parasites.‟ We have done this through arrests on vagrancy charges and in other instances by telling them that they were known to us for what they were, and that perhaps in some other locality they might fare better.”398 San Francisco historian Jerry Flamm described how it worked. “The police department efficiently prevented any influx of organized crime, and the streets of the city were safe for its residents. A great deal of this security was due to the then-enforceable „30 day Vag‟ law which enabled the cops to pick up and hold anybody on „suspicion,‟ and to hold him or her as a vagrant. Felony suspects or visiting organized crime figures could also be booked on a suspicion charge en route to another city, ostensibly to enable police to inquire if they were wanted in the other jurisdiction. Many times this ploy was used only to get them off the streets or to pressure them into leaving town.” 399 (Actually the term was “$1,000 vag,” which required the arrestee to post high bail to seek release, but the effect was as described by Flamm. Repeated arrests could get very expensive.) The results of such methods, which today would doubtless fail to pass constitutional scrutiny, likely had something to do with the marked decline in robbery homicides that followed. Given the absence of complete crime records for the time, it would be impossible to draw any direct causal connection between police practices and the incidence of violent crime. But there is another, less direct, measure that provides a glimpse of changing police practices juxtaposed with the incidence of at least one type of violent crime. Table 6.1 shows the relationship between police killings of suspects and the percentage of robbery homicides of the total homicides for the periods during which motorized robberies began to emerge and proactive police practices were introduced. Table 6.1 goes about here. 73 Correlation is not causation, and we should not read too much into the relationship between fatal police shootings and other factors.400 However, the dramatic changes in the relationship between the two figures suggest that there may be some causal relationship in this instance.401 San Francisco Police Chief Daniel O‟Brien reported in October 1923, “Some three years ago the most dangerous menace that faced all large cities was the sudden appearance of the auto bandit, who … specialized on payroll holdups.” The department organized a bank detail, he said, which escorted payrolls and bank transfers. In December, Deputy Chief William Quinn reported that there had not been a bank robbery in San Francisco for a year.402 Taken by themselves, what the figures in the table show, allowing for a lag time between the stimulus (the robberies) and the response (strong police action), is that as robbery homicides doubled in the early 1920s, the police increased their proactive stance, to include the practice of running down and shooting bandit cars, a set of behaviors which they continued to use even after the decline began. Eventually, in response to the declining crimes, police actions were moderated. The move toward a more aggressive police stance was not unique to San Francisco. The concern about robbery was national in scope and the use of motorized shotgun patrols in response was universal. As we embrace “community policing,” the current panacea for crime fighting, which revives the concept of the nineteenth-century foot patrolman as a day-to-day part of the community, this “militarization” of police departments in the 1920s is now seen as having gone down the wrong path. That is all well and good. But it is useful to remember that the police departments in the 1920s were confronted with a very real problem of motorized robbery gangs against whom the “community policing” techniques then in vogue were ineffective, and it was only by going mobile and engaging the bandits directly that officers dealt with them effectively. Differing police capabilities seems to have something to do with the different rates of crime by Italians in San Francisco and Chicago as well. In Prohibition-era Chicago, reports Herbert Asbury--at least in the early years--the police were “demoralized and helpless and the whole machinery of law-enforcement [was] in a condition of collapse.” 403 On the other hand, in Milwaukee, according to Mark Haller, a city where the police worked more closely with the community, the level of violence was much lower. He more or less concluded that Chicago had more Prohibition-era violence than Milwaukee because enforcement efforts in Chicago made for an uncertain situation, which led to violence. In Milwaukee, on the other hand, the people didn't support the anti- drinking measure and city officials facilitated the business as long as there was no violence. Another aspect of the difference between Milwaukee and Chicago is described by Wickersham in his report. Milwaukee, he wrote, “had its powerful political gangs, many of them composed exclusively of credulous members of particular nationality groups. . . ” A reform mayor sheared those leaders of power and established “direct informal contact with large masses of the city‟s foreign-born residents.” Stern justice was administered and as a result Milwaukee‟s Prohibition-era violence rates were much lower than those elsewhere.404 Eventually Chicago authorities began to take aggressive action. The Chicago Crime commission, outraged at all the killing, began to apply pressure in the early 1930s and conditions began to improve.405 74 While good news for Chicagoans, the crackdown boded ill for the West. It was then that members of eastern gangs tried to spread their tentacles west.406 It is a point of pride with the San Francisco Police Department that they kept organized crime out of San Francisco during Prohibition. When it was reported that the eastern gangsters were on the way, Chief William Quinn reissued orders to his men. “They will be met at ferry and railroad stations and turned back,” he commanded, “or, if they slip by the cordon of watching policemen, they will be clapped in jail. . . . Every suspicious character, whether man or woman, must give a satisfactory account of himself or herself to the police or go behind the bars. . . .” 407 According to a Police Committee Report of the San Francisco Grand Jury, November 16, 1931, “Attention is called to the recent formation of a „Gangster Squad‟ whose duties are to prevent racketeers or gangsters form securing a foot-hold in San Francisco. The cities of New York and Chicago, in a drive to free their communities of these individuals, have caused them to make an effort for transference of their base of operation to the Pacific Coast. In their initial efforts they were met on arrival by the Gangster Squad, recently created by Chief Quinn. The Chicago representatives went so far as to make proposition to and sit in meeting with this squad with the net result that they decided to, and did, leave town.” There doesn‟t seem to have been much, if any, discussion at the time of the constitutionality of such practices and the public generally seems to have acquiesced. In 1931, a group of easterners tried to gain a monopoly on the rackets by buying the wholesale bottle and bootlegging supply houses in Northern California with a view to jacking up prices in San Francisco. Their agents, by now established in Southern California ,came out second-best in a gunfight with police in San Leandro when they tried to hijack San Francisco liquor being shipped south.408 The San Francisco Police Department, it was reported, came to the aid of San Francisco's "honest hard-working bootleggers."409 Perhaps the success of those efforts lulled police into a sense of apathy from which they were awakened on May 18, 1932, when Luigi Malvese, another bootleg gangster, was shot from ambush and killed in broad daylight while sitting in his automobile in front of the Del Monte barber shop at 720 Columbus Avenue. Genaro Campanello, (aka Onorino Caprano) was immediately named as the suspect. Unable to find Campanello, the police brass did the next best thing. They removed the head of the “Death Squad” and set out, in the words immortalized by Claude Rains‟ Captain Renault in Casablanca, to “round up the usual suspects.” Captain Arthur Layne, commanding the Central Police District (and now chiefly remembered as the straight-arrow maternal grandfather of former Governor and present Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown) led the raids. Officers under Layne‟s command swept through the Tenderloin, according to one press account, picking up “gangsters, crooks, known and suspected, and undesirables generally.” (Emphasis added.) Six patrol wagons full of arrestees were sent to the Hall of Justice in the first haul. In the next several days they were joined by 1,000 more who clogged the criminal justice processing mechanism. Those rounded up had nothing to do with the Malvese killing, but that wasn‟t really the point of the exercise. Sebastian Fichera explains, “After a known racketeer and bootlegger named Luigi Malvese was killed from ambush, a huge roundup of suspects was carried out by the police. “These, the known hoodlums and drug addicts, were interrogated, fingerprinted, photographed, and then released.” The suspect was never 75 found, he says, but he comments on the strong reaction in San Francisco to a crime that would have been “shrugged off in other cities.” Chief Quinn explained in 1935 why there never had been gangsterism or racketeering in San Francisco. “This city today stands out among the large cities of the west as one of the few where gangsters have been unable to gain a foothold. Organized crime does not exist here due to a small but efficient number of hard working police officers. Not one merchant in San Francisco, large or small engaged in legitimate business, has had to pay one cent to racketeers. "We watch the trains, the planes and the boats,” he said. “We have a welcoming committee awaiting all such gentlemen from other parts of the United States. We meet them, we entertain them but they don‟t like our entertainment. They therefore seldom pay us a second visit." No one had to ask for an explanation of what the “entertainment” might have been. Police pressure on the mobsters in Prohibition-era San Francisco was doubtless more than purely altruistic. A few years later when Eugene “Pat” Brown – father of Jerry and elected governor himself--was running for District Attorney in San Francisco, he commented on the absence of organized crime in San Francisco. “There is no organized crime in San Francisco,” he is reported to have said. “The crime is all organized by the Police Department.”410 Thus, it could be argued, the police suppression of Prohibition era gangsters was little more than one gang protecting its turf from outsiders. There is probably some truth to that charge but withal, for however it came to be, San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s had a lower rate of criminal violence than almost any other large American city – one that modern San Franciscans can well envy – and some of that salutary condition can be credited to the aggressive activities of the Police Department. It would be disingenuous to suggest that there was no Italian organized crime in San Francisco, however. In 1947 the murdered body of a Chicago gangster, Nick DeJohn, was found in the trunk of a Chrysler Town and Country in San Francisco‟s Marina District. After an extensive investigation, San Francisco police charged four men with the crime, including Anthony Lima, reputed boss of San Francisco‟s La Cosa Nostra, and his underboss, Michael Abati. 411 The charges were eventually dismissed when it was found that the leading prosecution witness had perjured herself. Nonetheless there is little doubt that the defendants had been involved in the killing. (Following the Luigi Malvese killing, Francesco Lanza emerged as the head of the San Francisco La Cosa Nostra families, according to standard accounts. His partner in a Fisherman‟s Wharf restaurant was Guiseppe Alioto.412 Lanza was followed as leader upon his 1937 death by Anthony Lima, who was implicated in the 1947 hit of Nick De John in San Francisco. He, in turn, was replaced by Michael Abati in 1953. Abait was arrested at the Appalachian meeting in 1957 along with his under boss Joseph Lanza, who succeeded him as boss when Abati was deported to Italy in 1961.413 Since Lanza‟s death in 1989, the San Francisco Cosa Nostra is considered dormant.) Reading between the lines from beginning to end, we can discern a pattern that may explain in part the difference between the levels of violence in San Francisco and eastern cities. Many of the Italian gangsters killed in San Francisco from the 1920s to the 1940s, were recent arrivals from elsewhere, suggesting that perhaps in San Francisco the “Mustache Petes” got the better of the argument about who was to remain in charge. Still the fact that even veteran police officers--and that is the case--are unfamiliar with the 76 leading actors, suggests that the mobsters could hardly have been involved to any great extent in criminal activities. In Los Angeles it was a different story. The names of Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen, Johnny Stompanato, Louis Dragna--all gangsters with roots in the East--are well known. Beginning in the 1930s, they took over Southern California operations. The Kefauver Crime Commission in 1950 cited 50 gangland killings in Southern California in the first half of the century. Such gangland killings in the then-more populous San Francisco can be counted on the fingers of the two hands.414 Part of the reduction in criminal violence during the 1920s and 1930s doubtless can be traced to lower immigration levels, reduced first by World War I ,and later by immigration acts placing quotas on newcomers from eastern and southern Europe.415 The worldwide economic Depression of the 1930s depressed immigration further.416 Notably it was in this era that the nation and San Francisco had the lowest homicide rates in its history. There were many other variables at work but the reduction in immigration likely gave the country time to absorb those who had come before. In conclusion, while Italian rates of criminal homicide in San Francisco were higher than those of non-Italian whites in the first decades of the twentieth century, a comparison between Italian crime experience in San Francisco and some other cities suggests that it would be a misreading of the situation to claim that it was mistreatment by the host society alone which created the high rates. And while it is not possible to prove to an absolute certainty that differences in police practices between jurisdictions influenced crime rates directly, when lowered rates are repeatedly associated with strong police measures, we can begin to conclude that they have some positive effect. 77 Chap07 African-Americans In December 1994, during a period when the city was afflicted by a spate of black-on-black youth killings, the San Francisco Examiner published one of a series of articles about African-American violence. One of those asked for his opinion on the situation, Jomo MFusai, an employee of the Ujumia Project, a local youth agency, linked black-on-black crime “primarily to the lingering effects of racism,” according to the report. “The blame for our problems can never be on black folks,” said MFusai. “Blame those who have reneged on the promise of justice and freedom.”417 It is one thing to study nineteenth century Irish and Chinese violence, or that involving Italian immigrants in the early twentieth century. The societal tensions in which much of that violence occurred have been for the most part been quieted, and enough time has passed that we can discuss the topics with a measure of objectivity. Not so African-American violence. The story of African-American violence has not yet run its course and the wounds remain raw. “The relationship of race and ethnicity to homicide,” warns Eric Monkkonen, “can be a painful and sensitive topic.” 418 Indeed. To start with, any understanding of African-American violence must be informed by the unique history of black people in America. The first Africans were brought here as slaves rather than as willing immigrants, and it was not until the Civil War that blacks were nominally freed from a life of servitude. There followed the Reconstruction period and Jim Crow era in the South, during which discrimination and casual violence were daily facts of life. During the “Great Migration,” more than a million blacks moved from the southern countryside to the urban North where they were often greeted with open, sometimes violent, hostility. It was not until the Civil Rights era of the 1960s that African-Americans were guaranteed full citizenship. Because we have not yet attained enough historical distance from which to view contemporary African-American violence with clarity uncluttered by emotional baggage, any conclusions on the topic must of necessity be provisional. This chapter will examine African-American criminal violence in San Francisco from the Gold Rush to the late 1990s. The unique experience of blacks in the California city offers a way to look at black violence beyond the usual North/South nexus. For one thing, few blacks came to San Francisco in the nineteenth century compared to many other cities. And San Francisco did not participate to any great extent in the first wave of the “Great Migration,” which resulted in a somewhat different kind of urban experience. It will be found that any argument that assigns the reasons for black violence simply to racism is inadequate. The chapter will also address intergroup violence between blacks and whites. Figure 7.1 shows the homicide rates for African-American in San Francisco from 1865 to 1940, compared to white rates for the same period. (Victims) Figure 7.1 goes about here As it patently obvious, nineteenth and early twentieth-century black homicide rates fluctuated wildly and at much higher levels than that of white residents of San Francisco. At first glance, the comparative rates seem similar to those found in many other urban settings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Roger Lane found rates of indictment for blacks to be five times those of whites in late nineteenth- 78 century Philadelphia.419 Clare McKanna, who also uses indictments as his basis for comparison in his Homicide Race and Justice in the American West, reports that the rate of black indictments in Douglas County, Nebraska (Omaha) between 1880 and 1920 was ten times that of whites.420 Between 1875 and 1909, Chicago had a black homicide rate of incidence six times that of whites.421 In nineteenth-century New York, black and white rates tracked together rather closely until 1875, when they began to diverge rather dramatically.422 Before getting too far with such comparisons, though, at least those involving San Francisco, we should revisit once again the argument about the “fallacy of small numbers.” All during the period shown on the graph, San Francisco‟s African-Americans comprised less than one percent of the city‟s population. Consequently, the African- American homicide rate of 25 per 100,000 shown for the period for 1880-1884--a rate equivalent to the high rates found in many late twentieth-century cities--was based on the only two homicides occurring during the entire half -decade. The rate then declined to nothing between 1890-1894, during which time no black homicides were registered. We are reminded of Dykstra‟s Dodge City of the 1880s, when a single homicide made the difference between a crime wave and nothing.423 In all, in San Francisco for the period from 1850 to 1940, black homicides averaged about one for each year and a half. In purely statistical terms, it might mean that it was more hazardous to be a black than white in San Francisco but it would be a stretch to compare the black experience of that time to that afflicting America‟s inner cities in recent decades. Few blacks joined the California Gold Rush; for obvious reasons, most African- Americans in the ante-bellum era were in no position to make individual travel decisions. The 464 “negroes and mulattos” counted in 1852 San Francisco census constituted 1.2 percent of the total population. By 1860, the group made up 2 percent of the city‟s residents. Thereafter the black proportion of the population declined and never achieved more than one percent of the total again until the 1940s. In the very early days, black San Franciscans seem to have been more sinned against than sinning. One of the very first killings in Gold Rush San Francisco was that of an unnamed black porter whose only crime was being employed in the drinking tent where he was killed by the drunken Chilean, Cerelia. In September 1853, a black man named Wheeler, a former member of John Charles Fremont‟s exploration expedition, was found near the Mission Road with his skull crushed. His killer was never found. The first recorded killing by an African-American in San Francisco was in mid- 1853 when a black man by the name of Obadiah Paylin was sentenced to San Quentin on a conviction of homicide.424 We don‟t know the particulars of the offense because it doesn‟t seem to have been covered in the contemporary press. Given the sentence received, it could not have been a case that would have attracted much attention whoever was involved. Paylin was sentenced to only two years, a level of sentencing typically reserved at the time for homicides arising out of the heat of passion, such as those in a saloon or gambling hall affrays. The circumstances of the 19 killings with black victims in the nineteenth century for which the details are known were of the sort we have become accustomed to. The most common circumstance was what we would now call intimate partner killings (27 percent). Several involved drunken disputes, usually between people who were apparently acquainted. Two resulted from fights over women, one man was poisoned in a 79 saloon. One man killed his father, another killed a man for revenge and in 1899, a black jockey at the Ingleside Racetrack killed another after a long-running dispute. It is more or less a truism that the vast majority of homicide is intraracial. Says one recent scholar of minority violence “Criminologists and other social scientists have made accusations and perpetuated myths that minorities, particularly African-Americans, „select‟ or „choose‟ Euro-Americans as their victims of crime ( Wilbanks, 1985). Even the most casual examination shows that most crimes are intraracial and involve harm inflicted upon a member of the perpetrator‟s own racial/ethnic subgroup.” 425 Another claims that “It has long been a misconception that whites are most likely to be victims of black crime, to the point that many whites are irrationally afraid of blacks. 426 That may be true as a general rule but there are exceptions. In the Reconstruction era South, a vastly disproportionate amount of homicide resulted from white attacks on blacks.427 Conversely, much of the homicide recorded in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century urban America was disproportionately black on white. Clare McKanna found that 32.3 percent of blacks indicted for homicide in Omaha between 1880 and 1920 had whites as victims. The comparable figure for whites killing outside their racial group was 4 percent. 428 In Chicago between 1875 and 1890, between one-quarter and one-third of African-American killers murdered white victims.429 In nineteenth-century New York Monkkonen counts six blacks killed by whites and 18 whites killed by blacks. 430 Such was certainly the case in San Francisco. There were five killings of blacks by non-Latino whites in nineteenth-century San Francisco and seven cases in which blacks killed whites. The first white-on-black killing occurred on May 3, 1856, when William Wilson killed a black man, a steward on the steamship on which they were both employed. In August 1860, William Brown, a “night soil” contractor, killed a black employee named Sam Johnson. In May 1872 ,Mary Montgomery killed her black common law husband. And in 1887 William Penman, a white, shot Joseph Wilson, a black man, in a Market Street saloon after Wilson pulled a knife on him. The most notorious case of a white-on-black homicide in nineteenth-century San Francisco was that of Robert Schell, who killed George Gordon, a black, in October 1861. Gordon‟s wife had observed Schell stealing from her store and reported him to the police. The police questioned Schell but could not proceed further on the uncorroborated testimony of a black. (When the 1849 state Constitution was drawn up, slavery was outlawed in California but a law was enacted at the first legislature that prohibited blacks from giving uncorroborated testimony against whites.) The outraged Schell, a southerner, then went to George Gordon‟s place of business, where he stabbed him fatally. In the end, without the testimony of blacks who were present, Schell was convicted of second- degree murder and sentenced to ten years in San Quentin Prison. (The prohibition of testimony by blacks against whites was removed in 1863.) The first and perhaps most notable black-on-white killing in nineteenth century San Francisco was that of Albinius Billman by Moses Tate. In the early morning hours of February 22, 1859 Albinius Billman, a white man, was beaten to death when he answered the door to his South of Market residence. Suspicion soon focused on Moses Tate, the former slave of Billman‟s new wife, Mary Ann, who had accompanied her to California from their native Arkansas. It was clear to all that Mrs. Billman had put Tate up to the killing, yet the prosecution was impaired by the then legal prohibition on blacks testifying against whites. African-American witnesses, who could have given evidence implicating 80 Mary Ann in the killing, were not allowed to testify against her. Mrs. Billman went free and Tate went to San Quentin on a life sentence. Tate was released several years later in a general pardon.431 There were others. In 1872, a black man named Jacob Wilkerson was sentenced to 45 years for killing his white paramour. The next year Arthur King, a black man, was convicted of killing a crippled white “Barbary Coaster,” James Dowdy, in the Bull Run saloon. Three of the remaining six killings of whites by blacks were intimate partner homicides involving black men and white women. The other case of black-on-white killing was that of Martin Kinich, a waiter in a Brannan Street restaurant, who was killed by a black customer named Cleveland Williams. Overall, African-Americans were responsible as perpetrators in 19 of the 1014 criminal homicides committed in nineteenth- century San Francisco. It is another truism that when interracial homicides occurred no matter what the victim/perpetrator relationship was, the fault lay on the white side of the equation. McKanna claims that black-on-white homicide in Omaha tended to be the result of the usual saloon encounters, while white-on- black killings were often the product of racial animus.432 In his study of New York Eric, Monkkonen determined that whites were at fault in every racially motivated incident.433 And in late nineteenth-century Chicago, according Jeffrey Adler, killings of whites by blacks were “disproportionately sparked by white aggression.”434 That doesn‟t seem to have been the case in nineteenth century San Francisco, except in the incident when James Dowdy, a crippled “Barbary Coaster” was killed by a black man in saloon after Dowdy shouted a racial epithet at him. No case better illustrates the difference in San Francisco‟s attitude toward race compared to other cities than that of Lloyd Bell. Bell, a black man, who had a problem with John Ryan, the white barkeeper at a Drumm Street boarding house for seaman. On October 6, 1873 Bell went there and, finding a man sleeping on a bench who he thought to be Ryan, attacked him with an axe, almost severing his head with a single blow. It turned out he had killed the wrong man, a customer named Owen Gillen who was sleeping off a drunk. Bell was sentenced to San Quentin for seven years, but after an appeal which resulted in a second trial he was convicted and sentenced to a one-year term. After serving his term, Bell returned to the waterfront where in September 1877, he murdered his landlady in a dispute over rent. Bell was again convicted and sent to San Quentin but was later transferred to the State Insane Asylum at Stockton where he spent the remainder of his days. This at a time when blacks were being chased down and killed in other parts of the country. Much of the discussion of minority homicide centers on the post-sentencing treatment of blacks by the white-dominated justice system. Based on the higher conviction rate of blacks than whites, Clare McKanna concluded that blacks were mistreated by the justice system in Omaha between 1880 and 1920.435 And Monkkonen found that blacks were six times more likely to hang for homicide than whites in nineteenth-century New York City.436 During a similar period in San Francisco, blacks, with one percent of the population, accounted for two percent of the homicide victims, 3.3 percent of those convicted and sentenced on homicide charges and, most dramatically, 8.3 percent of those from San Francisco who were executed. On the face of it, those numbers would seem to suggest a pattern of disparate, discriminatory treatment, 81 but given the small number of executions under consideration, three of a total of 35, we must take a closer look at the actual cases involved. All three of the black men hanged for homicide in San Francisco had killed women. In July 1859, Albert Lee traveled from Mariposa to San Francisco, where he murdered his ex-wife who had refused his request to reconcile. Lee was tried and convicted of first-degree murder over defense protestations that he was insane. The case was reviewed by the State Supreme court and the judgment was affirmed. Almost two years later, in March 1861, he was hanged in the County Jail yard. In December 1860, in an eerily similar case, a black man named John Clarkson cut the throat of a black woman named Caroline Park, who had spurned his romantic advances. He too was hanged. The third black man executed was Steve Jones, hanged for the 1883 murder of his white former live-in girl friend. After a jury trial in Department 12 of the San Francisco Superior Court, Jones was found guilty of first-degree murder. On March 20 1885 he was hanged in the County Jail. In general, nineteenth-century San Franciscans did not take kindly to killing women. Fully one-third of those hanged during the period went to the gallows for killing women. But not all who killed women hanged. If it was a conventional case, rising out of heat of passion in the midst of a domestic dispute, whether black or white, the penalty on conviction was something less than capital punishment. But if, on the other hand, it was demonstrated that the perpetrator had planned the killing, the death penalty was invoked. In each of the above cases, the perpetrator had demonstrated to the satisfaction of the jury, either by previous actions or statements that he intended to commit the crime. As with the Irish and the Chinese who were executed, the disposition of black homicide cases can be shown to have had more to do with the nature of the case than the race of the perpetrator. To a large extent, San Francisco missed out on the first wave of the Great Migration which was to change the demographic face of urban America, and during which the rates of black homicide increased generally in American cities. 437 In McKanna‟s, Omaha the black rate almost doubled from the 1890s to the first decade of the 1900s (from 32.6 to 56.8).438 In Chicago, the black rate of 28 per 100,000 in 1890 grew to 57 by 1920.439 Black homicide increased in San Francisco during the same period as well. From an average annual rate of 11.7 in the period from 1895 to 1899, it grew to 51.6 in the five years from 1915 to 1919. In the fifteen years preceding the 1906 earthquake and fire, the African-American community suffered three homicides. In the 15 years following the disaster, by which time the black population had doubled (from 1,800 to 3,800), the community suffered 16 homicides, more than five times that in the earlier period.440 The 38 African-American homicides in the first four decades of the twentieth century translates into approximately one homicide a year, again hardly creating a climate of violence comparable to American cities in the second half of the century. McKanna attributes the surge of black homicide in Omaha during the early twentieth century to the importation of a subculture of violence from the South.441 Chicago‟s increases, according to Jeffrey Adler, can be traced to behaviors the newcomers brought with them and their mistreatment by the host society.442 Doubtless the same forces were at work in San Francisco and elsewhere to help account for the increases. But it would be more difficult to make the case, at least for San Francisco, that 82 the large increase was due to the treatment by the host society. Race relations were better than those in the East. The story of race relations in many eastern cities in the early decades of the twentieth century was the story of communal riots and housing restrictions that forced newly arrived blacks into crowded housing. There was never the high level of anti-black enmity in San Francisco in the early decades of the twentieth century that obtained elsewhere. Still during the first four decades of the century, whites accounted for one- third (8 of 24) of the victims of black homicide in cases for which the racial identity of the perpetrators are known. Yet only one black man was killed by a white in San Francisco in 1903 and not another until 1943.443 There were a few fatal difficulties between striking white working men and blacks brought in by management to break the strikes, but San Francisco never experienced the large-scale racial disorders that afflicted many eastern cities following the Great Migration. Prior to World War II, there was never any exclusively black neighborhood in San Francisco. During World War II and beyond, during the second wave of the Great Migration --which included San Francisco--the African-American population of San Francisco, fueled by the wartime influx to work in the defense industry, and then by the post-war immigration, grew from 4,800, (still less than one percent of the population), to 43,000 by 1950. Not all were welcomed by their own. Jeffrey Adler cites example in Chicago in the first great migration that, “Even African-American newspapers expressed concern, much of which reflected the class-based anxieties of long-time residents.” 444Albert S. Broussard reports “According to one historian of urban history, World War II brought to northern cities such as Chicago a black migrant who differed in many respects from the one who came during the Great Migration. These new settlers were less educated, less sophisticated and urbane, and thus were more likely to become involved in racial disturbances. Because of these characteristics, they were also less likely to find employment during the postwar era and had far greater difficulty escaping the ghetto.” 445 Neither did they have the contacts that eased others into post-war jobs. Under these circumstances it‟s hard to see how things could have gone smoothly. The African-American population of San Francisco doubled in the second half of the 1940s over that of the first half-decade, with an average of 18,420 blacks in 1940 through 1944 and 37,730 in second period.446 By 1970, with a population of 96,000, blacks accounted for one in seven San Franciscans, enough to address any concerns about insufficient numbers and to allow for meaningful comparisons with other groups. 447 Beginning in the 1960s, urban Americans found themselves in the grip of a seemingly unprecedented wave of criminal violence. From an annual homicide rate of 4.7 per 100,000 in 1960, the national homicide rate more than doubled to 10.7 in 1980. The increases were most pronounced in the nation‟s cities. In San Francisco, the average annual homicide rate rose from 5.9 for the period from 1960-64 to 18.5 for the last half of of the 1970s, before staring an interrupted decline toward the end of the century. Figure 7.2 shows the fluctuations of San Francisco‟s homicide rate compared to those of the state and nation as a whole from 1960 to 2000. Figure 7.2 goes about here. It was the increase in the late 1960s which in large part spawned a myriad of studies of criminal violence in America, resulting in a host of explanations for subsequent 83 increases and declines in homicide rates. Among the many explanations for changes in overall rates is the argument that homicide rates are closely connected to demographic changes in society. It was during this period that a post-World War II “baby boom” came of age, creating a bulge in the population of the most murder-prone age group. As with any theory, not all students of the subject agree.448 In any case, also as with any criminal violence phenomenon, no one variable can explain the complex manifestation. The most significant feature of the rate rise in San Francisco and other urban centers in the late 1960s and 1970s, as displayed in Figure 7.3 for San Francisco, is that much of the increase was driven by very high rates of homicide by the black community which by now comprised a substantial portion of the city‟s population. Figure 7.3 goes about here. A number of reasons have been advanced to explain disproportionate rates of black violence. Recent writers on the subject cite the release of suppressed black rage as contributing to the upsurge in homicide in the late 1960s.449 Others have discussed the breakdown of the black family and the disaster created by the prevalence of absent fathers.450 Fatherless black families offer an extreme variation on the theme that newcomer youths culturally separated from their old-country fathers tend to turn more readily than others to a life of crime and violence. One overarching explanation for disproportionate black violence is that offered by the “subculture of violence” theory, already encountered, which posits that the roots of black violence can be traced to their American origins in the rural South. The culture of violence, says Fox Butterfield, “grew out of the proud culture that flourished in the antebellum rural South, a tradition shaped by whites long before it was adopted and recast by some blacks in reaction to their plight.”451 Roger Lane has addressed the topic as well, and agrees that the conditions leading to the formation of a culture of violence “began with slavery and, for most blacks continued under other forms of agricultural dependency….” 452 However, he continues, “the patterns of criminality were most strongly formed under the conditions of formal freedom, in the city.” In that instance, in Philadelphia. The fluctuations in black rates in San Francisco, as shown on the graph at Figure 7.3 supports Roger Lane‟s idea that homicide rates for minority newcomers are closely tied to assimilation into the industrial economy, up to a point, at least.453 During the war years, the black homicide rate was low. Then in the late 1940s the rate spiked as unskilled African-Americans – the “last hired and first fired” of common usage--found themselves out of work. The fact that African-Americans in San Francisco had three times the homicide rate of non-blacks, even in the full-employment early war years, suggests that we must also look elsewhere than to their treatment in San Francisco for the origins of the violent behavior. Then in the 1950s, according to this theory, the maturing industrial economy provided employment for the marginally skilled newcomers, sending the rates down again. Again, as the industrial economy shrunk in the 1960s, homicide rates began to rise.454 The very magnitude of the amount of black homicide can mask the fact that the rates increased for both whites and blacks, not just in San Francisco or even urban America, but in the industrialized world generally. Among the reasons offered to explain this worldwide phenomenon is the emergence of an attitudinal change affecting all groups. As suggested by Ted Gurr, there “may be a cultural shift which has loosened the 84 inhibitions against interpersonal violence. . . ” for everyone in the 1960s. 455 Part of that cultural shift had to do with changing attitudes toward drugs. In San Francisco, narcotics involvement as a circumstance in homicide cases shows up in the early 1960s as a circumstance in 1.3% of the total. By the late 1960s narcotics was a contributing factor in 7.0% of criminal homicides and by the end of the next decade it accounted for 9.1% of the homicides in San Francisco. (We must be cautious in making absolute statements about the role of narcotics in homicide rates, however, because the factor is susceptible to manipulation by persons assigning the circumstances. Could it be that there were more narcotics-related homicides in earlier periods but that these went unnoticed because there was no public interest? That is doubtful because even in the 1940s and 1950s anything to do with “dope fiends” commanded a great deal of press attention.) 456 Another factor to be considered is the changes in the laws relating to police practices, notably the police ability to intrude into the lives of criminal suspects. In the face of rising crime rates in the late 1950s, the San Francisco Police Department instituted an “S (for saturation) Squad,” much like the “Shotgun” or “Crime Prevention” squads of old. This time, though, there was solid opposition to the idea. 457 The S-Squad was allowed to proceed, but the times were changing in a climate of increasing judicial scrutiny of police practices which had been tacitly tolerated since the founding of the American police service. There followed a series of legal interpretations taht fundamentally changed the way the police could conduct their business. 458 Enforcement of vagrancy laws, used with such effectiveness by everyone from Chief Martin Burke in the 1860s to Jack Manion in the 1920s and Chief William Quinn‟s men in the 1930s were no longer permissible.459 It would be difficult to sustain a logical argument against such progressive innovations, which assured the individual‟s right against improper police practices, but still it must be recognized that the improvements did not come without a cost.460 On October 20, 1973, Officer Bruce Marovich was assigned to a patrol car in the North Beach district with his partner, Ben McAllister. At Chestnut near Powell streets rhe officers came upon a van with two African-American men standing nearby, one at the driver‟s door, the other at the rear entrance to the cargo compartment. The officers stopped to check on the situation. One of the men approached the patrol vehicle and offered that he had just completed repairing a flat tire. The men were well dressed in suits and ties, hardly the apparel of auto boosters, so the officers moved on. What the officers had no way of knowing at the time – and no legal way of finding out – was that Richard and Quita Hague were being held at knife point by the mens‟ confederates in the rear of the van. As soon as the officers departed, the men entered the van and drove to 25th and Minnesota streets in the industrial section of the city. There they attacked the Hagues with a machete as part of an initiation rite to a murderously radical faction of an African- American religious group. Richard Hague survived but his wife was not so lucky. Anyone who has met San Francisco Police Lieutenant Bruce Marovich (now retired) knows that he is not the sort to back away from trouble--and he never was.461 We can be sure, however, that his counterparts in earlier police generations would have checked out the interior of that van, out of curiosity, if nothing else. But since the procedural changes were ordered in the 1960s, police officers have had it drummed into them that they must not overstep judicially mandated constitutional limits. In the six months following Quita 85 Hague‟s brutal murder, 14 more white victims would die in San Francisco at the cult‟s hands, in a series of attacks that came to be called the Zebra murders. Is it legitimate to argue that the judicially imposed restrictions have had an effect on the increasing homicide rates? Police historian David Johnson has said that, “with the decline in restraints on criminal behavior since the early 1960s, violent robberies have been on the increase.”462 Roger Lane adds that “the civil rights earned by the hard work of some, such as the freedom to walk the streets and visit shops without harassment, has made burglary and shoplifting easier for others.”463 With the 15 Zebra victims in mind – none of whom would have died if officers pushed beyond the limits of the law and searched the van in October 1973--might we add homicide to the list as well? The inter-racial aspect of the Zebra case is especially troubling. It remains true, as asserted by others, that the majority of violent crimes are intragroup.464 That said, during the period of high homicide rates following the 1960s, a disproportionately large amount of the violence was black on white. Nationwide between 1976-1999 blacks were six times more likely to be homicide victims and eight times more likely to be its perpetrators. Twenty percent of stranger-to-stranger homicides are black on white and 5.1 percent are white on black.465 Wolfgang showed in the early 1950s that it was three times more likely for whites to be killed by blacks than the reverse. The percentage of black victims of white offenders was infinitesimal, understandably so considering the comparatively smaller pool of potential black victims. Of white murder victims in San Francisco in 1969 for which the race of the perpetrator is known, 55 percent were killed by blacks. (For the period from 1975 to 1994, this figure averaged 27.4 percent. That is on average 27 percent of the non-Latino white victims for whom the perpetrator is known were killed by blacks). To put the numbers in terms of those used by McKanna in his study of Omaha, blacks in late- twentieth century San Francisco killed outside their own racial group in 23 percent of the cases for which the identity of the perpetrator is known, compared to 12 percent for whites. If African-Americans fled the interracial killings that characterized the post- Reconstruction era South as soon as they could, so too did white Americans in the latter part of the twentieth century begin to flee from the cities where they had increasingly become the targets of interracial homicide. “In the late twentieth century it is whites who fear blacks downtown at night, just as historically it was blacks who feared whites.” 466 As shown in Table 7.1, the disproportionate black-on-white nature of interracial homicide doubtless carries over to those cases for which no perpetrator is identified by race. Table 7.1 goes about here. The first two columns of Table 7.1 show the number of black on white and white on black homicides between 1960 and 1990 for which the offender/victim relationship is known for selected categories. The second two columns show the number of instances in the same categories for which the perpetrator is not known. Unless there is some inexplicable reverse in the victim/perpetrator relationship between cases in which the perpetrators are known, and those in which not, it seems pretty clear that a disproportionate amount of homicide in which the perpetrator is not identified was committed by African-Americans. 86 Another possibility should be considered in the mix of factors accounting for the upsurge of homicide by young African-Americans in the 1960s. We have seen with Irish and Italians in earlier periods that some of the increases in violence in those eras can be traced to the second-generation hoodlums, those not fully assimilated into the new society but out of sorts with the values of the older members of their community. It was during the 1960s that the children of the 1940s African-American immigrants from the rural South began to come of age elsewhere in urban America. Was part of the upsurge of violence by young black males analogous to the increased violence by the sons of Irish and Italian immigrants of earlier periods, who -- alienated from their parents‟ values and not yet fully assimilated into the new society -- sometimes turned to violent crime? We are deficient in definitive proof upon which to build a homicide theory based on this factor but it does offer an intriguing avenue of future research. In any event, in the mid-to late 1980s San Francisco‟s homicide rate began to decline, for blacks as well as whites. “If the relative deprivation argument is correct,” reported Ted Gurr in 1989, “black victimization rates also should have begun to decline as a result of the political and legal assault on racial discrimination in the 1960s.”467 And, he goes on to report, based on Center for Disease Control statistics, that is exactly what happened between 1970 and 1983. That is what happened in San Francisco as well. Homicide rates for both African-Americans and whites were in decline. By the mid- 1980s the average annual homicide rate for the city as a whole declined from 18.5 in the five-year period of 1975-79 to 14.5 in1980-84 period. The African-American rate dropped from 52.2 to 35.6.468 Presumably, African-Americans were following a familiar pattern forged by earlier groups of newcomers to the city--high rates at first, followed by a decline and assimilation into the larger community. Then in the end of the 1980s the rates began to go up again. In the period from 1985 to 1989, the black homicide rate rose again to 45.5 and in the 1990-94 period peaked at 56.2. A number of factors have been identified as causing the increase in homicide rates generally. Some blamed the increase on another bulge in the most murder- prone group of young males. In commenting on the high murder rate in Oakland and other cities, cites James A. Fox, the Dean of the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston, as saying, “This is nothing compared to what‟s going to happen the rest of the decade.” He attributed the situation to the presence of more weapons, the behavior-altering rather than mind-altering drugs, and to a casual attitude toward violence. 469 Others pointed to the proliferation of firearms, particularly in the hands of the young.470 Some looked at the reduction of programs while some claimed that the strict enforcement of federal narcotics laws drove young men to other kinds of crime. In commenting on an increase in violent juvenile crime, Terry Twing, president of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Officers Union said that the decrease in drug dealing brought about by federal efforts targeting international cocaine traffic have contributed to the increase in other types of crime. People want money, he said, and when they can‟t get it from dealing drugs, they will rob to get it. 471 As always, there were a number of other factors offered to explain the increase. The most common explanation had to do with the proliferation of crack cocaine and youth gangs. Commenting on a 1986 rise of 6.7 percent in the state‟s homicide rate, Attorney General John Van de Camp attributed the increase 87 to a “surge of drug and gang related killings.” In most cities, young black men are causing and bearing the brunt of the increase.472 Neighborhood youth leader, Joseph Marshall Jr., questioned the central place given to drugs. There weren‟t any Crips or Bloods in San Francisco, he pointed out, but there were plenty of turf warriors in neighborhoods like Hunters Point and Fillmore and Sunnydale.473 According to one neighborhood youth in 1989, putting his spin on the situation, “In most of the news, they're always talking about it's over dope turf. But you know what it really starts over? Words.” 474 There were three black gang-related killings in San Francisco in all of 1988--it appeared as though the city would be spared the worst of the violence that was plaguing other communities. Then in December, teenage offenders on routine holiday pass from Log Cabin Ranch school for chronic offenders were linked to 11 shootings in San Francisco in which 14 were injured. 475 Then conditions deteriorated. Marshall dates the eruption of gang violence in San Francisco to the March 15, 1989, killing of Peter Lee (Edrick Carr), which amounted to a call to arms. Young men in the Sunnydale area believed that he had been killed by gangsters from Hunters Point. Over the next year the violence see-sawed back and forth between the various turf gangs. “The authorities tended to regard the youth violence that came out of Sunnydale as economically motivated, but that was very narrow perspective" says Marshall. “the marketing of crack represented just one front in a much larger, deeper conflict based on turf.” 476 After Lee‟s funeral, Sunnydale began wearing Sunnydale (San Diego Padres) baseball caps. Hunters Point gang members special ordered HP caps and sewed each youth‟s name on starter jackets. Two months after Peter Lee was killed, two Hunters Point youths were killed and the killings see-sawed back and forth over the next year with the Sunnydale and Fillmore gangs at war. “From about 1988 to 1990,” says Marshall,” it seemed entire city was fractured into teenage guerilla nations.”477 In 1993, when a member of the Oakdale gang stepped on a Harbor Road gang member‟s shoes at a party – or it might have been the other way around, nobody seems to rememb for sure--a series of tit-for-tat killings followed. The first casualty was Larry Blankenship, 20, a hanger-on of the Harbor Road gang, who was run down and killed by gunfire on August 13, 1993 at mid-day on Kirkwood Street. Someone noticed a van used in the killing as similar to one owned by Donnell August, an Oakdale gang associate. It is unclear whether August was present at Blankenship‟s killing but the Harbor Road group thought he was.478 There followed six attempts on August‟s life until he was finally killed on March 27, 1995, but only after a young grandmother watching her children was shot and killed in one attempt. A few hours after August's killing, police were called to Northridge Road to investigate another drive-by shooting thought to be in retaliation for his execution killing. Public tolerance for intraracial in the African-American community seemed bottomless. By mid-May 1995, there were 32 unsolved black-on-black murders in the Bayview-Hunters Point-Double Rock neighborhoods. In late May, the most murderous week in the year occurred, with five people killed. First was Arturo Davis, killed at Day Street playground on May 22 after a pickup basketball game. Thirty hours later, Geizel Johnson, 26, was killed in an ambush outside his Bay View home. Then within 48 hours, Pierre Avilla was shot on May 25 behind a walkway at end of Kirkwood Street. And two 88 hours later and four blocks away, Marcell Love was found dead on the sidewalk near Newcomb Street. It was then that officers took a page out of a much older San Francisco Police Department playbook, and formed the Crime Response Unit to Stop Homicide (CRUSH), best described as an updated version of the old Shotgun or Crime Prevention Squad of old.479 Over the next two years, members of the CRUSH unit would make more than 700 felony arrests and seize more than 200 weapons, thus preventing who knows how many homicides. By March 1997, the stories were piling up about suspects being rousted without warrants and that the officers were trampling on people‟s rights. Said Public Defender Jeff Brown,” This was the cowboy unit of the Police Department. It was supposed to use the rough stuff against the rough guys.”480 According to Assistant Public Defender Shelia O‟Gara, “it appeared to us they that they were transferring the most volatile cops to the unit.” “In the guise of this search for homicide suspects, they have become door kickers, the illegal searchers the guys that just don‟t care and their commanders don‟t appear to be particularly fastidious as to how it‟s done.”481 In May 1997, the unit was quietly disbanded. The official departmental position was that their mission had been accomplished. The implicit judgment of the press was that tough measures work as long as the pressure is kept on. Said Public Defender Brown, “They got out just in time before the ax was dropped on them.” In its year-end wrap up story , the Examiner wrote of the CRUSH unit, “For a while it seemed to work. Killings dropped in Hunters Point and other predominately black neighborhoods in the southeast section of San Francisco.” But then the report goes on. They rose again in the fall “as the intensity of the police effort waned.”482 In 1996, there were 83 homicides in San Francisco (a 12.6 percent reduction) and in 1997 the total dropped to 60. From 1992 through 1995, black homicides numbered on average 45 a year. In the four years from 1996 to the end of the century, they numbered an average of 25 a year, a decline of 44.4 percent. The overall decline in the half-decade following the unit‟s formation was from 524 to 360 homicides, a 31.2 percent reduction. The reporter for The SF Weekly who rode with unit members for a week wrote a generally favorable, even adulatory account of his experience, adding, “Most of the time while I was riding with CRUSH, the unit respected the Fourth Amendment rights of the people they rousted, but sometimes in the legitimate pursuit of killers they appeared to cross the line.” 483 In 1995, 51 percent of homicide victims in San Francisco were black. By 1997 the proportion of black homicide victims had returned to 40 percent. In the end, the CRUSH Unit solved 28 killings and made more than 500 arrests.484 For all of that, black homicide rates remained disproportionately high. 89 Chap08 Violent Rainbow While concerns about black violence persisted, other factors came into play as well. Newcomers continued to arrive in San Francisco during the final decades of the twentieth century. The largest proportion of the new San Franciscans were “people of color,” most of whom originated in Asian countries. The non-Latino white portion of San Francisco‟s population, 80 percent in 1960, declined to less than half by the century‟s end. In 1960, Asians comprised 7.8 percent of the city‟s residents. By 2000, following changes in immigration laws that eliminated formerly discriminatory quotas, one in three San Franciscans was Asian, 64 percent of whom traced their origins to China.485 Table 8.1 illustrates the change. Table 8.1 goes about here. It was during this period that concerns about Asian violence again arose as a prominent matter of concern. In 1960, San Francisco‟s Chinese youth community was held up as an example of law-abiding behavior for the rest of society. “Chinatown is no longer the chaotic no man‟s land of a ghetto in transition,” historian Richard Dillon wrote in 1962. “The quarter is so law-abiding today that sociologists study it in hopes of finding a cure for the increasing lawlessness of other areas of the city, state, and nation.”486 In September 1977, after a dramatic series of gang killings by Chinese youths, one faction of the young gangsters invaded the Golden Dragon Restaurant on Washington Street and murderously sprayed the premises with gunfire in what came to be called the “Golden Dragon Massacre.” The upsurge in Chinese youth violence can best be explained in terms of the type of immigrants who came and to internal disagreements in the Chinese community between the newcomers and the established community. The first group of late-twentieth century Asians to take advantage of the changed immigration regulations and migrate to San Francisco in substantial numbers were residents of Hong Kong.487 Many were professionals who came under preferential quotas which allowed immigration by people with specialized skills not found in sufficient numbers in the American workforce. This group assimilated fairly well into the existing economic environment. Others who came were blue-collar workers and their families, who, because of language difficulties and the structure of Chinese American society, were forced to take low-paid employment in Chinatown restaurants and sewing factories. The elders, grateful to be here, hunkered down and worked long, hard hours to meet the exorbitant rents sometimes charged by their Chinatown landlords. (As with the Irish, Italians, and blacks of earlier migrations, there are always countrymen who will take economic advantage of “greenhorn” newcomers.) Many of the young male children of the immigrants did not cope so well. At odds with their parents, who were absent for long hours working in sweatshops and restaurants, and not fully accepted by the American Born Chinese who they met in the city‟s schools, the young immigrants dropped out and began to hang around street corners in the manner of the street gangs with whom some of them had been affiliated in Hong Kong.488 It was in this climate that a number of young Chinese formed a group which they called the Wah Ching (Chinese Youth) in 1966.489 According to one version of events, they were a legitimate youth organization, rebuffed by Chinatown elders in their 90 attempts to better their lot. Among the list of causes for the “structure of present-day Chinatown” which presumably contributed to criminogenic conditions there, Takagi and Platt include “brutal labor practices” and “extralegal repression.” 490 It was also noted early on that many members of the youth organization were recruited by adult tongs to protect underground gambling. With their foot in the door, the group moved into extortion and robbery of gamblers.491 After an internal dispute, a faction calling themselves the Chung Ching Yee (Loyalty and Righteousness) split off under the leadership of Macao-born Joe Fong. Between 1969 and mid 1972, police logged in 12 Asian gang homicides as the factions vied for a larger piece of the lucrative gambling rackets.492 In 1972, following the Sunset District murder of a Chinatown youth worker, and with the strong support of the Chinese community leaders who encouraged the free administration of some “curbstone” justice, the police turned up the heat and mounted a series of sweeps in Chinatown to net Chinese gangsters.493 But following brutality complaints and claims that the activity was damaging the tourist industry, the sweeps were suspended.494 The killings continued, attended by sensational coverage in the daily press, and by mid-1977, 14 more Asian gang killings were logged into the Police Department murder book. On Saturday September 4,1977, three masked Chun Ching Yee members entered the Gold Dragon Restaurant at 822 Washington Street. The street-wise gangsters present hit the floor, and in the ensuing fusillade, five people were killed and 11 wounded, none of them gangsters. Two weeks later, after two Chun Ching Yee members were killed in reprisal attacks, the “Chinatown Squad” was reinstituted.495 In deference to late twentieth-century ethnic sensibilities, the racial identifier was omitted from the unit‟s title; this time it was called by the race neutral name,“Gang Task Force.” Over the next half-year police put together a case that resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of ten members of the Chung Ching Yee, effectively putting an end to their existence as a player in the Chinatown gang scene. 496 Thereafter the killing declined and the Wah Ching emerged as the dominant gang presence in Chinatown.497 In the late 1980s the Wah Ching‟s hegemony was challenged by a criminal group newly arrived from Hong Kong. In anticipation of the 1997 mainland takeover of Hong Kong, the Wo Hop To Triad began to move its operations out of the British colony, relocating some of them in the United States.498 That attempted realignment, mounted by Hong Kong-based Peter Chong, was reflected in the gang homicide rate in Chinatown. In the decade between 1978 and 1987, after the Chun Ching Yee was suppressed, San Francisco logged in only two definite Asian gang killings. In the next five years, to the end of 1992, the homicide detail logged in 14 more Asian gang killings as the Wo Hop To fought it out with the Wah Ching for control of the Chinatown rackets. By 1993, Chong virtually controlled gambling and protection rackets in the Bay Area. That year, though, based on the work of a federal/local task force, Chong and his confederates were indicted on a number of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Oranizations (RICO) Act charges, which broke the back of his effort to take over Chinatown vice.499 The late twentiet-century flare-up in Chinatown was no replay of the murderous late nineteenth-century gang conflicts to control Chinatown. In fact, despite the dramatic nature of the gang killings, the overall crime rate among the Chinese remained much lower than that of the overall society. At no time during the last half of the twentieth 91 century did Chinese homicide rates even begin to approach those of the overall society. In the half decade of 1975-1979, when the Wah Ching and the Chung Ching Yee were fighting over control of the rackets, the Chinese rate of 9.2 was half that of the overall city rate of 18.5. In 1995-1999, after the Wo Hop To was thwarted in its efforts to dominate Chinatown vice, the Chinese community had a homicide rate of 4.8 compared to a rate of 9.1 for the city as a whole. The social and economic landscape had changed in Chinatown from the nineteenth century in other ways as well. For one thing, in the earlier period, most of the newcomers were men with all that portends for the homicide rate for any group. Families began to arrivethe late twentieth century ,and by the century‟s end there were as many women as men. Except for the marginally criminal characters who came in the early years and the out-and-out gangsters who tried to insinuate themselves into the community in the 1990s, the newcomer community was comprised of a different kind of immigrant than was found in earlier migrations. According a recent press account, “Much of the 1990s immigration, especially from Asia, was spurred by explosive job growth in Silicon Valley‟s high technology sector . . . Asian immigrants are relatively well educated. Immigrants from India are the best-educated immigrants, and those from Taiwan and the Philippines have very high levels of education as well. Immigrant poverty doesn‟t exist to the same extent here as in other parts of the state.” 500 And unlike the situation in the late nineteenth century, when criminal tongs were able to dominate Chinatown, their late twentieth-century counterparts were confronted in San Francisco with a mature Chinese establishment, familiar with the levers of power, who worked with authorities committed to foiling the gangsters. The situation in Latino San Francisco was in some ways similar to that of the Asians. There had always been a noticeable Latino presence in San Francisco, even after the first non-native inhabitants of San Francisco were inundated by successive waves of non-Latino newcomers, located principally in the “Latin Quarter” in North Beach and the remnants of the even earlier settlements around the old Mexican Mission on Dolores Street. A Latino presence was also noticeable in the records of criminality but not to any degree that would justify a great deal of special attention. It was during the latter part of the twentieth century that the Latino population began to grow again. From a population of about 13,000 in 1950 (1.6 percent of the total), Latinos grew to 6.8 percent by 1960 (52,000). At the century‟s end Latino residents comprised 14 percent of the city‟s population (109,000). The Latino populations of most California cities were largely Mexican in origin. In San Francisco, fueled by a large mid-century influx of political refugees, San Francisco‟s Latino community had a large proportion of Central American residents. In San Francisco 40percent of Latinos trace their origins to Mexico but the majority, 53 percent, Cite central and South American countries as their place of origin. (Los Angeles has just about the reverse, with 75 percent citing Mexico as their place of origin and 22 percent claiming Central or South America.) During the last two decades of the century, concerns about Latino criminal violence--much of it committed, as with other new ethnic arrivals, by youthful street gangs--commanded official and public attention.501 While in some ways similar to Asian gangs in their hostility to other Latino gangs, there were differences as well. Asian gangs, again not unlike the nineteenth-century tongs, were more likely to have an economic dimension to their activities than other types of ethnic gangs. In Latino gangs, on the 92 other hand, economic considerations, if apparent at all, were secondary. Said Police Sergeant David Horton, a veteran San Francisco gang investigator, in a 1991 interview, “They‟re [Latino gangs] not like Compton‟s or Oakland‟s gangs who fight over who is going to control narcotics or extortion. Here it‟s a macho, tough guy thing. Who‟s tougher? They‟re always fighting for that number one spot.” 502 By the 1990s, there were perhaps 500 Latino youth gangsters in San Francisco, from the inner Mission district to the county line, who divided themselves into two basic groups, the Surenos (Southerners), who sported the color blue, and the Nortenos (Northerners) who favored the color red. The North and South designations ostensibly refer to the geographic orientation of the rival groups, either northerners (from Mexico) and southerners (from Central America), or Northern Californian against Southern Californians, depending on whose definition one prefers. Actually, the basis of organization is by neighborhood of residence, no matter where the members might have originated. (It seems to be a universal impulse manifested by all groups to divide into two factions which hate each other.) During the entire 1980s, police logged in only four Latino gang killings in San Francisco. The next decade it was 30. Typical in its apparent senselessness was the case of Bayron Alvarado Martinez. The 13-year-old was one of a group of Latino youths picked up by the police on January 11, 1991, and taken to Mission Police Station for investigation. Released shortly thereafter, Martinez and his friends were walking away from the station when they were accosted by two armed, masked youths. Martinez‟s group ran, but Martinez tripped and fell, and tried to hide himself under a parked car. The assailants dragged him out from under the car, kicked him, and shot him in the back fatally before escaping in an auto parked nearby. It was then revealed that just hours before his killing, young Martinez had been initiated into the 11th Street Gang. Police arrested two members of the rival Bryant street gang who had been identified by witnesses on the scene. A few days later the witnesses recanted and the case went nowhere. The killing continued with painful regularity and even increased in the following years. In May 1993, the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the Mission District were marred by several gang-related stabbings and shootings over the holiday weekend. 503 In June 1994, when Ernesto Navas, 15, a member of the 18th Street Gang was hooted with some of his friends from a passing Mission Street bus by members of the 22nd Street gang, Navas and his friends chased the bus to its stop at 24th and Potrero streets, throwing bottles and sticks. As they approached the bus, Navas was shot fatally. Two young members of the 22nd and Bryant street gang were arrested.504 In 1995 there were several more killings, all seemingly senseless to the outsider. By the century‟s end, the numbers of Latino gang homicides declined, a fact police attribute to the passage of the “Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act of 1998,” which provided enhanced penalties for gang crimes and those involving weapons. As with the Chinese--for all the concerns voiced about Latino homicide in the 1990s – the actual rate for the community as a whole ran consistently below the overall rate, at least until the last decade of the century. 505 In the period from 1990 to 1994, by which time we have a fairly good reading on the dimensions of the Latino population, the Latino homicide rate was 17.6 compared to their 14 percent of population. In the 1995- 93 1999 period, the 14 percent Latino population accounted for 19 percent of the homicide victims.506 In the end, San Francisco may not be the best place to study Latino homicide. Certainly the city never has suffered the levels of Latino violence, gang originated or otherwise, as suffered by Latino communities in Southern California. 507 In the first three years of the twenty-first century, Latino San Franciscans, with 14 percent of the population, account for 14 percent of the city‟s homicide victims. Statewide, where they comprise 30 percent of the population, Latinos makeup 45 percent of the homicide victims, one and a half times their representation in society. One factor, as suggested earlier, which may account for the relatively low level of Latino homicide in San Francisco was the internal diversity of the Latino community. Many of the Central American refugees, like those who fled from Cuba about the same time and settled in Florida, were middle-class opponents of repressive regimes. Equipped with economic and occupational skills, these newcomers were better able to adjust to life in the new environment than were the impoverished marginally skilled agricultural workers who made up much of the immigration from Mexico and contributed to most of the immigration to other parts of the State. What all this bodes for the future is uncertain. If the assimilation of African- Americans into urban society has not yet fully run its course, that of the late twentieth century influx of Latinos can hardly be said to have begun, particularly as related to the children of the new immigrants.508 Ramiro Martinez contends that Latino homicide rates are lower than would otherwise be expected.509 But anecdotal accounts of criminality encountered in the daily press would seem to point to disproportionate amounts of criminal misconduct by the newcomers. Any analysis to determine whether Latino criminal violence can be attributed to their treatment by the host community rather than behaviors resident in their own communities will have to recognize that homicide rates in Mexico and some other Latin American countries are from two to three times those in the United States.510 If the pattern of the young children of immigrants--alienated from their parents and not as yet fully comfortable with the new society--reasserts itself, as it did with some earlier groups, we may be on the cusp of a wave of Latino criminality. Only time will tell. Getting back to the homicides by ethnic gangs generally, the crimes that dominated concerns in the late twentieth century, the question remains: why did the homicide rates increase generally in the late 1980s and early 1990s? With reference to African-American rates, homicide detective – and later Chief of Police--Earl Sanders joined Jomo Mfusai in suggesting that racism had to do with it. (In the article in the SF Weeklly, Sanders is quoted as saying that racism played a part in the killings and commented that if there had been this many unsolved homicides in North Beach there would have been a massive task force right away. The police looked the other way for half a century, nurturing a code of silence in poor black areas.)511 The argument runs that societal lack of concern for the homicide deaths of young blacks contributed to the proliferation of the killings. While, as has been demonstrated, police and public apathy can contribute to increased rates of violence, it is not so certain that the reasons are necessarily rooted in racial antipathy. The apathy regarding homicide in latter-day urban American inner cities is similar to that found among nineteenth- century San Franciscans--or residents of Bodie, Philadelphia, and other cities, for that 94 matter--who failed to become alarmed when young thugs were murdering each other in saloons and gambling halls--as long as the violence did not involve the larger community. And the perpetrators in those instances were for the most part white. One of the traditional ways to measure the treatment of minorities by the majority society--employed by Clare McKanna and others, as well as for other groups in this study--is to compare their rate of incarceration to the amount of homicide occurring in the community. It is difficult to make the case that African-Americans and other people of color were disproportionately punished in late-twentieth-century San Francisco. Indeed, their rates of punishment correspond closely to the rates of homicide in their various communities. From 1982 through the end of the century, people of color were responsible for 72.9 percent of the homicide in which the racial or ethnic identity of the offenders is known. According to the State Department of Justice, 34.8 percent of those convicted for homicide in San Francisco between 1982 and the end of 1999 were non-Latino white, 5.6 percent were Latinos, and slightly more than 50 percent were African-Americans.512 During the same period, the corresponding ethnic breakdown of perpetrators for those cases in which a perpetrator was identified is non- Latino whites, 24.6; Latino 15.1 percent; and black 46.7. There is the usual problem with identifying who is Latino but that said, the one group we know to be over-represented among those convicted is non- Latino whites. The widespread emergence of violent youth gangs out of different ethnic groups at about the same time suggests that they were all responding to some common impulse. Chinese, Latino, and African-American youth gangs shared many common features. They were almost all comprised of single young males, the traditional population base of violent young males in all societies. To varying degrees, the gang members were alienated by the cultural divide between their own community and the society at large. The gangs spent a great deal of time and murderous energy, like the hoodlum gangs and warring tongs of nineteenth-century San Francisco, competing with those of their own kind for precedence in the world they inhabited.513 Given their different histories and relationships with the host societies, it is difficult to support minority maltreatment as the genesis of the violent behavior. Joseph Marshall, co-founder of the Omega Boys Club, offers an interesting explanation to account for the sudden rise of gang killings in the black community in the 1980s and early 1990s. Without offering it as the sole reason for the increase, Marshall points out that the big increase followed the showing of the movie “Colors,” which dramatized--if not encouraged--youth gang killings.514 At first blush, such a claim would seem more suitable emanating from some group bent on suppressing first amendment rights, but maybe Marshall is on to something.515 Ramiro Martinez suggests that “media- created events may have exacerbated some gang homicides,” in the Latino community he studied in Chicago. Again, while not offering it as a definitive explanation for the increase in gang violence, Martinez offers it as one possible explanation. On one occasion in Chicago, he reports, irresponsible news accounts about Latino gang activity not only perpetuated the myth of the violent Latino gangbanger but may have actually fueled increased recruitment.516 The same sort of thing was credited with contributing to crime in the Asian community about the same time. After the murderous raid by young Vietnamese gangsters of an electronic store in Sacramento in 1994, Andrew Lam wrote, “To many 95 Vietnamese living in Sacramento these Hong Kong videos are the real culprit in the Good Guys shootings. Gangster films like John Woo‟s „A Better Tomorrow‟ and „Bullet in the Head‟ were the rage among Vietnamese youth in the late 1980s. It was in re-enacting these gang shooting scenes, some speculate, that the gunmen coolly flipped coins to decide which of the hostages would take the first bullet.” 517 The common experience of the phenomenon in different ethnic communities suggests that we cannot discount the media as a contributing factor to the youth gang violence. By the end of the century, in any event, homicide rates were down overall. The national homicide rate for 1999, after decades of troubling increase, was 5.7 per 100,000 population, the lowest since 1966, when the rate was 5.6. Perhaps most dramatic were reports from New York, the nation‟s largest city, where homicides declined more than 50 percent from 1992 to 1996 (from 1,995 to 984 homicides. In California, the homicide rate declined from 12.1 per 100,000 in 1990 to 5.9 per in 1999.) A number of commentators pointed to the booming technology economy (and corresponding high employment) as a major contributing factor for the decline. Others said it was the changing post-Baby Boom demographic face of America which saw smaller number of young males, the most murder-prone group in any society. Others pointed to the effect of various law enforcement programs as having an effect. Law and order advocates pointed to the “Giuliani miracle” which, by the enforcement of “quality of life” violations in New York City, had brought the rate down. Others – often criminal justice officials – said it was “three strikes and you‟re out” legislation which excised the murder-prone from American society and placed them in jail. 518 More liberal observers said it was community based-policing by the 85,000 new officers provided by former President Clinton‟s 1994 anti-crime initiative that put officers in closer touch with the communities they served. Some said it was better control of firearms.519 One study argues that the legalization of abortion 20 years earlier reduced the number of unwanted births, which previously resulted in much of the murder-prone population of young males.520 Whatever the reason for the decline, it would be hard to support the argument – in keeping with the theory that minority crime is traceable to mistreatment by the majority community – that the majority community did anything much differently in the early 1990s with regard to minority communities than they did in the early 1980s. We can be sure that the disagreement will continue. Some still seem unwilling to accept that police enforcement can have a decided affect on homicide rates. In response to a reporter‟s question about the district‟s homicide rate in 1998, Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry replied “I‟m not going to let murder be the gauge since we‟re not responsible for murders, can‟t stop murders.”521 One argument against the idea of the efforts of the police as a universal factor to explain the late-twentieth century reduction is that police responses are uneven, different from one jurisdiction to another, and thus not suitable to explain widespread crime rate fluctuations. But as shown in the late nineteenth and early-twentieth century police innovations to address violent crime, police departments in different locales often implemented the same sorts of procedures. That was also the case in late-twentieth century urban America. Perhaps best known is the dramatic decrease in homicide rates in New York brought about, it is claimed, by strong enforcement measures. Perhaps East Palo Alto, a small, mostly minority city on the San Francisco Peninsula provides the best local example of what can be done. In 1992 the city‟s 42 96 homicides (in a city of 24,000) gave it an astounding criminal homicide rate of 175.4 per 100,000, earning it the unquestionable title that year as the nation‟s homicide capital.522 In late 1992, the police chiefs from two adjoining cities, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, loaned officers to a joint three-city task force to help suppress the street drug trade in East Palo Alto. County Sheriff Don Horsely added 20 deputy sheriffs to the effort and the California Highway Patrol provided around-the-clock support to the enforcement efforts. In 1993 the rate was down to 33 per 100,000 (8 cases).523 By the year 2000, the rate had declined to 16.9, less than one-tenth of its 1992 high. 524 Much has been made of the city‟s economic turnaround in the decade between 1990 and 2000. “Experts agree,” said a press report a decade later, “that one of the strongest forces that pushed the number down to its lowest level since 1966,. . . is the roaring economy that long ago reshaped San Mateo and has finally begun to influence the small mid peninsula city of East Palo Alto.” 525 Doubtless, economic improvement is a factor and, as always, there were other forces at work as well, and we must account for the police intervention as an important factor. We would expect any change attributable to economic improvement to have been gradual. The fact that the numbers declined abruptly suggests the introduction of some more dramatic factor. (One does not encounter mention of another factor in most explanations for the changed circumstance, but it was quite pronounced. Of the 23,451 population of East Palo Alto in the 1990 census, 36 percent were listed as Latino, 42 percent were black, 9 percent Asian and Pacific Islanders, and 12 percent were non-Latino whites. By 2000, with a total count of 29,506, the makeup of the population had changed markedly. By the century‟s end, Latinos increased to 59 percent of the total. Blacks declined to about 23percent, and non-Latino whites to 7 percent. Asians and Pacific Islanders were about 11 percent.)526 But the police don‟t operate in a vacuum. In the end, as with the Black Hand assaults on the Italian community in the early twentieth century, the police must depend on the cooperation and help in the victimized community. That too they received in San Francisco‟s African-American community in the late twentieth century. When a beloved black community leader was killed in gang crossfire in 1993, the reverend Amos Brown said, “We want the community cleaned up, and we want you to know we will support whatever it takes,” Brown told police.” We want police sweeps of those bad actors (dealing drugs) with their pit bulldogs and pistols.” Some, fearing that all young black males would be targeted by the sweeps, disagreed. Rev. Brown wasn‟t buying that line. “The police know who the bad actors are,” he said, “and that‟s the group that should be targeted.” It was with this sort of community support that police departments all over the United States began to take a stronger stance toward crime. 527 (The Reverend Brown‟s hard line approach to black violence in the 1990s was not unique to San Francisco. African-American Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris declared Oakland to be under siege by violent criminals, and said that maybe emergency powers should be called for. Practices under consideration were checkpoints to search for weapons and drugs, and police barricades in high-crime neighborhoods. 528 In 1994, Atlanta Constitution editor Cynthia Tucker reported that citizens of Robert Taylor homes in Chicago wanted to allow police officers to randomly search their apartments and those of their neighbors. When Georgia voters were presented with a chance to vote in a tough “two strikes and you‟re out” amendment to the state constitution in November 1995, civil rights activists were 97 vocal in their disagreement with the measure, saying that the measure was unfair to black men who commit a disproportionate amount of crime. But few blacks paid these leaders any attention, said Tucker. Struggling black neighborhoods, she said, overwhelmed by thugs who rob and rape, murder and maim, have started to ignore their leaders on the subject of crime. The measure passed easily, with nearly 60 percent of black voters supporting it.) And the results nationwide could be measured in the declining homicide rates.529 Similar strong enforcement postures were evident in other large cities around the country as well. In Detroit, the evidence of strong police measures emerges out of complaints that the Detroit police were over-arresting in homicide cases. Using dragnets and mass arrests of witnesses, police arrested 1,310 people in 430 murders cases in 1998. This three to one ratio of arrests to incidents was far higher than in other American cities. The same year Chicago made 753 arrests for 703 murders and Philadelphia arrested 309 or 380 homicides. According to one prominent criminologist cited in the Chronicle of April 4, 2001 the criticism may reflect shifting attitudes toward police behavior. “Ten years ago, crime was at record highs,” he said. “The public said “Bring down the crime rate. Do what you have to do.”530 And former Chicago police Superintendent Leroy Martin, an African America, raised the hackles of the American Civil liberties Union when he suggested, “We need to take look at it (the Constitution) maybe from time to time, to curtail some of these rights because they have gotten us into a position where we‟re living in an armed camp.” He said, “lifting the provision against random searches of people would help police do a better job.”531. As has been shown in the preceding chapters, a number of groups of minority newcomers have arrived in San Francisco in the last 150 years, many of which had disproportionate involvement in criminal violence to some degree or another. In most instances, that involvement with criminal violence followed a similar trajectory. Violent Australian criminals earned that group a reputation for disproportionate criminality during San Francisco‟s turbulent Gold Rush founding. After a few exemplary hangings, and the departure of a large part of their population to return to the Australian gold strike, Australians as the typical example for criminally violent offenders in San Francisco disappeared from the scene. Latino newcomers were similarly overrepresented in the criminal dockets of the early boomtown city, but that representation declined as well as their percentage of the population declined in the decades that followed. Irish, Chinese, and Italian newcomers, who at one time all figured prominently in the story of criminal violence, had, by the middle decades of the twentieth century, become unremarkably peaceable. More recently Chinese and Latino violence increased as new waves of immigrants arrived, but have since resumed their low levels in San Francisco, although the latest chapter on Latino criminal violence is even now being written. 532 In the end, those who believe that criminal violence by newcomer groups can be traced to their treatment by the host society doubtless remain unconvinced by any arguments to the contrary, just as those who are certain that the seeds of man‟s violent propensities lie exclusively in his national or ethnic character will remain unconvinced that mistreatment is a principal factor. But after looking at 150 years of criminal violence in one city we are left with the understanding that both factors were at work. On balance though, elevated rates of criminal violence probably had more to do with behaviors in the 98 offending group than is generally believed. Improving conditions and better acceptance by the host group have had something to do with declining rates, but equally important, if not more so, it is changed behaviors on the part of the newcomer society that brought the rates down. And the activities of law enforcement agencies helped to some extent in bringing about those behavioral changes. 99 Afterword I spent my early youth in a working-class district of San Francisco in the 1940s. One of the neighborhood kids – we can call him Jimmy Harrigan--was the son of a dock worker. Jimmy was more adventurous than the rest of us, always dreaming up some sort of minor mischief and, brilliantly--to our way of thinking--worming his way out of responsibility if caught. It so happened that after one of his misadventures, a police officer delivered Jimmy home to the expected righteous wrath of his parents. In those days and in that neighborhood we tried mightily to avoid being taken home by the police; the consequences could be painful. Jimmy‟s father worked nights on the waterfront and was home during the day when the officer arrived with Jimmy. What makes the event stand out in memory is the reaction of Mr. Harrigan when the officer brought Jimmy home. Instead of chastising Jimmy, as would certainly have happened to any of the rest of us in similar circumstances, Mr. Harrigan upbraided the officer, telling him he should have more important things to do than interfere with the harmless mischief of his boy. It wasn't until much later that I understood why Mr. Harrigan might have resented the officer‟s intrusion into his family‟s affairs. It had been only a few years since the violent 1934 waterfront strike, during which police officers shot several of Mr. Harrigan‟s longshoremen colleagues, two of them fatally. Mr. Harrigan‟s enmity toward the police, whatever its effect on Jimmy, was understandable. I later had occasion to reflect on effect the childhood encounter between Jimmy, his father, and the police officer might have had to do with shaping Jimmy's adult character. Some years later, Jimmy fatally shot one supermarket employee and cut the throat of another with a broken bottle in a fit of rage during a botched holdup attempt. I‟m sure there was more to it than that, but at the time of the robbery/homicide I couldn't help but flash back to that incident with the police and wonder whether Jimmy had been set on the wrong path that afternoon when his father took his side against a societal authority figure. As the twenty-first century began, overall homicide rates remained about the same as for the closing decade of the twentieth century.533 The annual average rate for the period from 2000 through 2003 was 8.2, compared to 8.7 for the last four years of the preceding decade. The rate was still much lower than the equivalent period for the early 1990s, which had an average annual rate of 14.6. Within the overall figures, however, some variations can be identified. Table 9.1.displays homicide victims by race and ethnicity as a percentage of the total reported homicides for the three equivalent four year time periods being considered. Table 9.1 goes about here The first thing to be noticed is that the number and percentages of the total of non- Latino white homicide victims declined evenly from period to period. And with 43 percent of the population against a 22 percent victimization rate, they were underrepresented. A number of variables help to explain these phenomena. For one thing non-Latino whites declined as a percentage of the total population between 1990 and 2000 (from 46 to 43 percent of total). Also with an aging population whites would be less likely to find themselves in situations where homicides are most likely to occur. The rates for both Latinos and Asians blipped up a bit in the closing years of the century, as discussed in an earlier chapter, during a period of high gang activity. Both 100 groups settled down a bit in early twenty-first century. Latino homicide was fairly proportionate to their group‟s representation in the community.534 Asians, with approximately one-third of the population and 12 percent of the homicide victims, were very much underrepresented. African-Americans who saw their percentage of the victim pool decline from 42 percent to 39 percent from the beginning of the 1990s to the end of the decade, realized a sharp increase to 49 percent in the opening years of the new century, this at a time when the group declined from 11 to 9 percent of the population. Why is that? Doubtless there is residual rage attributable to past mistreatment in some segments of the African- American community, which manifests itself in the high rate of black-on-black homicide, as well as disproportionate amounts of criminal violence visited by blacks on whites. But there is more to it than that. In the introduction to this study, the question was asked whether it matters if the behavior that results in high rates of criminal violence is chargeable to the host society in which the minority newcomers find themselves. Or, we can ask, “Is there something in the culture of the newcomer group itself, which causes the violence.” In effect, does it matter whether “structural” conditions encountered in the new community explain the violence, or, on the other hand, whether the violence can mostly be attributed to a “subculture of violence,” created and fostered in a community by historic circumstances which may or may not still be relevant. To the extent that the behavior is traceable to the conduct of the host society, either by the practices of its police employees or other forces imposed on the minority group, changes in the host society with relation to its treatment of minorities can be expected to improve the situation. To the extent that the behavior reposes in the culture of the group of newcomers – however it came to be there – matters can only be improved by the cultural adaptation of that group to a less harmful set of behaviors. Just as there is no single reason why homicide rates declined toward the end of the new century, there is no one reason to explain the increase since the century‟s turn. Part of the way out of the situation may lie in the need to change attitudes among some in the victimized community. In a recent opinion piece, African-American columnist Earl Ofari Hutchison reported that “many studies have confirmed that the punishment Blacks receive when the victim is white is far more severe than if the victim is Black.” 535 “The implicit message,” Hutchison continues, “is that Black lives are expendable. This perceived devaluation of Black lives by racism has encouraged disrespect for the law, and has forced many Blacks to internalize anger and displace aggression onto others.” Hutchison was referring to a 1999 Amnesty International report which declared that the “system for administering the death penalty in the United States is fraught with racial prejudice.” 536 Not everyone agrees with that position. Capital punishment is one of those subjects – like abortion and gun control – with passionate advocates on both sides of the issue which contend with dueling studies, supported by complicated statistical formulations, to support their diametrically opposite views on the topic. In California, based on their contribution to the homicide rate, blacks are under- represented on death row. According to a California Department of Corrections Summary published on March 31, 2002, non-Latino whites comprised 41.1 percent of death row inmates, African-Americans made up 34. 4 percent and Latinos constituted 19.0 101 percent.537 These figures are proportionately comparable to rates of punishment and crime incidence vis a vis ethnicity and race reported in the previous chapter. Without getting too far into the debate about punishment and crime, suffice it to say that if the belief that blacks are disproportionately punished, is untrue, it is a dangerous myth that can ignite rage leading to violence. And if a nominal leader like MFusai says that black violence can be traced exclusively to white failures, and if it is constantly reported that blacks are disproportionately punished, what can we expect but that some young black men lash out.538 One is forced to wonder if those who refuse to accept the facts and continue to cultivate feelings of grievance in the black community are unwittingly contributing to the problem. If the above formulation is correct, change on the part of the majority community will not be enough to stem the violence. The way many blacks view crime and punishment must also change. To admit publicly the shortcomings within a minority community risks playing into the hands of racists by admitting what is really going on.539 But Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune columnist, warns there are real consequences of failure to deal with the world as we find it. Page, who can hardly be accused of being an appeaser, cites the high public visibility given to white/minority crimes but the corresponding disinclination to discuss crimes by minorities against whites, concluding that such double standards “may alleviate racial tensions in the short run but generate inaccurate stereotypes with negative long-run consequences.”540 One of the consequences of failing to deal with reality and take the measures necessary to really solve the problem may be the high homicide rates such as those now being experienced in Oakland, California.541 As long as a sense of grievance dictates the terms of the discussion and the acceptable responses to street homicides, there is little hope for resolution. “It‟s time to quit blaming everybody else for the problems in our communities,” says Kerman Maddox, African-American businessman and teacher, who urges black leaders to meet the issue of black-on-black violence head-on.542 There are some indications that Oakland‟s black leaders are beginning to look past blaming the larger society for the black community‟s problems as well.543 There remains work to be done. In response to a rising homicide rate in 2003, Oakland police called on Alameda County Sheriff‟s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers to beef up patrols on high-crime areas, particularly on the weekends. Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid, whose East Oakland District encompasses the most violent area, approves of the increased patrols. However, he says, “I‟m waiting for the community to say, „We‟re fed up and say, „We‟re not going to take this anymore.‟” But, he adds, “It hasn‟t happened yet.”544 Perhaps Bill Cosby‟s contribution to the conversation augurs well for the future. During remarks at Howard University on May 17, 2004, America‟s beloved humorist advised his fellow African-Americans to tone down blaming the police and to come to grips with undesirable behaviors by some in the black underclass. As might be expected some African-Americans feared that his remarks played into the hands of racists, but others, notably NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, joined Cosby in calling for some “tough love” to address the problems.545 102 Appendix 1 Methods Crime, according to one useful definition, is any act of commission or omission “in violation of a law commanding or forbidding it,” to which a penalty involving fine, imprisonment, or death is attached. 546 That definition embraces a broad variety of activities, ranging from petty theft of a candy bar, to insider stock trading (much in the news these days), to the ultimate act of unlawfully taking the life of another human being. One definitional breakdown, that used by the U.S. Department of Justice in its annual compilation of crime in the United States (Uniform Crime Report or UCR), is to divide crimes into those usually or potentially accompanied by violence (murder and non- negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes which, while considered serious, do not usually involve personal violence (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and more recently, arson). 547 It was the seeming upsurge of violence thought to threaten the citizenry‟s collective personal safety that commanded national attention in the late 1960s, setting in motion the massive examination which has since ensued. For that reason, most of the studies on “crime” conducted in the last several decades, including this one, have focused on crimes of violence. When researchers began to look to the past, they found that usable records for most types of crimes were spotty at best. One notable exception was the crime of homicide. Most societies have attempted to record the “ultimate” crime in some way, albeit often in ways that make the records less than totally useful to modern researchers. Because homicide records are most available, homicide is most often used as an index of the amount of violent crime occurring generally in a society. 548 For the sake of precision, some definitional issues must be addressed further. In common usage, the terms “murder” and “homicide” are often used interchangeably. They do not mean the same thing. Murder can be defined generally, in its simplest manifestation, as the unlawful killing of another human being with “malice aforethought.” Homicide is a much broader term and includes both criminal and non- criminal categories. Non-criminal homicides include killings in self-defense, justifiable homicides (as when a police officer lawfully kills a person in the line of duty), excusable homicides, accidents (most vehicular accidents) and those executed by legal process. Criminal homicide, on the other hand, the category used by the UCR to measure and compare crime in its annual report, is comprised of murders and non-negligent manslaughters. For purposes of uniformity of comparison with other times and places, criminal homicide, as defined in the UCR, is the appropriate choice. Beyond that, problems remain for the scholar who wishes to compare modern rates as compiled by the Justice Department and those from times past. Until the development of the UCR in the 1930s, even homicide statistics were saved in ways that make comparisons difficult, and those records that were retained, even for homicide, are often incomplete. In the absence of full information, researchers have adopted a number of creative accommodations to the fill the void. 549 Theodore Ferdinand used arrest figures in his study of Boston homicide, presumably all he had available.550 Arrest figures for nineteenth-century crime, while widely available, often do not reflect the actual incidence of crime of any type. On the one hand, they result in an undercount in those cases in which no arrest is made. The 103 other side of the problem occurs when multiple arrests are made for the same event. As sometimes happens in high-profile cases, police “throw the book” at suspects to placate public feelings. On several occasions in San Francisco in 1890s, prizefighters died in the ring at a time when there was a lot of disagreement about whether boxing should be permitted for a purse. On one occasion, eight people were arrested for homicide in one case, everyone from the promoter to the water boy. Forever after, arrest figures used to measure the amount of homicide for that year would be inflated by 25 percent. Roger Lane addressed the problem by using indictments as a comparative measure of homicide in his studies of Philadelphia. This practice--as Lane was among the first to point out--suffers from the same problem as arrests. 551 The use of indictments as a measure of homicide presumably gets rid of the excessive numbers caused by mass arrests that are thinned out before prosecution proceeds, but fails to get rid of the problem of an undercount based on cases where the perpetrator(s) avoid arrest or commit suicide. It often happened – even in the nineteenth century – that perpetrators were not identified, let alone arrested and charged. The San Francisco district attorney reported filing six homicide indictments (one manslaughter and five murder) in the first six months of 1883. During the same period, by actual count, there were nine criminal homicides, fifty percent more than those for which indictments were filed. As recently as the 1950s, as many as 90% of homicides were solved, assuring a high rate of indictments.552 A few decades earlier, however, when Brearly looked at the same phenomenon, he found a failure-to-solve rate of 36 percent in Chicago in 1926 and 1927, a rate no doubt attributable to the large number of unsolved gangland killings during Prohibition.553 In our own time the problem is aggravated still more because in as few as 50 percent of homicide cases was a perpetrator even identified. In San Francisco in 1995 only 29 complaints were filed by the district attorney in the 100 cases of homicide. Despite our nostalgic ruminations about the good old days of the nineteenth century when, according to some, justice practitioners knew how to get the job done, it wasn‟t always a sure thing. Out of 22 known homicides in San Francisco in 1876, ten went unsolved. 554 So, of necessity, if arrests or indictments were used as the measure of homicide that year, almost half of the cases would not have been counted. Indictments and arrests, then, may be useful to show trends in homicide, but the problem comes in when the figures based on this sort of source are compared with those from sources with a more accurate count. Another source of information on homicide is the record of conviction and sentences in court proceedings. These are often available in court records which tend to be collected more completely than records of incidence kept by law enforcement agencies. But conviction and penalty data share the same problem as that on arrests an indictments in that they further reduce the number of cases considered. While still of some utility, the reduced number of incidents doesn‟t allow for comparison with modern records of incidence. By general agreement, the best, most complete source of data on the incidence of homicide is the records of coroner‟s inquests listing the particulars on the victim and the circumstances of the death. Coroner‟s records are not without problems of their own. In July 1916, a period during which coroner‟s records in San Francisco remain intact, ten named persons are known to have died in the Preparedness Day bombing, yet only six of those are logged into the Coroner‟s Register. In his history of Marin County, California, 104 J. P. Munro-Fraser lists 31 homicides as having been committed between 1856 and 1880.555 The Coroner‟s Inquest Book for Marin County, however, which purports to show all the inquests in cases from 1857 to 1910, includes only 13 (41.9 percent) of the known cases, calling into question, for Marin County at least, the adequacy of record keeping or record retention.556 Some researchers, like Clare McKanna and John Boessenecker, tend to count all homicides, including police shootings and executions, in their homicide counts. They also include extralegal lynchings. But if homicide rates are to be compared with current rates, they should to the extent possible be based on the same criteria. While technically criminal homicides, lynchings--which were particularly common in early California-- inflate homicide rates in a way that makes the comparisons strained. The 47 lynchings that occurred in California in 1854 translate into a rate of over 15 per 100,000 of population by themselves. There was quite enough criminal homicide in California in 1854 without piling on the extralegal hangings, particularly when homicide rates are compared from jurisdictions to jurisdiction. And why should such extralegal killings be used to add to the homicide rates which are called up to justify their practice in the first place? Some researchers, Eric Monkonnen and Roger McGrath among them, restrict their counts to criminal homicides as defined by the Department of Justice. Monkkonen also excludes riot-caused deaths which, if included for the 100-plus deaths in the 1863 draft riot, would distort any comparison of what are essentially inter-personal crimes. A more horrific example would be the 3,000 deaths in the World Trade Center terror attack in September 2001. They were, by definition, all criminal homicides, and they happened in New York City, but they should not be included in urban crime statistics that are being compared to other jurisdictions. To the extent that the data is available, this study follows the criteria employed by McGrath and Monkkonen in counting “criminal homicides” as defined in the UCR. Where necessary, I also consider information on convictions and penalties. Where available, and usable for comparison purposes, I also consider other types of violent crimes, such as robbery, to make needed points. 105 Appendix 2 Sources San Francisco presents a unique problem to anyone trying to count nineteenth- century homicides, a problem beyond that found in other jurisdictions. Most city records, including coroners‟ registers, were destroyed in the devastating fire that followed the great 1906 Earthquake. The only official statistics available for San Francisco in the 1850s, except for a scattering of arrest tabulations, are occasional newspaper reports from City Sextons, citing the numbers of “killed and murdered” for a few years. It was thus necessary to survey daily newspapers for the entire decade to obtain information about the incidence of homicide in those years.557 Beginning in the 1860s and continuing into the early twentieth century, the county coroner issued annual reports, surviving in bound Municipal Reports, which contain annual tallies of the number of homicides (murders and manslaughters) for most years.558 While these records do not contain the detailed information of inquest records they do set out the total number of homicides in a given year according to the coroner‟s estimate for that year.559 Overlaying these coroner‟s tallies for the years from 1857 through 1877, are annual entries in city directories, which cite notable events for the year, including murders. The number of such entries squares fairly closely with those obtained from other sources.560 Fairly complete Health Department annual summaries exist for the period from the mid-1870s through the mid-1890s. In addition to providing a check on annual totals arrived at from other sources, the Health Department statistics also provide information on the ages of decedents as well as gender and race. When considered together with selective readings of daily newspapers from 1860 through 1879 to cover gaps in the statistics and to obtain details on the circumstances of individual cases, a fairly complete picture of homicide emerges for the period. From 1880-1890, the San Francisco Daily Call published annual articles which included the particulars on each homicide occurring in the year just past. The numbers of homicides in these articles generally compared favorably with the numbers in coroner‟s tallies.561 The absence of such annual compilations forced a full reading of daily issues of local newspapers for the period from 1890 through 1905. Again the total number of cases encountered compares favorably, in general, with the totals given in the coroners‟ tallies. Coroners‟ registers, showing victim information and the circumstances of their demise, remain intact for the period following 1906. Coroners‟ records were examined for the period up through 1939, and were supplemented with a judicious reading of newspaper accounts of selected cases. For the period from 1940 to 2000, the San Francisco Police Department Murder Book was used. This document, from which data is drawn to report the city‟s homicide experience to the FBI for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Report, contains information on the particulars of each homicide committed in a given year. I compiled the information from these various sources into a data base of the almost 7,000 criminal homicides which occurred in San Francisco from 1849 to 2000. Are all San Francisco criminal homicides from that period included? The short answer is no. No type of source can assure a full count. And there are enough indirect nineteenth century newspaper references to homicides, for which the particulars, including dates, are 106 not known, to suggest that I didn‟t capture absolutely all of them. And there were doubtless some undetected homicides as well.562 Even modern counts, from which FBI figures are built, sometimes show curious anomalies.563 As with anything assembled by humans, there are bound to be omissions and imperfections, but the numbers here constitute a fair reading of homicide in San Francisco in the last 150 years. And that will have to serve until such time as all records of the past are digitized. No single book can aim to accomplish more than to begin to explore every aspect of a century and a half of criminal violence in a major city. The foregoing study has thus been restricted mainly to two lines of inquiry: the involvement of minority newcomers in violent crime and what effect enforcement practices have had on the phenomenon. So that others can carry the discussion further by addressing other aspects of the topic -- or refuting or supporting the conclusions rendered here -- the database which forms the foundation of the study has been archived at Ohio State University‟s Criminal Justice Research Center. 107 Notes 1 Personal correspondence with Eric Monkkonen. 2 Ferdinand, “The Criminal Patterns of Boston since 1849,” American Journal of Sociology 73 (July 1967) : 84-89. 3 Lane, Violent Death in the City, 56-60. 4 Butterfield, All God’s Children, 8. 5 Vandal, Southern Violence p. 123 6 McGrath, Gunfighters Hiwaymen and Vigilantes, Violence on the Frontier. 7 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice. He also studied Omaha Nebraska whose population grew from 32,000 to 150,000 between 1880 and 1920, but its rate during those years approximated those found in large eastern cities. 8 Boessenecker, Gold Dust and Gunsmoke, 323.. 9 The rate disparity becomes seemingly even more confused when modern homicide rates --with which historical rates are often compared-- are added to the mix. By the end of the twentieth century, the national homicide rate was less than 6 per 100,000. Within that figure, urban rates varied greatly, from 2.8 in San Jose California in 1999, to more than 40 in Washington D.C. and Detroit, cities which a few years ago had rates exceeding 70. Rates in other cities in 1999 included Chicago 22.7, New York 8.9, Los Angeles11.6, and San Francisco 8.5 10 Courtwright, Violent Land, 13. 11 Bellesiles, Arming America, 354. 108 12 Mann, Unequal Justice passim, Tonry, Malign Neglect, passim, Martinez, Latino Homicide, passim, and many others. 13 Monkkonen, “Diverging Homicide Rates: England and the United States, 1850-1875,” in Violence in America: The History of Crime Vol.1, Ted Robert Gurr (ed), 88. Lane Violent Death in the City, 102-4, Woodham–Smith, The Great Hunger, 252. 14 Dykstra, Cattle Towns, 114 15 Daniels, Coming to America, 109. 16 Graham, in Unguarded Gates, 103 quotes historian John Higham as claiming that “immigrants are an unsettling force wherever they appear.” 17 Myers, The History of Bigotry in the United States, 110. 18 Wickersham, Commision Report No. 10, Crime and the Foreign born, 27. 19 Lane, Violent Death in the City, 102-103. 20 Eric Monkkonen attributes the relatively low level of homicide in Philadelphia to the presence of the “Pennsylvania Dutch.” Monkkonen. “Diverging Homicide Rates: England and the United States, 1850-1875, 99. 21 Jewish gangsters did participate in Prohibiton-era violence but not to the same extent as others. 22 In keeping with Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) practice, criminal homicide includes murders and non-negligent manslaughters. 23 Gurr, Violence in America Volume 1, 21. 24 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, 65. See also Mann, Unequal Justice, 74. Not all agree. Proponents of biology as at least a partial explanation for violence have gained some ground in recent years. See Courtwright, Violent Land, and Pinker, The Blank Slate. 109 25 Crime in the United States 2001 Uniform Crime Reports, v. 26 Wickersham, Crime and the Foreign Born, 416. See also Ramiro Martinez Jr. and Matthew T. Lee, "On Immigration and Crime,” National Institute of Justice Criminal Justice 2000: The Nature of Crime: Continuity and Change, vol. 1 , Gary La Free, Robert J. Bursik Jr., James F. Short Jr., and Ralph B. Taylor (eds.) Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice, 2000), who assert that "the bulk of empirical studies conducted over the past century have found that immigrants are typically underrepresented in criminal statistics." 27 Monkkonen, “Diverging Homicide Rates: England and the United States, 1850-1875,” 6. Lane in Murder in America, 188, reports that homicide rates for immigrant Italians during the first decade of the twentieth century were twice those of African-Americans and twenty times that of non-Italian whites. And we would be hard put to convince the residents of Boston in the 1840s when crime rates skyrocketed following the arrival of large numbers of Irish famine immigrants that immigrants were not disproportionately criminal. Woodham–Smith, The Great Hunger,252. 28 Lane, Murder in America, 348. 29 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 45. 30 Adler, “The Negro Would Be More Than an Angel to Withstand Such Treatment: African American Homicide in Chicago, 1875 –1910,” in Lethal Imagination: Violence and Brutality in American History, Michael A. Bellesiles (ed), 309 . So does Martinez in Latino Homicide, 31. 31 Lane, Murder in America,183. 110 32 Stephen F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld. “Social Structure and Homicide: Theory and Research,” in Smith and Zahn (eds), Homicide a Sourcebook of Social Research,. 27. 33 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, xiv. 34 McKanna, Race and Homicide in Nineteenth Century California, 2. 35 Hawkins “What Can We Learn From Data Disaggregation? The Case of Homicide and African Americans,” Smith and Zahn, (eds), in Homicide A Sourcebook of Social Research, 200. 36 This is not to say that the societies from which the immigrants came were necessarily and quantifiably homicidal. Rather, there were elements in those societies which, when they found themselves in the new environment, were conducive to the growth of homicidal violence. 37 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, xiii. 38 Daniels, Coming to America, 3. 39 Ibid., Daniels says on p. 238 that we used to ignore the Chinese as immigrants with the “sojourner” argument. Now, he says, “few scholars any longer deny the relevance of the Afro-American and Asian American experience for immigration history.” 40 The substantial Encyclopedia of Chinese Overseas, Lynn Pan (ed), discusses the various rebellions which afflicted nineteenth century Chinese but has no entry for “crime” in its index. 41 Pan, Sons of the Yellow Emperor: The Story of the Overseas Chinese, 19. 42 Matthew C. Yeager, Immigrants and Criminality: A Meta Survey. Http:www.cyberus.ca/~myeager/art-1.htm 111 43 Lane, Murder in America, 135. 44 Sherman L.Ricards and George M. Blackburn “The Sydney Ducks: a Demographic Analysis,” Pacific Historical Review XLII, February 1973. 45 Mexicans In Gold Rush San Francisco, say Soule, Gihon et al, in their Annals of San Francisco, 472, “in proportion to their numbers show more criminals in courts of any than any other class.” 46 Heizer and Almquist, The Other Californians, 147 47 Ibid. 48 Powell, “Crime As A Function of Anomie,” in The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science vol. 57, No. 2 (1966) 49 Lane, Murder in America,183. “No ethnic group in the later nineteenth or early twentieth century, neither the Jews fleeing the pogroms nor the Italians devastated by cholera, was as desperate as the mid-century Irish, or as collectively pugnacious.” 50 In special State Senate committee hearings in San Francisco in 1876 in April 1873, Matthew Karcher, former chief of police of Sacramento, testified that “The Pacific Coast has become a Botany Bay to which the criminal classes of China are brought in large numbers. . . .” Chinese Immigration; Its Social, Moral, and Political Effect., 28. 51 Douglas“20” Police Journal,. June 1926. 52 Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 53 Gottfredson and Hirschi, A General Theory of Crime, 270. 54 Terry McCarthy, “The Gang Buster,” Time, January 19, 2004. “Economics and demographics are influences, not causes,” says Bratton. “It is a great disservice to the poor to say they lose jobs and so become criminals.” See also Fox Butterfield “Crime 112 Fighting‟s About-face” New York Times, January 19, 1997. Malcolm Gladwell The Tipping Point, 141 ascribes the “tipping point” in New York‟s dramatic decline to the adoption of James Q. Wilson‟s “broken window” theory by means of which police enforcement of even minor violations changed the “context” in which crime occurs. 55 Crime in America, 1995, iv. 56 Hopkins, Our Lawless Police, 339. 57 Tonry, Walker, Flowers, and Kennedy all devote chapters to the topic. However, says Wilbanks, The Myth of a Racist Criminal Justice System, 4, "Though volumes have been written on the topics of racism and crime, the literature examining the connection between the two is sparse." 58 Graham and Gurr (eds). VIOLENCE IN AMERICA, xi. 59 Alta, January 3,5, 1851 60 According to one modern account “There were several gangs in San Francisco at the time.. . .Worst among these groups was the „Sydney Ducks,‟ a group of former Australian convicts. It is believed they were responsible for large majority of the six fires that swept the city between 1849 and 1851, until broken up by the Vigilantes.” San Francisco Examiner, June 3, 1986 61 “When in 1851,” according to one recent account, “it was reported that the number of murders in the raw port of San Francisco had reached over one hundred, many committed by robber bands such as the Sydney Ducks . . . . a committee of vigilance was established.” Lane, Murder in America, 135. 113 62 Mullen. Let Justice be Done, passim. Lane, a student of Philadelphia, is not to be faulted. The legend has so insinuated itself into the fabric of the San Francisco‟s history that it will probably never be extirpated. 63 Los Angeles, with a homicide rate approaching ten times that of Gold Rush San Francisco – and by contemporary accounts, not much robbery -- did not feel the need to organize a vigilance committees like that in San Francisco. 64 The same cannot be said for California generally. For reasons discussed in the next chapter, the-non urban sections of California contributed the highest non-war-time homicide rate in the nation‟s history. 65 See Courtwright. Violent Land, passim. There are some exceptions. Monkkonen in Murder in New York City, 102, found that the ages of nineteenth century New York murderers were distributed more evenly across the age spectrum. 66 Thompson and West, History of Nevada: 1881, 340. Their analysis embraces and anticipates the arguments contained in any number of recent studies of frontier violence. Walter Nugent in “Frontiers and Empires in the Late Nineteenth Century,” The Western Historical Quarterly Volume XX November 1989 Number 4, distinguishes between Type I peaceful farming frontier communities with balanced gender distribution and the more violent Type II mining and cattle settlements which tended to be predominately composed of unattached young males. 67 Ibid. 68 Ethington, The Public City, 47, claims that 98 percent of the town‟s population was male in 1849. 114 69 Peterson Del Mar, Beaten Down, 51. See also Pinker Blank Slate, 333. who says that “and Canada may be more peaceable than its neighbor in part because its government [read justice system] outraced its people to the land.” 70 McGrath, “A Violent Birth: Disorder, Crime and Law Enforcement, 1849-1890.” Taming the Elephant: Politics Government, and Law in Pioneer California. (eds.) John F. Burns and Richard J. Orsi., 28. 71 Lane, Murder in America, 113 72 And in that case, the principal defendant seems not to have been guilty after all. On October 15, 1852 the pro-vigilante Alta reported that disclosures had been made tending to show that Hall was innocent of the crime. There may have been others. Whittaker in his confession (Williams The Papers of the Committee of Vigilance 1851, 474) speculates that a man found dead named Gallagher may have been poisoned. Jenkins was comforting the widow Connolly with undue haste after her husband died suddenly. Such speculation about any group could be spun into a crime wave. 73 Monaghan, Australians and the Gold Rush, 15. 74 Ibid.,15 75 Ibid., 154. 76 The Alta in late January 1850 reported that “someone, probably one of the most desperate scoundrels of England who have been serving the Queen," -- set a fire on Washington Street above Kearny. Following the fifth great fire, the California Courier commented on June 16,1851 "immigrants from Sydney have been able to burn the city over our heads four or five times. . . ." 77 Mullen “Torching Old Time San Francisco” Californians Magazine. Jan/Feb 1991 115 78 Ricards and Blackburn, “The Sydney Ducks,” Pacific Historical Review (February 1973). The only discernible evidence they present to show that the Australians were not criminally disposed was the fact that Australians tended to be older than other immigrants and tended more often to be married. Those factors, as a general rule, usually point to lower rates of criminality but even a cursory examination of the activities of members of the Australian community at that time would call that generalization into question. 79 Senkewicz, Vigilantes in Gold Rush San Francisco, 77-81. 80 Of the Ducks, says Bateson in Gold Fleet for California, 119, “They were a minority, a troublesome minority, but their brutal deeds were so widely publicized that responsible Australians, with every intention of hard work and endeavor, found themselves shunned and held in contempt on their arrival in California.” 81 Mann, Unequal Justice, xi. See also Wilbanks, The Myth Of A Racist Criminal Justice System, 59, who says people, including minorities, are more concerned about street crime than white collar crime. "The average black (as well as white) citizen lives in fear of muggers, robbers, and burglars, not price fixers, bribers, and embezzlers." 82 Every piece in Gurr‟s 1989 Criminal Violence deals with criminal homicide and its effects. 83 Ibid., 14. “Contributors to this volume,” says Gurr, “reaffirm the common view that homicide is the offense recorded most consistently over time and among jurisdictions. . .” 84 Before the introduction of Uniform Crime Reporting in the 1920s and 30s, crime reporting was very spotty, particularly for crimes other than homicide. 85 “Homicides are one of the best benchmarks for examining the criminal justice system because they are among the most clear cut best-reported and serious crimes,” according 116 to William Geller, as quoted by Seth Rosenfeld in the San Francisco Chronicle December 6, 1999. 86 When Kimbely Peace, 25, was gunned down in the Bernal Housing projects on March 13, 1995, her father, Andrew, was outraged. Society doesn‟t do enough to control crime in the African American community, he charged. “They just don‟t care,” he fumed. “It‟s just a dead black woman.” 87 Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, 1:122. 88 In 1989, the last year for which the San Francisco Police Department published statistics on intergroup crime relationships, 69 percent of white robbery victims were victimized by blacks. (9 percent of black victims were robbed by whites.) San Francisco Police Department CABLE Incident Activity Report 1989. 89 McGrath, “A Violent Birth,” 56. There were no more incidents for almost a year then after another small spate of street robberies at the end of 1879 and beginning of 1880, the Daily Free Press suggested that citizens go armed and form a committee of vigilance such had been formed in other mining camps. 90 Lane, “On the Social Meaning of Homicide Trends in America,” In Gurr, Violence in America, 55. 91 Lane, Violent Death in the City, 84. 92 McGrath. Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes, 176-7 and 248-9 93 Bell, Reminiscences of a Ranger, 14 Bell is well known to have embellished his stories. In this instance, given his track record, if that was the case he could be expected to exaggerate in the other direction. 94 Monkkonen, Murder in New York, 107. 117 95 Notably, none of those hanged by the first Committee of Vigilance was charged with a homicide in San Francisco; they were all thieves. James Stuart probably killed a man in Yuba County but technically that was none of San Francisco‟s concern. Vigilance committees do not concern themselves excessively with technicalities. The point is that if they were after simple murderers they had plenty of examples closer to home. 96 Robbery is defined as taking goods from the person of another “by force or fear.” 97 Alta, October 10, 1850. Williams, Papers, 266. 98 Alta, December 13, 1850 99 The rates in either case were ridiculously low by modern standards, attesting further to our predecessor‟s absence of toleration for that type of crime. McGrath compares the rates he found in Bodie to the rates of 1,140 in New York in 1980. The 1980 rate for San Francisco was 1,161. But the Gold Rush rate in San Francisco was very high for the time. 100 Gustav Bergenroth, “The First Vigilante Committee in California.” Magazine of History, extra number -- No. 151, p, 143-49. Tarrytown, New Your: William Abbatt, 1929 as mentioned in Adams, The Disputed Lands, 259. 101 No mention is made of the police. Under the best of circumstances there would have been no foot patrols that far from the central business district. 102 When the justice system was organized, no thought had been given to the establishment of a detective police to follow up on crimes. This function was assigned to the San Francisco police department in 1853. 103 Soule et al, Annals, 324. 104 Alta, February 21, 1851. 105 San Francisco Evening Picayune, January 6, 1851. 118 106 Viewed objectively, well removed from the emotion of the moment, it‟s hard to see what else the judge could have done legally, but vigilance committees tend not to be swayed by such technicalities. 107 In the “Official Announcement of the Committee of Vigilance,” published on June 13, 1851, just after Jenkins‟ hanged, the committee addresses robberies and arson fires but makes no mention of homicide, (Mary Williams History of the Committee of Vigilance 1851, 459). The legend of 100 homicides was concocted after the fact to lend support to the extrajudicial proceedings. 108 Monaghan, Australians and the Gold Rush, 154. 109 Bancroft, California Inter Pocula, 235. On August 5, 1850 the San Francisco Board of Aldermen enacted a resolution which prohibited aliens from engaging in draying, driving hackney coaches, rowing boats for the conveyance of passengers, or selling spirituous liquors. 110 Hughes, The Fatal Shore, 159. 111 Ibid., 356. The small percentage of Australian born defendants reverses what many have found to be the case elsewhere where children are more criminal than their parents. Hughes xiii says “the post-colonial history of Australia utterly exploded the theory of genetic criminal inheritance. Here was a community of people, handpicked over decades for their „criminal propensities‟ and for no other reason, whose offspring turned out to form one of the most law-abiding societies in the world.” 112 Monaghan, Australians and the Gold Rush, 121. For the last three months of 1849 and first three months of 1850, 12.5 percent of emigrants from Sydney and 21 percent of those from Tasmania were ex-convicts. Although Senkewicz, Vigilantes in Gold Rush 119 San Francisco, 79, adds the modifier “only” to these figures, the nineteen percent of the male immigrants so classified amounts to a large percentage of ex-convicts in any community. Roscoe Pound is supposed to have commented that if as little as fifteen percent of a society refuses to play by the group‟s rules, that society will disintegrate. 113 Williams, Papers, 469. 114 Ibid., 227. 115 Monaghan, Australians and the Gold Rush,154. Also says Monaghan, “It is notable that some of the upper-class Australians . . . either helped, or were members of, the committees that met incoming vessels and prohibited some of their own countrymen from landing.” 116 Referring to Sydney-town, the near contemporary Annals pointed out, 566, “Even the police hardly dared to enter there; and if they attempted to apprehend some known individuals, it was always in a numerous, strongly armed company. Seldom, however, were arrests made. The lawless inhabitants of the place united to save their luckless brothers, and generally managed to drive the assailants away.” 117 In possible defense of the officers, according to Theodore Hittell, "Stuart's confession endeavored to involve various other persons against whom he evidently held grudges. No one [at the time] put much faith in his statement on account of its source and its mean and treacherous spirit." Hittell, History of California 3:324. 118 Williams, Papers, 322. 119 Alta, August 25, 1851. 120 Commenting on the November 1850 killing of Michael McMahon by Arthur O‟Connor, the Alta remarked that such incidents were becoming common and suggested 120 the passage of an ordinance requiring each gambling house to maintain one or more policemen at its own expense, not so much to stop the assaults but to arrest the offenders. Whether any such practice would have been effective is problematical. Officer Phineas Blunt in his journal entry for Thursday, November 28, 1850 mentioned that “Two policeman were present yet Arthur [O‟Connor] was not arrested.” Blunt Journal entry for Wednesday November 28, 1850. 121 Ibid., 47. 122 Ibid., 51. 123 Ibid., 48 and 68. See also Nugent “Frontiers and Empires in the Late Nineteenth century,” 403. “Because of the early presence of governmental authority (especially the Mounted Police), Canadian frontiers escaped the violence that marred some of the American ones. The Canadian experience shows that the social pathology of the United State‟s Type II frontiers were not an inevitable consequence of the demography.” 124 Del Mar, Beaten Down, 52. 125 Ibid., 49. 126 Monkkonen, in “Diverging Homicide Rates,” 93. Fisher in Joey the Hitman: The Autobiography of a Mafia Killer, on, 20, asserts that England is the only western country without organized crime, and attributes that phenomenon in part to the uniformity of laws and the promptness with which justice is administered. His assertion may be overstating the case but there is something to the argument. 127 Del Mar, Beaten Down, 50. 128 Alta, June 19, 1851. 129 San Francisco Picayune, July 18,1851. 121 130 And the figure for the latter year was inflated by the commission of 38 burglaries by one two man team in February and March 1852 which ended with the burglars‟ arrest. 131 Wolfgang, Patterns in Criminal Homicide, 191. 132 Thompson and West, History of Nevada: 1881, 431-3. 133 The formation of the vigilance committee in 1851 coincided with the news of the great Australian gold strike and many Australians returned home. There remained about 2500 in San Francisco in 1852 but they did not make the same pronounced mark on the criminal justice record that they had prior to the establishment of the committee. 134 Townsend, The California Diary of General E.D. Townsend. Malcolm Edwards (ed), 71. 135 Alta, December 11, 1852. 136 Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, 1:746. More recently this interpretation turns up as “Jose Forner (sic) was apprehended and executed for a crime that probably would have gone unnoticed had he come from Pike County[Missouri] rather than Valencia in old Spain” Watkins and Olmstead, Mirror of the Dream, 47. 137 McKanna, Race and Homicide, 108. 138 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, 3. 139 Martinez tends to agree with that general assessment. Any over-representations of Latinos in criminal statistics, he says, “appear to be linked more to differences in structural conditions across areas where immigrants settle rather than to cultural traditions of the immigrant groups.” Martinez, Latino Homicide, 31. 140 Castillo and Camarillo, Furia y Muerte: Los Bandidos Chicanos, 2. 122 141 Hietter, “A Surprising Amount of Justice: The Experience of Mexican and Racial Minority Defendants Charged with Serious Crimes in Arizona, 1865-1920,” Pacific Historical Review Volume 70 Number 2, May 2001,186, reports that “Mexicans received relatively fair treatment far more often than most scholars have acknowledged.” 142 Wilbanks, The Myth of a Racist Criminal Justice System, 21, says that if we accept black crime as determined by white behavior toward them then logically the white behavior is equally determined by some source outside themselves. 143 There is simply insufficient information to discern any relationship between the Latino immigrants and the police department specifically in San Francisco, so the treatment of the newcomers by the justice system generally will be assumed to reflect that of police officers. 144 This formulation ignores the Indian population. While an important part of the criminal justice story of the state, Indians do not play a large role in the story of American San Francisco. 145 Eldredge, The Beginnings of San Francisco, 202. 146 Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, 1:162,agrees. "There were then no jails, no juries, no sheriff, law processes or courts," he wrote of the period prior to the American arrival, "conscience and public opinion were law and justice held an evenly balanced rule.” 147 Private correspondence. In fairness to the Latinos, it must be noted, he also calculates a rate of 206.1 in the seven years following the American conquest. 148 Robert Dykstra, “Field Notes Overdosing on Dodge City,” Western Historical Quarterly, Winter 1996, 510. 123 149 Dykstra, Cattle Towns, 144, points out that there was only an average of 1.5 homicides per year in the supposedly murderous Kansas cattle towns in the 1870s. Those who disagree with his conclusions point out that this translates into an annual rate of 160 per 100,000 in 1878 Dodge City. McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 8. 150 William Heath Davis. Seventy Five Years in California, 288-89. San Francisco‟s population broke down to about 60/40 non-Latino white to Latino 151 Mullen, “Crime Politics and Punishment in Mexican San Francisco,” The Californians, Jan/Feb 1990. 152 Mann, Unequal Justice: A Question of Color, 11. “Latino Americans [Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans] have generally been examined as an entity, with a resultant loss of the cultural nuances of each group, The Diversity of these groups and the scant data available on each subgroup limit any in depth discussion of each one.” 153 Carlos U. Lopez, Chileans in California: A Study of the 1850, 1852, & 1860 Census. 154 Monaghan, Chile Peru and the Gold Rush,57. 155 Ibid., 20. 156 In California in the 1990s, for example, the urban rate averaged 9.1 per 100,000 compared to 4.5 for rural areas. California Department of Justice Statistics. 157 As late as the 1920s, California‟s rural rate (8.18) exceeded the 7.98 urban rate. H.C. Brearly, Homicide in the United States, 153. 158 Lane, Murder in America, 296. Through most of the history of America and England, cities generally were more peaceable than the countryside and had lower murder rates. 159 Boessenecker, Gold Dust and Gunsmoke, 19. 124 160 Shover, in Chico’s Lemm Ranch Murders and the Anti-Chinese Campaign of 1877, 11, cites Walter M. Fisher (The Californians London: McMillan, 1876) as commenting “There is difficulty in accounting for the fact that a majority of rural Californians sleep with a rifle in their bedroom, and a travel revolver in their pocket.” The first California enactments prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons specifically exempted travelers in transit. 161 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 163, reports very high rates in the seven nineteenth century California counties he studied. However, he reports “Sacramento, the most urban county, had the lowest [homicide] rate,” of the seven. Boessenecker establishes a rate of 414 in Los Angeles County, a jurisdiction with a predominately rural population of 8,500 in 1851. Boessenecker, Gold Dust and Gunsmoke, 323. 162 “Homicide Calendar for California for the Year 1854,” Daily California Chronicle December 30, 1854. Also the Daily California Chronicle January 5, 1856. Homicides and group killings involving Indians and lynchings were not counted for the purposes of this exercise. This is a study of interpersonal violence and many of the killings of and by Indians amounted to casualties in what was in effect a guerrilla war. Lynchings in this context will be adjudged not so much as crimes but as the community response to crime. 163 “Legend has it,” says Roger McGrath, “that the bandidos were old Californians displaced by the arrival of thousands of Yankees. Actually, many of the bandidos were recent arrivals from Mexico.” McGrath. “A Violent Birth, Disorder. And Law Enforcement in the Gold Rush” Taming the Elephant, 28. 164 Hittell, History of California 3:713. Lee Johnson, Roaring Camp, 32. Thornton, Searching for Joaquin, 81,90. 125 165 Clare V. McKanna “Ethnics and San Quentin Prison Registers: A Comment on Methodology,” Journal Of Social History Carnegie-Mellon University 18, no. 3, 481. According to one account, between 16 to 20 percent of San Quentin‟s inmates were Spanish-speaking, “an extraordinarily high figure, even considering inflation to allow for Yankee prejudice in law enforcement, because Latinos were then only roughly 10 % of the population.” Jean Sherrell “California Bandidos: A Yankee Perspective” The Californians, May/June 1985, 11. Linda Parker found much the same thing in her 1992 study of three nineteenth century California counties. Indeed, she claims, the pattern of disproportionate treatment persists. Linda S. Parker “Superior Court Treatment of Ethnics Charged with Violent Crimes in Three California Counties, 1880-1910,” Southern California Quarterly. Fall 1992, 243. 166 Heizer and Almquist, The Other Californians, 147. 167 Mirande, Gringo Justice, 25. 168 Mann, Unequal Justice, 101. Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, 95. 169 “Homicide Calendar for California for the Year 1854” Daily California Chronicle December 30,1854. The Daily California Chronicle January 5, 1856. 170 See Frederick Wirt, Power in the City., 245 “The flood of forty-niners diluted the state‟s contingent of those of Spanish, Mexican, or Latin American origin. Succeeding waves of Anglo immigrants thinned their proportion out even more. . . . ” It is estimated that Mexicans constituted 15 percent of the state‟s population in 1850, and 12 percent in 1860. 171 Heizer and Almquist, The Other Californians, 147. 172 Soule et al, Annals, 472. 126 173 Heizer and Almquist, The Other Californians, 147. 174 Mullen, Let Justice Be Done. 175 The authors of The Annals, 257, didn‟t think much better of anyone, it must be noted. They also included descriptions of “Russians with furs and sables. . . .; great numbers of tall, goat-chinned, smooth-cheeked, oily – locked, lank-visaged, tobacco-chewing, large- limbed and featured, rough, care-worn, careless Americans from every State of the Union, dressed independently in every variety of garb, not caring a fig what people though of them, but determined to „do the thing handsomely,‟ and „go ahead;‟ fat, conceited, comfortable Englishmen, who pretended to compete in shrewdness with the subtle Yankee – as if it were the „manifest destiny‟ of Jonathan, everywhere, but especially on his own ground., to Outshine John! There the were bands of gay, easy- principled, philosophical Germans, Italian and Frenchmen of every cut and figure, their faces covered with hair, and with strange habiliments on their person, and among whom might be particularly remarked numbers of thick-lipped, hook-nosed,ox-eyed, cunning, oily Jews.” 176 McGrath, “A Violent Birth: Disorder, Crime, and Law Enforcement, 1849-1890” 177 Boessenecker, “California Bandidos: Social Bandits or Sociopaths,” Southern California Quarterly Winter 1998. 178 Ibid. 179 The first two commitments to state prison on a homicide charge from San Francisco were Latinos. Jose Contreras was sentenced to three years in state prison for the November 1851 killing of a workmate in a drunken dispute and Dolores Martinez, a 19 127 year old prostitute from Mexico, was sentenced to one year in San Quentin for killing another prostitute in a Kearny street dancing saloon. San Quentin Prison Register. 180 Any estimate of rates by sub-groups in San Francisco in the early 1850s is necessarily inexact due to the uncertainty about population figures. Thodore Hittell History of California 3:412 estimates a population of 3000 “Spanish Americans” in his estimate of 50,000 as the San Francisco population in 1853. The 1852 census numbers 1500 Chileans residing in San Francisco. We can never know for sure, but given the well known departures for home in the early 1850s, the San Francisco Latino proportion of the population was probably less than for the state as a whole. The number was probably higher than Hittell estimates in the earlier years and lower in the later, which leaves his proportion as a good working average upon which to estimate rates for the decade. 181 McKanna in “Ethnics and San Quentin Prison Registers,” says “The prison register data suggest that the treatment of minorities by the legal system seems to have been fairly equal during the sentencing procedure.” Even though more Latinos were sentenced, he says, they received the same sentences as whites for the same type of crime. “Prison registers,” he continues, “however, must be used with a great deal of caution: they are not, for example, a reliable indicator of crime rates.” 182 Nancy J. Taniguchi in “Weaving a Different World: Women and the California Gold Rush,” California History Summer 2000. 183 In the first half of the decade between 1850 and 1854 San Francisco suffered five robbery homicides in two of which perpetrators were clearly identified, one of which was the Forni case The other was the case of Joseph Daniels who killed his business partner, 128 Peter Petit, in August 1849 in which the case was eventually dismissed by a court because of legal insufficiencies. In the other cases perpetrators were never identified. 184 Bancroft. Popular Tribunals 1:48 185 Pitt, Decline of the Californios, 75. 186 Wolfgang and Ferracuti, The Subculture of Violence, 281. To this day Mexico has a national homicide rate three times that of the United States. 187 Thornton, Searching for Joaquin, xii. 188 Wirt, Power in the City, 245, estimates a Latino population of the state in 1870 at four percent of the total. The figure was probably lower for San Francisco. 189 Lloyd, Lights and Shades in San Francisco, 58. 190 Gurr, Violence in America Vol.1,,35, cites Paul. L. Gilje as claiming that the Irish “injected a more virulent strain of violence into the popular disorder.” “Irish immigrants,” says Gurr, “appear with far greater than chance frequency in police records and accounts of public disorder from the 1840s onward.” 191 Lane, Violent Death in the City, 103. 192 Lane, Murder in America, 117. 193 Monkkonen, Murder in New York City, 138. Speaking of mid-nineteenth century New York, Monkkonen says “At this juncture, it is reasonable to claim that young Irish and German males were slaughtering each other in New York City, that at mid-century homicide was an ethnic problem.” 194 Elwin H. Powell, “Crime As A Function of Anomie,” in The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, vol. 57, No. 2 (1966) 195 McCann, The Fighting Irish, 9. 129 196 O Hogain, Celtic Warriors, 9. “Keltoi” the Greek word for “Celt” comes, according to Daithi O Hogain, “from the Indo-European root *Kel (meaning „to strike‟). . . . The original meaning of the term Celts would therefore appear to have been „warriors.‟” 197 Ibid., 17. 198 Wickersham, Crime and the Foreign Born., 71, Brearly Homicide,40-41. Matthew G. Yeager Immigrants and Criminality: A Meta Survey. Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Government of Canada, 1996, Samuel Walker, Cassia Spohn, and Miriam LeLone. Mann, The Color of Justice, 75. 199 It is a widely observed phenomenon. Handlin, The Uprooted, 162-3. Thrasher, The Gang, 252 and 489. Sanchez Jankowski, Islands in the Streets. Jackson and McBride, Understanding Street Gangs,10. Melissa Hung “Lost Generation” East Bay Express, June 12, 2002. “Dr. Paul Nieuwbeerta, a criminologist with the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, notes that the Dutch have found in recent years that the children of older immigrants tend to engage in more delinquent behavior than their parents.” Personal correspondence. 200 See Alejandro Portes, “For the Second Generation, One Step at a Time,” in Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What it Means to be An American, 158-162. Portes ascribes the phenomenon to discrimination by the host society and the fact that many newcomers are forced to live in neighborhoods imbued with criminal pathologies which hold out attractions to their children. 201 Monkkonen, Murder In New York City, 138 and 220. 202 Lane ,Violent Death in the City, 103. 130 203 Leyburn in The Scotch Irish, 332, claims that “the Scots who lived in Ulster before they came to America simply were not, in background, religion, and many other aspects of culture, identical with the Irish of the southern provinces of Leinster, Muster, and Connaught. . . . .” See also Webb, Born Fighting, 15. 204 Nisbett and Cohen, Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South, 8. 205 Dinnerstien and Jaher, The Aliens, 7. 206 Ibid., 79. “[N]o ethnic group of this period (1850s) except for the Indians and the blacks, endured greater deprivation than the Irish” “The Irish were also overrepresented in proportion to their percentage of the population in crime and poverty.” 207 Burchell, San Francisco Irish, 184-5. 208 Virginia City Nevada had 8 homicides in 18 months following the discovery, a boomtown rate of 176 per 100,000, according to Roger McGrath in “Violence and Lawlessness on the Western Frontier” in Gurr, Violence in America, 135. 209 It was as recent as 1990 that Gottfredson and Hirschi made their assertion that “No evidence exists that augmentation of police forces or equipment, differential patrol strategies or differential intensities of surveillance have any effect on crime rates.” A General Theory of Crime, 270. 210 Dykstra, Cattle Towns, 114. “Primary responsibility for these homicides,” he says, “must be laid to the lack of any systematic efforts to suppress violence in the as yet municipally unorganized Communities.” 211 Lane, Murder In America,182. Vandal, Rethinking Southern Violence, 134. 212 Bancroft, Popular Tribunals, 2:641. 213 Martin Burke Dictation, Bancroft Library 131 214 Ibid. 215 His party declined to nominate him for reelection in 1866 in part because of his implacable efforts to clean up the city‟s vice districts. 216 The Chinese homicide rate had its own unique temporal trajectory during the nineteenth century and is thus not included in this part of the discussion. 217 The problem of identifying Irish men from their surnames alone is illustrated by the names of the three Irish men hanged in the 1850s. We happen to know from other sources, for instance, that the William Morris who killed Doak in San Francisco in 1858 was a Gaelic-speaking Catholic, born in Southern Ireland. But if we had only his surname to go on, we would have to entertain the possibility that he could well have been from another of the British Isles, and not what anyone would consider a member of the Irish community. 218 One, and perhaps two, of the eight hanged by the vigilantes were Irish. 219 Municipal reports, 1871-72. 220 A number of origins of the word hoodlum have been advanced, but all trace its source to San Francisco in the late 1860s and early 1870s. It is most likely to have derived from the Bavarian German hodalump, which means exactly the same thing. Southern Germans made up a large foreign language group in San Francisco in the 1870s, and many were small merchants who kept combination grocery store/saloons favored by hoodlums with their custom. 221 Public perceptions about the prevalence of youth oriented violence are validated by the age trends reflected in the San Quentin Prison Register. Twenty two percent of those 132 imprisoned for homicide in the 1860s from San Francisco were under 30 years of age. During the 1870s that proportion more than doubled to than 45.6 percent 222 In response to assertions that Chinese themselves were racist, Chen in Chinese in San Francisco, 1850-1943, 30, asserts that the Chinese had a sense of cultural superiority but since their biases were directed at all non-Chinese people, they cannot be construed as racist. 223 Sowell, Migration And Cultures: A World View, 28 and 227. Horowitz, The Deadly Ethnic Riot, 3. Sowell, Ethnic America, 133. McClain, in In Search of Equality, 10, accepts Theodore Hittell‟s argument that the antipathy toward California‟s Chinese was largely economic in its origins, saying “Beneath all the surface rationalizations,” the gravamen of the complaints aginst the Chinese was that “they worked too hard (often for less pay than others were willing to accept), saved too much, and spent too little.” They also looked and behved differently from the majority population. 224 Alta, July 8, 1851. 225 Shearer, The Pacific Tourist, 281. 226 Rodman Paul, "The Origin of the Chinese Issue in California." in Dinnerstein and Jaher. The Aliens, 164. "Beyond all these social differentiations the Chinese established for themselves a peculiar economic position." See also Chua, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. 227 After the troubles in 1876 and 1877, the numbers fell off to a yearly average of slightly more than 9,000 a year in the period between 1877 and 1881. In 1882, the year the Exclusion law suspending the immigration of laborers was enacted, 39,500 Chinese newcomers got in under the wire. Thereafter the average annual rate declined. 133 228 Swain in The New White Nationalists, 120, cites Donald, Green, Robert,Abelson and Andrew Rich in “Defending Neighborhoods, Integration and Racially Motivated Crime.” American Journal of Sociology 104 (1998) 372-403. “Green and colleagues argue that demographic change is more likely to bring about racial and ethnic violence than downturns in the economy as dominant groups succumb to an impulse to defend neighborhoods and areas they consider their territory.” 229 “The Chinese formed a distinct class which enriched itself at the expense of the country,” noted one contemporary observer, “abstracting a large portion of its latent wealth without contributing in a degree commensurate with their numbers to the prosperity of the community of which they formed a part.” J.D. Borthwick. “Three years in California,” in Milo Quaife, Pictures of Gold Rush California, 237. 230 Chen Chinese in San Francisco, 217. and 262-3. Chen disagrees with the idea of the Chinese as “sojourners,” explaining that the traveling “back and forth across the ocean,” which characterized Chinese immigrant behavior from the start really spoke to the “trans- Pacific” nature of their community. 231 Chinese Immigration: Its Social, Moral, and Political Effect. Matthew Karcher ex- chief of police for Sacramento testified that the presence of the Chinese are largely responsible for the Hoodlum problem. “[I]n other countries boys find employment in this light work, but here it is done by the Chinese.” 232 One of the most notable nineteenth century street gangs, the Telegraph Hill Rockrollers, earned its name for rolling large stones down the hill on Chinese laundrymen crossing the streets down below. 233 Lloyd, Lights and Shades, 297. 134 234 Thistletons‟s Illustrated Jolly Giant, May 22, 1875. 235 San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 1869. 236 Daniels. Coming To America,, 109 –10. German immigrants just about matched the Irish in numbers in the first great wave of European immigration in the nineteenth century. In all 2.5 million Irish immigrated to the United States between 1850 and 1890. During the same period 3.7 million came from German States. 237 Monkonnen, Murder In New York City, 138. Lane Violent Death In the City, 103. Jeffrey S. Adler. “We‟ve Got a Right To Fight; We‟re Married”: Ethnicity, Race, And Domestic Homicide In Chicago, 1875-1920.” 238 The coroner in 1885 issued a report of the nativity of the 142 homicide victims between July 1,1879 and June 30 1885. Of the 142, 25 (17.6%) were shown as being born in Ireland. This at a time when Irish born constituted 13 percent of the total population. Municipal Reports 1880-1885. 239 Coroners tabulations in Municipal Reports. 240 San Quentin Prison Register. 241 Carolyn Conley, in her study of criminal violence in late nineteenth century Ireland found “some degree of alcohol consumption seems to have been present in almost every case.” See “Irish Criminal Records,” Eire-Ireland (Spring 1993), 103. 242 These are all from the cases for which suspects are convicted and sentenced so we can be sure of their nativity 243 Bayor Neighbors In Conflict, 2- 3. 244 Dinnerstein and Jaher, The Aliens, 78. AlsoWickersham, Crime and the Foreign Born, 41. Burchell, San Francisco Irish, 60. 135 245 Conley, Melancholy Accidents, 1 and 214. 246 Ibid., 8. The very title of Conley‟s book, Melancholy Accidents, which refers to the Irish conception of what in the United States would clearly be criminal homicides as “accidents” -- or behavior beyond the control of the perpetrator -- should warn us of the strong possibility that the nineteenth century Irish might not have been too attentive to reporting criminal violence to the authorities, particularly that which did not result in death. 247 Ibid., 7. “Clearly, there were social sanctions in force against reporting crimes to the authorities,” she reports of the period of her study. “Persons who testified for the prosecution were often subjected to public condemnation, if not physical attack.” 248 O‟Donnell, The Irish Faction Fighters of the 19th Century, 9. Perhaps significantly, the practice got its start in Tipperary, William Morris‟ home county. 249 Conley, Melancholy Accidents, 20, 36. 250 Thrasher, The Gang, 212. 251 Conley, Melancholy Accidents, 33. As one judge explained it,“A man might attack another with his fists or with his walking stick but the use of the knife was a treacherous and serious thing.” The jurist characterized the practice as “the importation from a foreign country.” 252 See Anthony R. Harris, Stephen H. Thomas, Gene A. Fisher, David J. Hirsch “Murder and Medicine: The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999” Homicide Studies Volume 6, Number 2, May 2002. Homicide is usually a good index but for reasons shown below (less use of traditional weapons of assault) not so useful in estimating the total amount of Irish violence. 136 253 Asbury, Barbary Coast, 158. 254 Black, You Can’t Win, 152. 255 Table 4.1 goes here There seems to be something to the belief that Latinos were more inclined to use knives than others, at least in earlier times. That may be accounted for by the fact that nineteenth century Latinos both by tradition and economic circumstance would be less likely to have a firearm. In modern times at least in San Francisco, Latinos are as likely to use firearms as anyone else. And the Chinese, from early on were as adept at the use of firearms as were others despite their association with lather‟s hatchets as a principal tool of assassination. 256 Conley, Melancholy Accidents, 214. “[The Irish] homicide rate was well below that of England and Wales. Premeditated murder was rare as were violent robbery and sexual assaults.” “The bulk of Irish violence was personal,” she continues, which is more an argument about the types of violence encountered than its amount. Based on her own description of events in late nineteenth century Ireland there was obviously much more non-fatal violence that did not make its way into the records. All observations, except for the rate of actual homicides, would apply to the American Irish as well. 257 Lane, Murder in America, 181. 258 Ibid., 187. The Irish, once had the highest rate of any major group in Philadelphia . Toward the century‟s end the rate of indictments among those with Irish surnames fell to 1.8 per 100,000 or well be low city wide average. 259 Ibid., 186. 260 Ibid., 183. 137 261 Daniels, Coming to America, 141. And the gender ratios of Irish immigrants changed. In the period from 1851 to 1880, the ratio of male to female immigrants was 1.14 to 1, and from 1880 to 1910 the ratio shifted from .98 to 1. This would have had some effect on homicide rates. 262 Godfrey, Neighborhoods in Transition, 74. 263 Meagher, Inventing Irish America, 26. Angela Bourke in The Burning of Bridget Cleary, 6-11, describes the change from the “old” to the “new” Ireland during this period in another context. 264 Personal correspondence from Carolyn Conley. “Irish National Archives. Return of Outrages Reported to the Constabulary Office, 1848-1878; 1879-1892. CSO ICR Volume 1&2. 265 Conley, “Irish Criminal Records, 1865-1892,” Eire-Ireland Spring 1993. 266 Alta, July 7, 1866 267 Table 5.1 goes here It wasn‟t until the 1870s that the Chinese population was large enough to avoid charges of “fallacy of small numbers.” But in this case the principle operates in the opposite direction from what might be expected. The smaller population should militate in favor of a higher rate when in fact the reverse is the case, suggesting an even greater upsurge in Chinese homicide than the sharp upward movement on the graph would suggest. 268 The conflict found fertile ground to grow and prosper in New World settlements. “The first large scale Chinese tong war in America,” says C.Y. Lee in Days of the Tong Wars, ix, “was fought between antiemporer elements and the Manchu loyalists.” This mutual 138 enmity can be discerned behind much of the criminal justice which followed in San Francisco‟s Chinatown. 269 The problem is illuminated by the career of Assing (Yuen Shen) who according to Benson Tong (Unsubmissive Women,10) was both “the organizer of a hui-kuan and leader of a protection ring.” 270 Lamely, “Lineage Feuding in Southern Fujian and Eastern Guandong Under Qing Rule,” Violence in China, Lipman and Harrell (eds.), 32. See also Pan, Sons of the Yellow Emperor, 19. Brian Paciotti in “Homicide in Seattle‟s Chinatown, 1900-1940: Evaluating the Influence of Social Organizations,” (Manuscript. To be published in Homicide Studies. Sage Publications) writes that “there is substantial evidence that a particular set of social organizations were brought to the U.S. by Chinese immigrants, and these likely had a great impact on patterns of violence.” See also McIllwain, Organizing Crime in Chinatown, 184. 271 The first killing of a Chinese in San Francisco was by a white man. On October 10, 1853 two white men entered a Chinese washhouse on the Jackson street wharf and when told they could not have their laundry without a ticket, one of the men shot the laundryman through the heart. A man was arrested but released when his pregnant wife swore that he was with her at the time. Two months after Ah Choy‟s murder, Sum Kow and Yee Lum, two laundrymen were found robbed and murdered in their shack near the Jackson Street lagoon. No killer was ever identified. 139 272 Tsai, The Chinese Experience in America, 40. According to Selim Woodworth of the 17,969 Chinese who arrived by August 1852, only 14 were women. (Gentry, Madams of San Francisco, 56) They were soon joined by others, chiefly prostitutes. 273 This factor should be kept in mind when considering Fig 5.3. When white females are removed from the equation to compensate for the absence of Chinese females compared to white females in the population, the disparity between white and Chinese homicide rates is diminished. Still, a vast gap remains. On average, as shown in table 5.3, from 1870 to 1930, the homicide rate for Chinese males ranged from three to five times that of white males. Table 5.3 goes here. 274 Sowell, Ethnic America, 138. In San Francisco, with all the relaxation of the usual standards in the Gold Rush boom, the idea of a Chinese being serviced by a white prostitute was out of the question. 275 Chinese arrivals “were ripped off from the moment they landed” says Martin Booth, The Dragon Syndicates, 296. Triads operating the travel agencies in China were in league with confederates in San Francisco 276 “There seems to be some secret societies among this [Chinese] people, by means of which a few of their number grossly oppress their brethren.” Reported the contemporary Annals, 385 “The police have attempted to interfere and protect the injured, though seldom with much effect.” 140 277 Asbury. Barbary Coast, 177. The backbone of Chinese prostitution was a system of slavery. Some were kidnapped in china and some were sold by their parents as useless girls. 278 Municipal Reports, 1859-60 Some have tried to romanticize frontier prostitutes, characterizing the prostitutes as embryonic entrepreneurs. "Entrepreneurship was almost a mania in San Francisco during the Gold Rush years,” says one modern writer. “Women's opportunities in prostitution paralleled men‟s opportunities in other frontier occupations, and, like the men, many tried to go into business for themselves, giving up prostitution to become madams or to buy and run gambling saloons or bar rooms." Barnhart. The Fair But Frail, xi. 279 Municipal Reports, 1864-65. Police chief Burke reports on Chinese prostitutes at Jackson and Dupont and asks for the Board of Health to locate them elsewhere. 280 Alta, January 16, 1866. 281 A large part of Burke‟s opposition came from white property owners who profited from renting premises which commanded high prices because of the use as vice resorts. 282 Hart H. North, “Chinese Highbinder Societies in California,” California Historical Society Quarterly Vol. XXVI Number 1, 19. Tsai, The Chinese Experience in America, 52. Booth, The Dragon Syndicates, 22-26 and 52. Nee and Nee, Longtime Californ’ 68, Eve Armentrout-Ma, “Urban Chinese at the Sinitic Frontier: Social Organizations in United States‟ Chinatowns, 1849-1898.” Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1983), 118. 283 Tsai, The Chinese Experience, 40. But George Anthony Pepper in If They Don’t Bring Their Women With Them, 6-7, 124, contends that that instead of 70 percent of the women 141 being prostitutes as believed by some, it was no more than 50 percent. It is beyond the scope of this work to discuss this topic at any length but for our purposes it is sufficient to say that 50 percent of a population as prostitutes constitutes a great deal of prostitution in a society where other groups show from three to five percent of their women as prostitutes. 284 Mann, in Unequal Justice, 94 contends that prostitution caused crime. “Things were no better in Malaya or Singapore,” reports Pan in Sons of the Yellow Emperor, 13, describing conditions in Chinese brothels there which often resulted in violence. 285 Monkkonen, Murder in New York City, 107. His figures for New York ranged from two to five percent in the nineteenth century (about same as San Francisco at the time generally). 286 Actually, from the surrounding circumstances, it is probable, as found by Paciotti in Seattle, the vast majority of Chinese homicides in San Francisco at the time were in some way connected with tong activities. The disagregation used here is to identify those Chinese homicides with economic characteristics. See also Tsai, The Chinese Experience, 54, who lists economic motives and the preservation of clan prestige as the most important causes of tong violence. 287 In all, 25 women were killed out of 349 Chinese killings from 1850 to 1930 (7 percent). One does not kill a valuable commodity as long as it retains its value. 288 Gong and Grant, Tong War!, 12, and Lee, Days of the Tong Wars, 98. 289 Cao, Everything, 30. 290 Lee, Days of the Tong Wars,56. 142 291 Cao, Everything, 20. The tongs were trade unions that regulated businesses “so as to avoid needless competition.” Is one man‟s “needless competition” an unjust restraint of another‟s individual freedom? 292 Mann, Unequal Justice, 94. It is this imbalance between men and women in the Chinese community that “contributed heavily to their crime history.” 293 McIllwain, Organizing Crime in Chinatown, 42. 294 Charles A. Tracy, “Race Crime and Social Policy: The Chinese in Oregon, 1871- 1885” Crime and Social Justice Vol II (Winter 1980), 11-25. 295 Mann, Unequal Justice, 94 Says that the presence of more women in 1930s brought down the crime rates. But the ratio of men to women remained about the same in San Francisco during that period. The ratio of Chinese men to women in the U.S. in 1920 was 3.5:1, in 1930 3:1 and 1940 2.9:1. Zhao, Remaking Chinese America, 9. 296 Ibid. Some say it was due to “economy, kinship, and cultural values,” or that women stayed home for reasons having to do with pressures within the Chinese society. Others found that the principal factor was the “result of discriminatory legislation against the Chinese in America.” (Peffer and Sucheng Chang.) According to Sandmeyer very few women came because Chinese custom forbade it and, for the most part, men planned to return to China. This invited the importation of prostitutes. It was more than custom. See Lucy E. Sayler Laws Harsh as Tigers, 9. For several centuries before the Burlingame treaty Chinese law had defined emigration as a crime punishable by death. In the early eighteenth century, the Chinese emperor had banned emigration under penalty of death. (Cao, Everything ., 10.) The Burlingame treaty put an end to that by providing for the free 143 mutual “migration and emigration of their citizens and subjects, respectively for purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents.” 297 The memorialists also added that popular outbursts against the Chinese also discouraged bringing their families, all of which gives rise to a “chicken and egg” situation. In this instance the “egg” of self-exclusion would seem to take precedence over the “chicken” of hostility created by the absence of families and their stabilizing influences. 298 It was the same with the Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asian countries. “Chinese immigrants of the pre-World War I era [to Thailand] were at least 90 percent male, and among the few females a significant proportion went into brothels.” Sowell, Migration and Cultures, 146. The ratio of Chinese men to women was ten to one in the Philippines in 1918, 208. 299 In 1867 the Six Companies sent a letter to Police Chief Patrick Crowley offering to help identify the Chinese women on incoming ships who are not really the wives of the men they claimed to be. 300 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, 123. This has been interpreted by some to mean protection from white racists. According to Thomas Emch “The Chinatown Murders,” in Dickensheet, Great Crimes of San Francisco, 184, “the tongs were formed “to protect members from oppression and injustices of the racist white bosses.” The oppression which contributed to the growth of the tongs in San Francisco can be traced rather to the leading Chinese families. Gong and Grant, Tong War!, 28. 301 According to Cao, Everything, 20, a million Chinese lost their lives in the Taiping rebellion. As bad as things were in California, conditions were better than at home. 144 302 The People v. Hall Oct. T, 1854, California State Supreme Court. See McIllwain, Organizing Crime in Chinatown, 31. 303 Sayler, Laws Harsh as Tigers, xv. See also McClain, In Search of Equality, 3. 304 McKanna, Race and Homicide in California, 37. 305 More recently, as has been commented on by many, the solution rate for a number of reasons has declined to about 50 percent in many jurisdictions. In the period between 1870 and 1930, 41 percent of Chinese homicides had no named suspects. During the same period the percentage of unsolved cases for whites was 16.5 percent 306 This study also considers those executed which accounts for the slight difference between 60 and 64 percent. 307 McKanna, Race and Homicide in California, 98. 308 Tonry Malign Neglect, 49. Tonry says the same thing. “for nearly a decade there has been a near consensus among scholars and policy analysts that most black punishment disproportions result not from racial bias or discrimination within the system but from patterns of black offending and blacks‟ criminal records. 309 Chronicle, December 11,1875. 310 Trial Transcript., 302 311 The Jolly Giant on March 15, 1876 reported on a system of Chinese graft that reached the office of the Chief of Police. 312 Barth, Bitter Strength, 83. 313 This sort of unholy alliance can in part be held responsible for some of the violence. In an analogous situation reported by George Wickersham in another immigrant community 145 it seems to have been the case (Crime and the Foreign Born, 55-6) The Massachusetts Immigration Commission noted in 1914 “Police corruption, which takes the form of protection of criminals, enables an Italian, or sometimes criminals of other nationalities, to develop in an Italian colony the “Black Hand” system of blackmail.” 314 Lamely, “Lineage Feuding in Southern Fujian and Eastern Guandong Under Qing Rule,” 6. 315 Nee and Nee, Long Time Californ’, 68. 316 Call, November 12,1896. There were contemporary reports, sometimes accompanied with photographs, of some rather extreme forms of punishment employed in China at the time. London Black and White Budget, December 8,1900. While the editorial tone of the accompanying text points to a condescending attitude toward “the heathens,” the photograph attests to the severity of the punishment. Recent reports of widespread summary executions in modern China suggest a different approach to punishment than in the United States. Whether severe penalties affect homicide rates remains a matter for debate, but it was generally believed in the nineteenth century--by all parties--that they did. In a January 15, 1915 letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, printed in the pidgin English in which it was received, How Some Yen and Ah Lee Sing sought to explain the persistence of tong murders in San Francisco, “More Chinaman in Hongkong, they have not tong war, because he catch the murder he hang them; money cannot buy them out.” 317 Examiner, January 25, 1897. 318 Peterson Del Mar, Beaten Down, 10 and passim. 146 319 Tsai, The Chinese Experience in America, 54, reports on a vicious tong war in San Francisco in 1886 during which the Chinese legation says that the participants will be deported and the relatives in Guangdong will be held responsible. These measures were imposed he says and by 1900 violence in America‟s Chinatowns had declined dramatically. After 1921, he claims, tong wars were virtually nonexistent. Would that it were so. 320 Gong and Grant, Tong War!, 195. Nine were killed in the “war,” but only three of them were in San Francisco pointing to much higher rates if municipal boundaries are ignored. 321 According to Manion, there were only 11 Chinese deaths in San Francisco that year. 322 Dillon, Hatchetmen, xv, says “the Chinese exclusion act, … was a powerful third force which cut down on the importation of fresh highbinders and which banished gunmen.” As the hatchetmen killed off one another. Older men gained control of tongs 323 www.gio.gov.tw/info/book2000/ch09_5.htm on Overseas Chinese. 324 Thompson, Growth and Changes in California’s Population, 80. When confronted with the ratio of 136 males to 100 females among native born Chinese, he found it unbelievable. What he was looking at was the phenomenon of paper sons. The males came and the females didn‟t. 325 Douglas 20, July 1926, and Chronicle, April 9, 1941. 326 Manion wasn‟t operating in an attitudinal vacuum. A Chronicle editorial of March 29, 1921, commenting on the prospect of yet another tong war, opined that the “Chinese as a people have many admirable qualities, one evidence of their wisdom being their ability to export great number of their undesirables.” “Every member of every tong should be 147 rounded up into the most unsanitary ship we can find and delivered anywhere on the Chinese coast. Care should be taken to load at least two tongs on each ship and see to it that both are well armed. There will be few to unload when the ship reaches its destination.” 327 We have the exact date of the ultimatum. In December 1921, when it appeared that the Suey Sing and Hip Sing tongs were about to break a recent peace agreement, Police Chief Daniel O‟Brien instructed Manion to inform tong leaders that if the peace were broken, the police would “put a fine comb to Chinatown and either attempt to have deported or prosecute every known offender.” Chronicle, December 31, 1921. 328 Brearly, Homicide, 98, cites a national rate of Chinese homicide in 1924 of 87.4 per 100,000 329 Ivan Light, “From Vice District to Tourist Attraction: The Moral Career of American Chinatowns, 1880-1940,” Pacific Historical Review, Volume XLIII August1974, 367- 394. 330 Examiner, October 20, 1921. 331 In 1856 John Dougherty and William Scott were prosecuted for an unprovoked attack on a Chinese man.(Bulletin, November 25, 1856) On September 15, 1864 the Bulletin reported that “three little boys set three bull dogs on an unoffending Chinaman” at Broadway and Sansome while adults looked on approvingly. Mark Twain, then a news reporter in San Francisco, later reported that he left his employment with the Call because the editor would not print a story he wrote about a group of hoodlums beating a Chinese man and that a police officer present did nothing. Workmen rioted against competing Chinese workers south of Market in 1867 prefiguring the larger 1877 anti-Chinese riot. 148 332 People can be terrible. Less well known is an incident in Tientsin, China in 1870 when an angry mob broke into an orphanage run by French Sisters of Charity and “raped sixteen nuns, gouged out their eyes, sliced off their breasts, and chopped up their bodies before throwing them into the flames of their mission.” Preston The Boxer Rebellion, 25. 333 Shover, Chico’s Lemm Ranch Murders, 35. 334 Encyclopedia of Violence, 233. 335 Daniels, Coming to America, 249 says that “more of them did not do so (i.e. relate to American as well as Chinese cultural patterns) was at least as much the fault of the American Society that rejected them as it was due to the deep hold that Chinese culture had on most of its members, even the emigrants.” 120 100 White Chinese 80 Rate per 100K 60 40 20 0 1860- 1865- 1870- 1875- 1880- 1885- 1895- 1900- 1905- 1910- 1915- 1920- 1925- 1864 1869 1874 1879 1884 1889 1899 1904 1909 1914 1919 1924 1929 Year 149 Table 5.1 Populations for selected ethnic and racial groups 1850-1930 Year White Chinese Black Latino 1850 26,000 (est.) 800 (est.) 200 (est) 3,000 (est.) 1860 56,802 2,719 1,176 * 1870 136,059 12,022 1,330 * 1880 210,496 21,745 1,628 * 1890 270,696 25,833 1,847 * 1900 325,378 13,954 1,654 * 1910 400,014 10,582 1,642 * 1920 490,022 7,744 3,776 * 1930 602,891 16,303 3,803 * *Included in White Table 5.2 Comparison between the percentage of Chinese in the population, percentage of Chinese homicide incidence and percentage of those punished %of population %of homicide %of those punished by Chinese hanged or imprisoned 1870s 8.7% 23.9% 19.6% 1880s 8.9% 21.4% 21.5% 1890s 6.1% 27.2 % 19.7% 1900s 3.2% 16.2% 6.4% 1910s 1.9% 7.7% 9.3% 1920s 2.1% 4.4% 11.4% Table 5.3 Male Homicide Rates Chinese Compared to White Chinese White 1870s 38.6 19.3 1880s 23.2 13.8 1890s 30.8 12.8 1900s 50.0 13.3 1910s 74.7 15.2 1920s 24.1 9.2 336 Ibid.,198. 150 337 Rolle, The Immigrant Upraised, 256.Three hundred Italians were counted in the 1850 census in the entire state. In 1852 there were 5000 or more each from France, Germany and the British Isles in San Francisco alone. 338 Cinel, San Francisco Italians, 104 339 Beilharz, Lopez, We Were 49ers!, 107. 340 In his Chicago study of domestic violence, “We‟ve got a right to fight; we‟re married,” Jeffrey Adler chose not to use the data from the 1870s “because the number of homicides in the city was not large enough to yield reliable rates.” 341 See Adler “Halting the Slaughter of Innocents,” Social Science History 25.1, Spring 2001 and Gurr, Violence in America, 38. These two categories are not included in the San Francisco and New York figures. See also Leigh B. Bienen and Brandon Rottinghaus, “Learning from the Past: Understanding Homicide in Chicago, 1870-1930.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol 92, Nos 3-4. 2002, 497. 342 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter,” Much of the rate increase was Italian in Chicago. Adler “The city‟s spiraling homicide level at least partially reflected the arrival and subsequent adjustment period – of newcomers who were drawn from the European and American groups that had high rates of violence and faced particular discrimination in Chicago.” Rolle, The Immigrant Upraised, 259. There was little discrimination against Italians in California. 343 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter.” The homicide rate for Italian born residents of Chicago in the 1910s was four times the overall level and ten times that of Germans. 151 344 Lane, Murder in America, 189. The average rate was 1.3 per 100,000 population for non-Italian whites, and 12.9 for blacks. Italians were convicted at a rate of 26.5 per 100,000. 345 Fosdick, Police Systems in the United States, 23. 346 Brearly, Homicide, 41. To the extent that arrests, indictments and incarcerations are used as the comparative measurement, it could be argued that discriminatory arrest and prosecutorial practices contributed to the higher rates. But the numbers hold up for those jurisdictions--San Francisco and Chicago--where the rates of incidence are available. 347 Wickersham, Crime and the Foreign Born, 42 . 348 Men outnumbered women among foreign born Italians almost two to one in 1910. See Sowell, Ethnic America, 109. 349 Though seen by some as a monolithic group, the Black Hand was rather a technique employed by any number of small groups of thugs, hoping to profit from the success of others. In that respect the thugs were not a great deal different from what we have found in the Chinese community. 350 Examiner, February 12, 1892. New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessey was killed by one faction in an Italian criminal dispute. When the charges against the accused killers were not sustained in court, a lynch mob invaded the jail and killed eleven Italians. 351 Chronicle, January 27, 1914. Chronicle, February 7, 1914, Bulletin June 30, 1914. September 6, 1915.Chronicle and Examiner December 24, 1915. 352 These instances may have been part of the ethnic succession of fishermen from Genoese to Sicilian. Early fishermen were Genoese; later they were supplanted by Sicilians. Gumina, Italians of San Francisco p 81. 152 353 San Francisco Call and Post, Oct 25, 1916. 354 Duke, Celebrated Criminal Cases In America, 177. 355 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter.” Discrimination had an effect in Chicago, at least short term. 356 Hopkins, Our Lawless Police,339. 357 Wickersham. Crime and the Foreign Born p,55-6. However, when Wickersham‟s investigators interviewed San Francisco Italians a few years later they claimed no mistreatment, and, said Wickersham, “there is practically no statistical evidence indicative of discrimination either for or against the foreign born,” 171. 358 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter” on p, 34-5 says that Chicago‟s spiraling homicide rate was in part attributable to “newcomers drawn from European …groups that had high rates of violence….” Rudolph J. Vecoli “Contadini in Chicago: A Critique of The Uprooted,” in The Aliens, 218, says that Southern Italy had the highest rate of homicide in Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Lane, Murder in America, 229,348. Sicily in the 1920s had a homicide rate of 22 per 100,000. It was largely in Southern Italy that Wolfgang developed his subculture of violence theory. 359 Vecoli, The Aliens, 221. 360 Lane offers both a culture of violence and treatment by the host society to explain Italian homicide. Lane Murder, 348 “Irish and Italians brought violent traditions with them, Jews and Scandinavians did not.” 361 Sowell Ethnic America, 101 says “As in the case of the Irish and others, conditions in their original homeland continued to affect Italian Americans after generations of living in America.” 153 362 In the immediate aftermath of the quake, according to Gumina ( The Italians of San Francisco, 31) from 500 to 600 Italians departed the city but as many as 6000 arrived to help with the rebuilding. 363 Ibid., 5. 364 Ibid., 167. 365 Meagher, Inventing Irish America,24. 366 As will be shown later, blacks from the rural south during the 1940s and Chinese immigrants in the 1960 were not always welcomed by their fellow blacks and Chinese. 367 Sowell, Ethnic America, 108 “The northern Italians openly repudiated the southern Italians – perhaps more forcefully than any other American group has repudiated others of the same nationality.” 368 Gumina, Italians, 5. Too few of the Southerners had the requisite agricultural skills, “Consequently the new arrivals faced discrimination from American employers and from the established Italian immigrants in the Colony who regarded the new arrivals as a threat to the economy of the Italian economy.” See also Sebastian Fichera The Meaning of Community, 133. 369 Gumina, Italians, 6. 370 Lord, The Italian in America, 91. Italian immigrants were discouraged from coming to San Francisco by the strength of organized union labor. “There is, however, no desire on the part of the leading Italians of the city,” Lord wrote in 1905, “to induce any influx of immigration to seek employment within the city limits, as the organized labor unions practically control the trades and are jealous of any intrusion of non-union labor. . . . ” 371 Fichera, The Meaning of Community, 167. 154 372 Dillon North Beach, 3. As late as 1904, 73 percent of Italians in California were northerners. In 1935 according to Paul Radin, in his monograph The Italians of San Francisco Their Adjustment and Acculturation, 36 percent of San Francisco Italians traced their origins to Southern Italy or Sicily whereas 64 percent originated in Central or Northern Italy. In Chicago, on the other hand, during the 1920s, as John Landesco reported in his Organized Crime in Chicago, 108., Sicilians “compose the overwhelming majority of the Italian population of Chicago.” 373 Fichera, The Meaning of Community, 13,34,140 . 374 Thrasher, The Gang, 205. In Chicago in the 1920s says Thrasher, “The police take a rather fatalistic attitude toward this [Black Hand] type of killing on account of the lack of cooperation by those who might give information.” This attitude was modified in 1926 when a drive to deport all alien gangsters commenced because of difficulty in finding jurors. “It was said that the fear of vengeance at the hands of the gang deterred the veniremen from serving on the jury.” 375 Fichera, The Meaning of Community, 162. 376 There were other problems though. Giuseppe Chantiarro was shot by an unknown man at Green and Kearny Streets on January 30, 1918. He was shown to be a camorrist wanted for killing Joseph Volpe 17 days earlier in New York . Speculation was that he was followed out to San Francisco and killed. 377 Fichera concludes that the gangsters in Chicago were beyond the reach of the law. They delivered the vote and could keep the police out of their dives. In North beach, however, community strength was the underworld‟s weakness, for gangsters never found the kind of cover like in Chicago. 155 378 Chronicle, February 6, 1917. 379 Asbury, Gem of the Prairie, 231. 380 Chicago Daily News, May 25,1913. 381 In 1928 San Francisco Captain of Detectives Duncan Mattheson claimed that the 21 annual homicides in the city constituted the lowest per capita homicide rate in United States. (Call, July 19, 1928). 382 Examiner, August 2, 1925. 383 Landesco, Organized Crime in Chicago, 97. 384 Asbury, Gem of the Prairie, 355. 385 Owney Madden, New York‟s Irish gang leader cooperated with other emerging ethnic gangsters, Italian Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Jewish Meyer Lansky, and lived to die of old age in Hot Springs Arkansas. Consequently New York‟s Prohibition era homicide rate was closer to that of San Francisco than Chicago. The ethnic succession was not absolute. Indeed one can still find Irish gangs sharing some eastern cities with Italians and those of other ethnic groups but the trend definitely occurred. 386 Carl Sifakis attributes 500 murders in Detroit to the Purple Gang in his Encyclopedia of American Crime, 595. 387 Repetto, American Mafia, 223. 388 Maas, The Valachi Papers, 113. The generational transition was not immediate but by the end of the 1930s the vast majority of leaders of the national crime syndicate were “Americanized,” either having been born on the United States or brought here as very young children and raised here. Repetto American Mafia, 161. 156 389 According to Ovid Demaris in The Last Mafioso,167, it was the La Fata gang who killed Gaetano Ingrassia. 390 Chronicle, April 10, 1925 391 Lane, Murder, 183. See also Roots of Violence, 164. 392 Martinez. Latino Homicide,104 says that “If immigration opponents are correct, the appearance of Marielitos should have immediately influenced crime, an effect that should persist even after the initial disruption in the ethnic communities, and turnovers in population influenced most by the influx (i.e. Latinos)” The Marielitos did in fact have a dramatic effect on the homicide rate. But they could only have had a continuing effect if they remained in the community or were replaced by new arrivals. That did not happen. Many spread throughout the country. (Some were arrested for criminal violence as far away as San Francisco). With others imprisoned and with no new arrivals, their contribution to Miami‟s homicide rate naturally fell off. 393 Monkkonen, Murder, 107. 394 Examiner, December 20, 1920. 395 The image of Max Sennet‟s “Keystone Kops,” a group of uniformed officers rushing out of the station house pell mell, and racing off to some emergency or other in an open touring car, is an accurate, if humorously distorted representation of how the system worked. 396 Fosdick noticed the problem in 1919. In his American Police systems, 306, he declared foot patrol obsolete except in some areas. This started the move away from “community policing” and toward more auto patrol. 157 397 Michael E. Mitchell, “A Night on the Shotgun Squad,” Police and Peace Officers Journal, August 1941. 398 “Douglas 20,” August 1924. 399 Flamm, Hometown San Francisco, 33. 400 Geller and Scott, in Deadly Force, 81, assert that “general population homicide levels continue to be a weak predictor of police shooting rates over time.” But perhaps a specific type of crime which is more amenable to police intervention, like robbery, may offer a better basis for comparison. 401 Douglas 20 Police Journal, October 1923 and December 1923. 402 The Examiner, on November 24, 1921, reported that the San Francisco Police had an armored car and machine gun and that they wanted nine more armored cars and three more machine guns. Images of police vehicles with mounted machine guns are common to many police departments of the era. 403 Asbury,Gem of the Prairi, 339. 404 Mark Haller, “Bootlegging: the Business and Politics of Violence,” in Gurr‟s (ed.) Violence in America, Wickersham Crime and the Foreign Born, 178. 405 Asbury Gem of the Prairie, 371-2. By the beginning of 1934 the commission announced that since 1930, 15 public enemies had been convicted and nine died. Even the police helped. 406 Chronicle, July 25, 1931 407 Ibid. February 2, 1930. 408 Ibid.September 18,1931. 409 Ibid. November 17, 1931. 158 410 Rapoport, California Dreaming., 32. 411 http://www.americanmafia.com/cities/San_Francisco.html 412 It was Guiseppe‟s brother, Mario, who was killed in 1917 by Antonio Lipari, a friend of the Pedonas who killed his father-in-law Gaetano Ingrassia the year before. 413 After Abati turned up at the famed Appalachian mob summit in 1957 it would have been hard for him to sustain the argument that he was not “mobbed up.” 414 Los Angeles, says Thomas Repetto (American Mafia, 203) “was a colony of the eastern mobs.” This condition can be attributed in part to his assertion (209) that “in Los Angeles, local law enforcement presented no barrier to gangsters.” Neither circumstance can be attributed to San Francisco. San Francisco, quite simply, did not have the level of organized crime at the time as found in many other large old American cities. 415 Saylor, Laws Harsh as Tigers p 25. The Connecticut immigration commissioner reported in 1885 that Italians only came as sojourners to make money and return home. They crowded together and worked cheaper, she says, echoing earlier complaints about the Chinese. 416 Daniels, Coming to America. The table on 288 shows net immigration declined in the years following the 1924 law. The yearly average was down to about 200,000 from about 500,000 in the years immediately preceding 1924. In 1931 immigration was down to 350,000 and thereafter there was a negative increase until 1935when it increased in the low double digits until 1945. Between 1930 and 1940 San Francisco‟s population increased by less than 200 people. Examiner, November 24, 1921 417 Examiner, December 23,1994 418 Monkkonen, Murder,134. 159 419 Lane, Roots of Violence p, 142 –43. 420 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice p 64. 421 Adler, “The Negro would be More than an Angel” in Bellesiles Lethal Imagination, 300. 422 Monkkonen, Murder in New York City, 139. 423 Dykstra, “Overdosing on Dodge,” Western Historical Quarterly 27 (Winter 1996). Monkkonen, who found much the same sort of situation in New York at approximately the same period, concluded that the data “must be viewed with some caution.” Murder, 138 424 San Quentin Prison Register 425 Mann, Unequal Justice, 72, 426 Flowers, Minorities and Criminality, 83. 427 Gilles Vandal‟s study of reconstruction era Louisiana shows a disturbing amount of interracial killing, predominately whites on blacks. Forty-five percent of the homicides in rural Louisiana between 1866 and 1876 (n. ,393) were of blacks killed by whites. The corresponding figure for blacks who killed whites was 3.2 percent (n. 99). 428 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 54-55. 429 Adler, “The Negro Would Be More Than An Angel to Withstand Such Treatment,” Bellesiles, Lethal Imagination, 299 430 Monkkonen, Murder in New York, 142. 431 Kevin Mullen. “Race Sex and Homicide in Old Time San Francisco” Peace Officers Journal, March 1997. 160 432 “Interracial killings involving white victims occurred mainly on black „turf‟ in and around the red light district,” he claims, However, white violence “reflected the mentality of the mob.” McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 76. 433 Monkkonen, Murder, 149. Monkkonen credits four of the six white on black killings in nineteenth century New York (excluding those committed during the 1863 riot) as having possible racial motivations. He does say that there was little evidence of racial animus as a strong pattern. 434 Adler, “The Negro Would Be More Than an Angel to Withstand Such Treatment.” Lethal Imagination, 300. 435 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice. P 76. 436 Monkkonen, Murder in New York, 148. 437 Chicago‟s African American population grew from 14,000 to 109,000 between 1890 and 1920. During the same period San Francisco‟s blacks, who numbered 1800 in 1890, increased to 3700 by 1920. Those African-Americans who did head west during the Great Migration tended to go to Los Angeles. In 1910, 44 percent of the state‟s blacks resided in Los Angeles while 8 percent called San Francisco home. 438 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 64. 439 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter of Innocents,” 34. 440 This is about the same four to five times the general rate found by Jeffrey Adler in Chicago. “We‟ve Got a Right to Fight: We‟re Married.” In the 1930s, Wickersham (Crime and the Foreign Born, 119) has rates average rates per 100,000 for a group of nine cities, including San Francisco, which show much higher per capita rates for blacks 161 compared to other groups. The homicide rate was 120.5 for African Americans over 15 years of age. 441 McKanna, Homicide Race and Justice, 75. 442 Adler, “Halting the Slaughter,” 34-5 443 During the same period eight whites were killed by blacks, one third of those for whom the racial identity of the perpetrators was identified as black . 444 Adler, “We‟ve got a Right to Fight.” 445 Albert s. Broussard, “In Search of the Promised Land,” in Lawrence B. de Graaf, Kevin Mulroy, and Quintard Taylor (eds.) Seeking El Dorado, African Americans in California, 194. Lotchin, The Bad City in the Good War, 128, addresses the same point. 446 Broussard, “In Search of the Promised Land,” 190. 447 The population in the second half of the decade was twice that of the first half. With an average of 18,420 in 1940 through 1944 and 37,730 in second period. Broussard in “In Search of the Promised Land,” 190 448 Silberman, Criminal Justice, Criminal Violence, 31-32. Between 1960 and 1975 the 14-24 year old segment of population increased 63 percent. Also, Chronicle April 8, 1985, in which Steven R. Schlesinger, director of Bureau of Justice Statistics discounted the effect of the age shift, pointing out that from 1960 to 1976 the crime rates increased faster than the number of 14-to 24-year olds and that from 1978 to 1983 the rates decreased faster than the number in that age group, See also Wilson Quarterly/Spring 1983,110. Gurr (ed.) Violence in America, 12. James Q. Wilson in Wall Street Journal, August 17, 1999. 162 449 Ira M. Leonard and Christopher C. Leonard “The Histiography of American Violence,” in Homicide Studies Volume 7/Number 2 May 2003, 149. See also Minorities and Crime, 76, in which Mann cites Harvard Professor Alvin Poussaint as suggesting that African Americans kill other African Americans because of low self esteem and rage turned inward, a rage attributable to the institutional racism to which they are subjected. 450 Courtwright, Violent Land, 241. 451 Butterfield, All God’s Children xvii. 452 Lane, Roots of Violence, 4. 453 Ibid., 166. 454 Ibid. 168. See also Huel Washington article in January 9, 1995, Sun Reporter. 455 Gurr, Violence in America, 16. 456 Scott, Investigating Oakland Homicide reports that 54 percent of the homicides in her study involved narcotics. The nature of the offense makes it hard to enforce against liquor and brothels, and gambling (the latter at least until the internet) requires a fixed location. Any local cop would know what‟s going on. Narcotics can be conducted anywhere and so violations are harder to enforce against. 457 Ernest Besig, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California, said “It‟s dangerous. If officers are given unlimited authority, we are sowing the seeds of a police state.” After a ride-along with the officers, Mayor George Christopher approved of the practice. But the handwriting was on the wall. 458 The 1961 Mapp decision excluded evidence obtained in violation of the fourth amendment and in 1966 the Miranda decision required officers that they must allow suspects legal counsel. 163 459 In 1958 the vagrancy law which had been used by everyone from Martin Burke to Jack Manion was effectively eliminated from the police arsenal of enforcement tools. Chronicle July 30, 1958. 460 “Did Miranda (and similar decisions) make much of a difference to the police, or to the other people they arrested?” asks Lawrence Freidman, Crime and Punishment in American History, 303. The answer, with regard to Miranda at least, according to Freidman, seems to be “not much.” But what of the other decisions which restricted the opportunity for officers to search without a warrant? 461 Twenty-five years later Lieutenant Bruce Marovich was still working the streets as head of the night robbery investigation unit, the modern equivalent of the old “Shotgun Squad,” out on patrol every night still looking for look for those who would do ill. 462 Johnson, American Law Enforcement: A History, 128. 463 Lane, Roots of Violence, 171. 464 “We know that arrest and victimization rates are equally good indicators of the race of the killers,” says Ted Gurr, (Violence in America., 15) “homicide in the United States has always been 90 percent more or less intraracial, that is white on white and Black on black.” 465 Department of Justice Statistics. 466 Lane, Murder in America, 322. 467 Gurr Violence in America, 40. 468 Table 7.2 goes here 469 March 20, 1992 Chronicle . Also the paper on April 12, 1993 reported that the largest wave of teenagers since baby boomers were due in the next seven years. 164 470 The proliferation of guns in the hands of young inner city dwellers was seen as contributing to the increased rates. According to one report, it was the increased use of guns rather than chains and knives that contributed to the high gang homicide rate in Los Angeles. University of Southern California sociologist, Malcolm Klein. ( Jane E. Stevens, “Myths of Violence,” This World, San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle June 12, 1994.) 471 Chronicle, May 10,1991. Also Examiner April 27, 1992. Professor Richard Bennett of the American University attributes the increase to the cuts of programs which would have prevented them. See also Pinker Blank Slate, 329 who ties the increased crime rates to the appearance of crack cocaine on the scene, citing Jeff Grogger who said “Violence is a way to enforce property rights [a desirable corner from which to sell crack] in the absence of legal recourse.” 472 “The numbers over the last five years reflect a dramatic increase in drug- and gang- related homicides,” according to California Attorney General John Van de Kamp as reported in the Chronicle January 13, 1988. In the Christian Science Monitor, April 9, 1990, Thomas Repetto, president of Citizens Crime Commission in New York, said statistics show a concentration of homicide in drug infested areas. Crack cocaine is considered a major reason for the record slayings and robberies. 473 Marshal, Street Soldier, xxiv. 474 Chronicle April 24, 1989. Another young man from a nearby neighborhood who agrees that drug turfs are not the main source of tension said: “They‟re just seeing who‟s badder.” 475 Ibid., January 13, 1988. 476 Marshall Street Soldier, 70. 165 477 Ibid., 73. 478 The August case questions the pure economic explanation of ghetto homicide. His killing was result of insult. This supports Joe Marshal‟s view and Malcolm Klien's finding that "most gang violence is not linked to the sale of drugs, but to revenge for insults -- "fighting words" -- or previous acts of violence." (This World Chronicle June 12, 1994). 479 “Crime Unit to Stop Homicide,” SF Weekly November 22-28, 1995. 480 Chronicle, March 24, 1997. 481 Ibid. 482 Examiner, January 7, 1996 483 San Francisco Weekly, November 22-28, 1995 484 Examiner, February 16, 1998 485 One in three were Asians, the largest non-Chinese groups were Filipinos and Vietnamese. For purposes of consistency with the periods considered in earlier chapters, during which almost all Asians originated in China, this study will restrict itself to the Chinese except as otherwise specified. 486 Dillon, Hatchetmen, 269. 487 Ivan Light and Charles Choy Wong. “Protest or Work: Dilemmas of the Tourist Industry in American Chinatowns,” in American Journal of Sociology Vol 80 No 6. May 1975. See Also Sowell, Ethnic America, 148. 488 Personal correspondence with retired deputy police chief Diarmuid Philpot, who served as Chinatown expert in the police department from the late 1960s until the late 1990s. There was a direct connection between both Wah Ching members and Joe Boys 166 and Triads. See also Pan, Sons of the Yellow Emperor, 350. In speaking of the post-1965 immigration from China, she states “there were even thugs specially recruited from Hong Kong, smuggled into Canada and brought down to US cities to swell the ranks of gangs.” 489 Thomas Emch, “The Chinatown Murders” in Dean Dickensheet (ed) Great Crimes of San Francisco, 181. According to some, the turmoil in Chinatown in the 1970s was “an open revolt against intolerable social conditions.” Shih-Shun Henry Tsai The Chinese Experience in America says on, 167 that the Red guard accused the elders of exploiting newcomers. In the background of the discord was the political split between the Mainland Chinese and traditional groups with ties to Taiwan 490 There are those who would argue that it was their treatment by the host society. Paul Takagi and Tony Platt “Behind the Gilded Ghetto: An Analysis of Race, Class and Crime in Chinatown” Crime and Social Justice Spring-Summer 1978, 22. 491 Examiner, May 16, 1990, and Kolin Chin, Chinese Subculture and Criminality, 104, reports that from 80 to 90 percent of merchants paid extortion at some time. 492 See also Emch “The Chinatown Murders.” In 1974, police had been meeting with New York and Hong Kong police. 493 Sowell, Ethnic America, 151. 494 Chronicle, October 25, 1972. Chronicle, November 10, 1972. See also Russ Coughlan editorial in 1977. On October 7, he commented that the irony is that five years ago this month police began to get tough with gangs but a few businessmen said that it was hurting business and one claimed it was a police reign of terror. 167 495 By operation of the law of cultural lag, the unit had finally been abolished in 1970, after many fits and starts, long after Chinatown had become peaceable and on the eve of the re-eruption of violence. 496 Examiner, May 10, 1987. 497 It is a truism that the absence of violence does not necessarily mean the absence of organized crime. All it means is that the arrangements are satisfactory to all involved until someone decides to disturb the pecking order. 498 ATF Overview of Asian Organized Crime, 1993. 499 Examiner, October 13, 1993. 500 Chronicle, August 27, 2002. It is notable that the late twentieth century New York Chinese community, overwhelmed by much larger numbers immigrants, had much more gang violence than did San Francisco. 501 Martinez, Latino Homicide, 1. “Heightened immigration coincided with the upsurge in youth/gang and drug related homicide in the 1980s.” 502 This phenomenon seems to be a constant with Latino gangs. “These kids are full of animal mad,” a Latino gang member told Beatrice Griffith in 1947, “That‟s why they fight each other. They can't fight the cops or the gavachos, their enemies, so to get the mad from their blood they fight each other. . . . So these kids all take to hitting each other, and some get killed and a lot get put in jail.” Beatrice Griffith, “Who Are the Pachucos?” The Pacific Spectator (Summer 1947) 503 Examiner, May 13, 1993. 504 Chronicle, June 4, 1994. 168 505 See Brian J. Godfrey Neighborhoods in Transition, 97. Because of different bases for collection and different census definitions of what constituted a Latino, population figures for the Latino population are mushy at best. Latinos were identified for this study, as were Irish and Italians, on the basis of their surnames. 506 The rate per 100,000 of Latino homicide victims in 1995-99 was 13.4 compared to 4.6 for Non-Latino whites, 41.3 for African Americans and 4.8 for Chinese. The overall rate for the period was 9.1, placing Latinos above the average. 507 Examiner, January 19, 1993. In 1984 there were 212 gang related killings in all of Los Angeles County. By 1991 Latinos committed 65 percent of the 519 black and Latino gang killings in Los Angeles County. 508 Jacoby, Reinventing the Melting Pot, 21 509 Martinez, Latino Homicide, 5. 510 And complicating the issue further is the matter of illegal immigrants whose presence, some contend, contributes greatly to Latino rates of violence. 511 “Crime Unit to Stop Homicide,” SF Weekly November 22-28 1995. 512 Special run by Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Statistics Bureau. The DOJ does not isolate Asians under this data set. They are included under the “other” category which totaled 7.4 percent of those convicted of homicide. The corresponding percentages for incidence for which the ethnicity is known for the same period for San Francisco are: Non-Latino whites 24.6 percent, African-Americans 46.7 percent, Latinos 15.2 percent, Chinese 5.3 percent (All Asians 11.0 percent.) 513 In the Chinese world it was the Wah Ching against the Chung Ching Yee, and later the Wo Hop To. In the Latino gang world two factions emerged, the Surenos and Nortenos. 169 Blacks divided themselves in to two principal gangs emerged in the Oakdale and Hunters Point neighborhoods. 514 Marshal. Street Soldier, 70. 515 Pinker, Blank Slate, 311 would disagree. 516 Martinez. Latino Homicid, 89 517 Andrew Lam in San Francisco Chronicle “This World,” April 17, 1994. See also Brearly, 32-33. 518 Jeff Jacoby in “More prisoners, less crime” in the Boston Globe as reported in Chronicle August 29,2003, says that the downward trend in the 1980s began “not long after the nationwide crackdown on crime. The dramatic drop in criminal activity followed an equally dramatic boon in prison construction and a sharp surge in incarceration rates.” 519 Dan Macallair, Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile Justice, counters the claim of a Guiliani type “miracle” as contributing to the reduction by pointing out that the homicide rates declined even more in San Francisco under the criminal justice leadership of liberal District Attorney Terence Hallinan who favored diversion of offenders over harsh penalties. “Beyond conviction rates – Diversion Reduces crime,” Chronicle, October 30, 2003. That argument would be supportable if those were the only two factors in play. Perhaps the strongest single correlate to reduced rates of criminal violence in the 1990s is the increase of the proportion of the relatively non-murderous Asians in the population at the same time that the black population declined by almost 25 percent. As always, no single factor explains everything. 520 Daniel Altman “Provocative Economist at Chicago Awarded Prize.” New York Times April 26, 2003. 170 521 Washington Post, April 19, 1998. Said a former U.S. Attorney for the District, in the same article “The police department‟s performance in fighting homicide has been so bad for so long that it invites lawlessness.” And the reporter himself concluded, that as the rate for young black males increased almost tenfold in 1991, “Mayor Marion Barry and the D.C. Council evinced little sense of urgency.” 522 Chronicle, January 1, 1994. San Francisco Examiner, February 28, 1995. The following year, (after the implementation of a program which quadrupled preventive street patrols by personnel loans from nearby communities,) the rate was reduced to a more palatable 34.7. 523 Chronicle, January 1, 1993. East Palo Alto was the nation‟s murder capital with a rate of 175.4 per 100, compared to an estimated 89 for Washington and 46.7 for Oakland. It was a drug dealing center and battleground for drug dealers feuding over the city‟s booming narcotic trade 524 The annual average number of homicides for the three years from 1990 through 1992 was 27. For the immediate three years following it was 5.6. 525 Chronicle, January 2, 2001. “The economy is key,” a San Francisco State University Professor of Criminology, is quoted as claiming. Stanford University Law Professor John Donahue agrees. “The booming economy has provided legitimate employment opportunities to some people who, without those, might end up lapsing into criminal activity.” 526 Chronicle, January 2, 2001. 527 Cynthia Tucker “Black Leaders are Blind to Black Crime.” Chronicle February 27, 1995. (We are reminded by events following the September 11, 2001 World Trade 171 Center bombing that public support for constitutional protections can adjust if a society feels threatened enough.) The African American community has been threatened for many years by the specter of homicide in ways that the larger community cannot appreciate. 528 Chronicle, March 20, 1992. 529 Some have argued that it is inappropriate to draw general conclusions about nationwide crime declines based on the experience of a single department. On that point see Diane Cecilia Weber Warrior Cops the Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments, Cato Briefing Paper No. 50, which reports on the general militarization of American Police Departments. As in the 1920s, developments in policing methods followed general trends. 530 Chronicle, April 4, 2001 531 Chronicle, April 22,1994 532 There are strong indicators that Latino gang violence has recently been on the rise and bodes still worse for the future. See Heather, McDonald, “The Immigrant Gang Plague,” City Journal, Summer 2004. 533 The homicide count did begin to trend upward in the early years of the century, though, from its 2000 low of 59. The count was 64 in 2001, 68 in 2002, 70 in 2003, and 85 in 2004. 534 Specialized students of Latino homicide might do well to compare circumstances in the Latino community in San Francisco to that elsewhere in the state. While their percentage of the homicide statistics in San Francisco is roughly comparable to their percentage of the population, such is not the case elsewhere. On a statewide basis, 172 Latinos who make up about 30 percent of the population comprise 45 percent of the homicide victims. 535 Earl Ofari Hutchinson, “Black on Black – Why Inner-City Murder Rates Are Soaring, Pacific News Service August 13, 2002 536 To support its contention the group pointed out that 81 percent of the persons executed from 1977 to 1998 were convicted of murdering a white person, although whites and blacks are victims of homicide in almost equal numbers “Executions Racist, Amnesty Study Finds,” The Arizona Republic May 18, 1999. The same Bureau of Justice statistics used by Amnesty International contain the information which would suggest a very different conclusion. According to Justice department figures for the period from 1976 to 1999, blacks commit a large percentage of felony murders (six out of ten) -- like those during a robbery and rape -- the ones most likely to get you hanged. 537 According to Bureau of Justice figures in 2001, 48 of the 66 executed in the United States were white, 17 black and one was an American Indian. People of color made up 63. 4 percent of those convicted on homicide charges. http:/www.oj,usdoj.gov/bjs/c,htm 538 See Michael S. Williams “A Neigborhood not under siege – just underestimated,” Chronicle, July 2, 2004. As the Reverend Williams urges his young charges to avoid activities that will result in their imprisonment he reminds them that “if they smoke dope in Bayview, they are regarded as „dope fiends‟ and „incorrigible criminals‟ who must be dealt with by the „rule of law.‟ If they were to live in other parts of this grand metropolis, they could engage in the same behavior and be regarded as being „chemically dependent‟ and „misunderstood individuals.‟” 173 539 Earl Ofari Hutchison in “Why are Black Leaders Silent on Black Hate crimes.” Salon.com March 6, 2000) says “a motley collection of white supremacist groups has eagerly made black-on-white violence a wedge issue in their crusade to paint blacks as the prime racial hate mongers in America.” But Swain, in the The New White Nationalism In America,124, opines that one explanation for the “reluctance on the part of white politicians and members of the media to label black-on-white crimes as racially motivated for fear of generating mass retaliatory white violence.” 540 Clarence Page. “Hate-Crime Laws Not for „Whites Only,‟” http://chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/page, July 16, 2000. 541 One observer with a front row seat to the carnage in city is the Reverend Alvin Dickson, pastor of the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in the midst of the free fire zone. “People are out there killing because they know they won‟t be caught,” says pastor Dickson, “Oakland has been taken over by the drug dealers.” Chronicle September 15, 2002. Lloyd Vogelman, of the University of Witwatersand, studying the rising tide of violence in South Africa in the early 1990s identified the same phenomenon. “one of the main reasons crime is rising so fast is the criminal‟s confidence,” he said. “they perceive, quite rightly, that there is little likelihood that they will be apprehended.” Chronicle, June 28, 1991. 542 Kerman Maddox “Blood and Silence: Black-on-black violence must be faced head- on,” Los Angeles Times, October 26, 2003. 543 Shannon Reeves, the head of the Oakland NAACP and others are asking such questions about the murder rate in Oakland. Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson reported on the debate in Oakland on a proposed anti-loitering law in aftermaths of city‟s bloodiest 174 year in with 113 homicides, aimed at street corner drug dealers from which much of the violence stems. He reported mixed feelings. Watchdog groups are wary but residents of the affected neighborhoods are less concerned about civil liberties. Johnson comes down on side of the residents. 544 Jim Herron Zamora, Janine DeFao and Henry K. Lee. “A plea for help as bullets fly: CHP, sheriff to aid Oakland‟s beleaguered police as city‟s homicide rate accelerates,” Chronicle, September 7, 2003. 545 Cynthia Tucker “Black America must debate its failings,” Chronicle, May 27, 2004. 546 California State Penal Code Section 15. 547 Crime in the United States 2001, vii 548 Lane, Roots of Violence,134. According to Roger Lane, “The murder rate is the only trustworthy measure of the comparative incidence of violence.” 549 Harold J. Weiss Jr.. “Overdosing and Underestimating: A Look at a Violent and Not- so-Violent American West.” In the Quarterly of the National Association for Outlaw and Lawman History, Inc. Vol 27, No. 2 April June 2003 says, “Have western historical writers used the same data base? Information about criminal homicide can be collected in several different ways,” he reminds us, “those committed; those reported to the police; those cleared by police arrests; those that resulted in indictments by a Grand Jury; those that came to trial; those that ended in a court conviction; and those that involved prison time. The figures about murders in the justice system will become more accurate as you proceed through this list from beginning to end.” 550 Theodore Ferdinand “The Criminal Patterns of Boston Since 1849.” The American Journal of Sociology. 73, 1967: p, 688-98 175 551 Lane, Murder in America, 115 cautions that indictment rates “must not be mistaken for the actual number of homicides committed.” 552 Wolfgang, Patterns in Criminal Homicide, 291. 553 Brearly, Homicide, 132. 554 Call, January 1, 1877. 555 Munro-Fraser, History of Marin County, 238-56. 556 Coroner‟s Inquest Book, Marin County. 557 I would refer those who doubt newspapers as an adequate source of information about nineteenth century homicide to my Let Justice Be Done: Crime and Politics in Early San Francisco where the topic is discussed at some length. 558 Held in bound volumes in the San Francisco History Center of the Main San Francisco Library. 559 The annual totals are sometimes distorted by the inclusion of some numbers of “pre- natal infanticides” and deaths occurring during abortions, events which are not considered in modern counts of criminal homicide. Fortunately, Coroner Levi Dorr published a table in 1882 to illustrate the negative effects of unlicensed firearms which contains total numbers of homicides and suicides by firearms and other means for each year between 1862 and 1882. Municipal Reports 1881-1882, 56. 560 The compilers quite obviously omitted most Chinese homicides. Fortunately, there are occasional contemporary newspaper stories which compile lists of “Mongolian Murders.” 561 The newspaper claimed that its figures were based on an examination of Coroner‟s records. 176 562 In his 1881 report, the Coroner commented on the decline by two-thirds in Chinese homicides compared to the previous year: “It is not proper to infer that this class of murders have so remarkably decreased, in fact. There are circumstances, short of proof, existing which lead to the belief that not a few cases of murder are concealed from the proper authorities.” Municipal Reports 1880-1881, 201. And we can‟t be sure that all the homicides are being detected in modern times. Chronicle, March 30, 2003. In 2003 a man convicted of murder in San Francisco informed of four other undetected murders he had committed in the city in the previous 20 years. 563 In a sample month selected at random, January 1998, the Police Department murder book names eight murder victims. In the Supplementary Homicide Report form for that month, transmitted to the State Department of Justice for inclusion in the FBI annual count, five homicides are noted in the summary section of the report. All eight victims are listed in the sections for individual victims, so perhaps the count was readjusted. Even so, one perpetrator shown as African American in the Murder book, was transformed into a Latino in the material transmitted to the FBI and one African American victim was converted to a white.
Pages to are hidden for
"Chap01 - San Francisco Homicide"Please download to view full document