MEMBERS OF POLICE BOARD SPEND PORTION OF DAY BEHIND BARS.
Creation of Special Election Squad Proves Boomerang.
ACCUSED OF CONTEMPT.
Acting Chiefs Are Locked Up as Fast as They Take Charge.
JAIL IS FILLED EARLY.
"Prisoners" Range From "Heelers" to Department Heads.
With politicians -- ranging in rank fro m"bruisers" to governor's appointees -- behind bars and with courts of justice, up to and including the Kansas City court of appeals, taking a h and in the election, Kansas City saw yesterday in some respects the most active city franchise day it has ever experienced.
Activities began before daybreak with the arrest of North Side characters who usually help to dominate elections, and it ended with the release of Captain Thomas P. Flahive and Police Commissioners Colonel Fred A. Lamb and J. S. Lapsley from the county jail at 7:30 o'clock last night.
Fights, plain and political were frequent. Arrests were indulged in by every grade of officers except United States marshals. Heads of the police department looked out through county jail bars, and former county deputies languished in the city holdover. Men above middle age without a shadow on their personal records, paced to and fro in the "bull pens" alongside sneak thieves, burglars, and highwaymen. Lawyers, high in the Jackson county bar, heaped accusations against other lawyers of other political parties. It was what is known as a lively election.
The entrance of the police into the activity began late on Monday afternoon, when Mayor Jost and the police commissioners created a special election squad of police and shifted charge of the department from the hands of Chief Hiram W. Hammill to those of Captain Thomas P. Flahive. Hammill was known to be warm toward the Pendergast faction of the Democratic party.
Captain Flahive is credited by Republicans, Democrats and politicians of every faction alike with being a police officer of undoubted honesty and fairness. His record fo thirty-two years continuously on the police force has not an entry of discredit upon it. He is unknown to politics, a man without favoritism who never used a police weapon unless in self-defense.
But the orders issued by the captain yesterday while in active charge of the department came through him, and not from him. His superiors, the police commissioners,were at the station early yesterday morning and by their orders the police picked up scores of men, taking some of them from their beds in the North Side before the polls were open. The majority, however, were brought in the forenoon
Prominent among those brought to the police holdover was Burt J. Brannon, a dominant Democratic politician of the North Side. Brannon was formerly a police patrolman, was later a deputy county marshal, and still later a saloonkeeper and frequently a "fronter" fro women arrested by police. Branon, formerly a patrolman ou t of No. 4 Station while Chief Hammill was lieutenant there, was a close friend of the chief.
Brannon was arrested by Detectives Schickhardt and Jarvis early yesterday forenoon. In his pockets were two automatic Colts pistols, one of .45 caliber and the other of 32, and a bundle of $1 bills, closely folded,separately and then bound together by a rubber band. Brandon was aligned in yesterday's election with the Pendergast faction of the Democratic party, which was bitterly opposing Mayor Jost.
Besides Brannon were his bartender, Charles Anderson who, the police said, carried a special Colts police revolver,and some $1 bills; Eugene Sullivan, state legislator and closely allied with T. J. Pendergast, who, it is said, carried a blackjack, and Joseph Bishop, George Bruffett, Frank Nigro and Mike Moreno, all Pendergast goats.
Smarting under the early start of the police, which they considered a Jost-Shannon machine, Pendergast men sought reprisal in the circuit court. Attorneys Marcy K. Brown and Judge Willard P. Hall secured writs of habeas corpus in Judge Clarence A. Burney's division of the circuit court, to secure the release of the imprisoned North Side workers, some of whom and not yet voted, and many of whom were suspected by the police in an effort to buy votes against Jost.
The prisoners were not released and the attorneys applied for and secured writs of habeas corpus for Acting Chief of Police Flahive. Taken to court, Captain Flahive was tried on a contemp of court charge for not releasing the prisoners and was sent to the county jail where he was locked up in the "bull pen" with the common herd of prisoners.
Flahive's imprisonment occurred at 12:30 o'clock. he had been the "goat" of a rabbit police commissioner, being unable to release the prisoners because of orders from higher up, and therefore compelled to go behind bars whether he wanted to or not. The captain went to jail with a good grace and showed no resentment at his position.
"It's the first time in thirty-two years that I've been on the inside, lookin' out," said the veteran. "I've always had a curiosity to see how a prisoner feels," and the good natured official chatted with prisoners in the jail, some of whom he had helped bring to justice in the police department.
Following close upon the attachment for Captain Flahive, Judge Burney issued like attachments for the police commissioners. As a member of the police board, Mayor Jost's name appeased on the attachment. It was scratched out, however, and the attachment was served only on Commissioners Lapsley and Lamb, who were taken to court at 3 o'clock to answer contempt charges. The citations were issued at the direction of Chris H. Rucker, attorney.
City Counselor A. F. Evans and attorney John Il. Williamson, representing the commissioners, contended that the writs contained no statement upon which a charge could be made and therefore they had nothing in th writ that was returnable.
marcy K. Brown argued that the omission named in the write which would make it returnable, was merely a clerical omission, and Judge Burney, over the objection of City Counselor Evens, allowed an amended writ. The argument waxed wordy and the statutes were cited tending to show that the writs to secure the release of prisoners could be served in "blanket" form. Judge Burney ruled that the writs were in force.
Counsel for the commissioners argued that sufficient time had not been given the commissioners to adjust charges against the city's prisoners and thereby secure their release, and he pleaded for an indefinite time to do this before answering to the contempt proceedings. He was overruled, however, and the commissioners were ordered to the county jail.
Upon the arrival at the jail of the two commissioners who were the superiors of Captain Flahive, Judge Latshaw of the criminal court ordered the county marshal to give Flahive the freedom of the criminal court building. The captain emerged form the "bull pen" at 3:30 and remained in the offices until 7:30 o'clock.
It was directly following the imprisonment of the commissioners that a scare was thrown into police headquarters at the city hall,. It was rumored that Judge Burney had issued writs for all of the officers actively at work at the headquarters form Mayor Jost to the jailer and that they had been ordered brought into court to answer contempt charges.
There was scurrying at headquarters and some of the officers left the building. In ten minutes Deputy Sheriff William H. McCrory appeared at the police station with attachments for Lieutenant Peter McCosgrove, who had become automatically in charge when Captain Flahive was arrested; for Larry Ghent, chief of detectives,; for W. J. Field, booking clerk, and Henry Rice, jailer. With these a number of other officers -- all who could be spared from the station -- accompanied the deputy to Judge Burney's court.
Andy O'Hare, a veteran detective, was given the keys to the holdover when the other officers left. O'Hare was jailer twenty-six years ago and was just receiving the congratulations of many of his associates when MrCrory returned form the court house and served him with a similar attachment.
"We have been tireless in our efforts to find out who is in charge and responsible over there," Said Marcy Kl. Brown in his address to Judge Burney after the arrival of McCrory bringing O'Hare into court. "We have expended our energies and are still unable to release the prisoners. We will leave the disposition of the case in the hands of the court, knowing that most of these men are not really in authority, but have taken their orders from higher sources."
Lieutenant McCosgrove was sworn and put upon the stand with a view to learning his status in connection with the prisoners. But because the making of a case entry preliminary to taking his testimony would require several minutes and because every man in the court room was chafing under the pangs of hunger -- it was then after 7 o'clock -- Attorney Daniel Howell, associate with Brown and Judge Hall in the hearings, suggested that the hearing be continued until 11 o'clock this forenoon. This was ordered by Judge Burney, and the officers, some of whom had been on duty since early yesterday morning and a few of whom had gone without dinner, were told to go home.
In the meantime, Judge Johnson and Judge Ellison of the Kansas city court of appeals were in the chambers considering an appeal by City Counselor Evans from the decision of Judge Burney. At 7:30 o'clock, the judges honored a writ of prohibition and ordered the police commissioners and Captain Flahive brought from the county jail. The three were released on their own recognizance and ordered to report at 9:30 o'clock this morning when the argumens will be heard.
When the writs were being issued by Judge Burney for the release of the city jail prisoners yesterday forenoon, an obstacle arose. The writs needed the seal of the circuit court upon them and that seal was in the circuit court; the room locked and the clerk, former Justice J. R. Shoemaker, and all the deputies gone for hte day. But Charles Cameron, a clerk in Judge Burney's court, climbed through a transom of the circuit clerk's office and secured the seal.
Never in the history of Kansas City was the police department in such a turmoil as yesterday while habeas corpus writs were being served on officials in an effort to free the several hundred Pendergast and Edwards men arrested.
Within the course of a few hours the responsibility of being chief of police pro tem was shifted alternately upon the shoulders of five different men. When Captain Flahive, acting chief, was arrested, the title was passed to Lieutenant Peter J. McCosgrove. When McCosgrove was arrested, Lee Mullin, property clerk, assumed charge of the station and held the office for exactly twenty-seven minutes until Lieutenant R. L. James could be called from No. 7 station to ct as chief. he held the office until Captain Frank Anderson reported at 6 o'clock.
A flurry of excitement spread through headquarters at each arrest, but the situation gradually relaxed from one of seriousness to laughter. The arrests finally became so numerous that those at the station enjoyed themselves "kidding" Lieutenant McCosgrove and the others as they departed. They were addressed as "jail birds" and advised to fall in line, convict fashion, on the march to the court.
While all of this was transpiring Chief Hammill, shorn of most of his power by the commissioners, sat quietly in his office -- and possibly laughed silently to himself. He watched Commissioners Lapsley and Lamb leave the station in an automobile for the county jail.
"Well, chief," he was told, "there they go to jail and you're still here. Looks like you've gotten square with them."
"Yes, but it's pretty tough to have to go to jail," he replied. "However, I guess turn about is fair play."
Men were booked at the police station so fast during the entire day that the booker practically was busy all the time. Most of the prisoner, it was noticed, displayed either O'Neill or Edwards ribbons or buttons on their coat lapels. Not one was seen who wore a Jost button. These men were picked up on various charges, but each was booked "for investigation" and could not be released on bond.
Some of the men accused of attempted vote-buying had several dollar bills in their possession when searched. The bills were rolled up and each roll was encircled with a rubber band.
When the officer arrived at headquarters and served the writ on Captain Flahive the latter took it calmly. He first went to see mayor Jost, who was upstairs in the commissioners office. The mayor told him that he knew the law and how to obey it. The captain then accompanied the officer to court, from where he was taken to the county jail.