Monday, July 04, 2005

It ended up being a negro

In such a spectacular case the police go in for what the headlines call a dragnet. This had to be a pretty big one. In the crowded section of the city overlooking the Polo Grounds there were hundreds of apartment buildings in a neighborhood of more than thirty blocks, and from the roof of any of them someone could have fired such a shot. As a matter of fact, at the very beginning of the search detectives confiscated six rifles from six persons. Newspapers and magazines played up the case as the "MYSTERY DEATH," the "BALL PARK DEATH" and "THE RANDOM BULLET."

Soon the headlines changed to "HOLD NEGRO YOUTH IN SHOOTING" and the stories told of the "gun-happy fourteen-year-old Negro Boy" who was being held by the authorities. Editorials reproached his aunt for being "irresponsible in the care and training of a youngster" and for "being on the delinquent side of the adult ledger."

Happy fourth of July.