August 1, 1907
Meeting of Board
LIE IS BANDIED ABOUT
Witness, Attempts to Draw
"Gun" on Mr. Rozzelle
Got Business on Strength of His
Father's Position -- A Lie
Governor Folk's attempt to turn the police department into a political machine came very near to resulting in bloodshed yesterday afternoon. Prompt action on the part of ex-Chief Hayes in hustling Patrolman Arthur out of the board room probably averted a tragedy. The lie had passed between ex-Commissioner Rozzelle and Arthur, when the latter suddenly dropped his club and reached for his "gun."
The board room was filled with men, many Shannon "rabbits" being in the throng.
Chief Hayes, who did not know he had been deposed, grabbed Arthur.
"Leave that man alone!" shouted Commissioner Gallagher. "You are no longer a police officer."
But Hayes, mindful of his duty, hustled Arthur out of the room.
It was a day fraught with numerous incidents, all tending to show that Folk and Shannon are building an air-tight police machine out of a police department thoroughly demoralized by a "reform" governor.
In the first place Folk's new commissioner voted to supplant Hayes with Daniel Ahern without hearing any evidence. To a Journal reporter last night he admitted that Commissioner Gallagher had shown him the resolution deposing Hayes in the hallway a few moments before the board went into session. Mayor Beardsley voted against the resolution.
His Testimony Disproved.
It was shown that Patrolman Arthur, Mr. Gallagher's chief witness, misstated fact after fact on the witness stand, witnesses and official records disproving the assertions on which Gallagher and Folk hoped to prove Hayes unfit for chief.
Chief Hayes testified that the men on the force were juggled by Gallagher for political reasons. Officers who were alert in closing saloons on Sunday were moved to other beats, on Gallagher's order, the chief said. He gave a list of the men Gallagher had ordered changed to other beats. Gallagher did not deny the chief's statements.
In the lobby of Central police station Patrolman Arthur became so abusive of Rozzelle and Hayes -- who were in an upstairs room -- that Lieutenant Hammil had to order him from the room.
Chief Hayes made the charge that graft existed in the police department to the extent that a son of Commissioner Gallagher had written insurance for the keepers of North end saloons and resorts on the strength of being in position to call the police down on them if they refused to give him business.
Gallagher denied the assertion and said Hayes lied. Former Detective Bert Brannon leaped into the room and called Gallagher a ----- ----- liar and said he could prove that young Gallagher had done all Hayes charged against him. Brannon was hustled out of the room. No subpoena was issued for him to delve deeper into the charges.
A more disorderly meeting of a Kansas City police board probably was never held. The one man responsible for yesterday's disgraceful scenes is Joseph W. Folk, the reformer. He has spread the seeds of disruption among the Kansas City police in his efforts to further his candidacy for the senate until today the force is one of the most thoroughly disorganized in the country.
POLICE OFFICERS NEARLY
FIGHT IN THE STATION.
The first row at the police board meeting yesterday was precipitated when Lieutenant H. W. Hammil, in command at police headquarters under Captain Weber, ordered Patrolman Arthur out of the station. Arthur, according to several witnesses whose testimony was afterward used, became abusive and said uncomplimentary things of former Commissioner Rozzelle and Chief Hayes. He called Rozzelle and unprintable name, and Hammil, according to his own statement before the board, ordered him to "shut up."
Lieutenant Hammil was called before the board by Mr. Kimbrell and he detailed the row with Arthur at length. "Arthur said Chief Hayes had dogged him around and was responsible for his reduction in rank and that he will holler on some one if hey don't stay off him."
Arthur, according to his custom, interrupted Lieutenant Hammil. He charged that Hammil did most of the talking and taunted him with the mark that Hammil had said: "There's liable to be a hell of a lot of changes around here today."
Officers Contradict Each Other.
"Hammil told me three months ago," continued Arthur, "that someone has been jobbing me. He said he could very easily use me down town and that he was sorry he had to send me to the suburbs. He said he needed men at the theaters and that over in Broadway thieves were kicking in front doors and $1,000 robberies were of nightly occurrence, but that the chief had given strict orders that I be kept on duty at the theater or sent to an unimportant beat.
"Hammil said, 'Arthur, there is no use of your putting your head into the halter. This fellow Rozzelle has lots of friends and they are going to get you.' "
This statement was made under oath, as were all of the other statements made by Arthur during the day. Lieutenant Hammil was also under oath. He denied positively ever having talked over such matters with Arthur and said he had not spoken to Arthur in three months except in the line of duty. Arthur declared that chief Hayes leaves the station at 3 or 4 o'clock and that Hammil then directs him and assigns his duty. Chief Hayes made Arthur take back his word as soon as uttered and Arthur supplemented his statement by saying that sometimes the chief remains on duty until 5:30 o'clock in the evening.
A. C. Durham, an attorney, who at one time represented Arthur when the latter was preparing charges against Chief Hayes, testified that Arthur told him if they didn't show reason for his reduction in the department he would expose the misconduct in office of Chief Hayes. Durham said he was later dismissed and the charges dropped. He did not know why.
Arthur's Story Discredited.
Arthur boldly stated to the board that Lukehart was testifying to a lie. He stated that Lukehart is sore at him over a judgment for $40, which the court ordered Lukehart to pay him. Secretary Vincil quieted Arthur by stating that the money had long since been paid to him by Lukehart but that Arthur had refused to accept it.
ARTHUR TRIED TO DRAW
"GUN" ON MR. ROZZELLE.
It looked as though a tragedy were about to be enacted in the police board room near the close of the hearing yesterday. Harry A. Arthur had testified against Chief Hayes, but his evidence was discredited by other witnesses and the records. Arthur precipitated a row that threw the meeting into uproar.
Commissioner Rozzelle was on the witness stand at the time. Arthur was disarmed by Chief John Hayes and taken from the board room by patrolmen. It was the second time the services of patrolmen were needed to clear the room during yesterday's session of the police board's investigation of the department.
County Prosecutor Kimbrell, acting as attorney for Chief Hayes, had drawn his net of impeachment tightly about Arthur as the investigation proceeded and lacked by the testimony of one witness to discredit the patrolman's denial that he had ever threatened his chief. This witness was Frank F. Rozelle, the police commissioner removed by Governor Folk by wire on the eve of the recommissioning of John Hayes as chief of police.
In combating the charges brought by Arthur against Hayes, Mr. Kimbrell, in cross examination, secured Arthur's statement that he had never in his life mentioned the name of Chief Hayes to Commissioner Rozzelle and that he had never called the commissioner "crooked." Contrary to the expectations of Patrolman Arthur and Mr. Gallagher, the former commissioner promptly took the witness stand when called by Mr. Kimbrell. Mayor Beardsley explained that Mr. Rozzelle need not give his testimony until the notes of the day's investigation had been transcribed that he might know just what had been said about him by witnesses.
"But I am willing to answer any questions," said Mr. Rozzelle, and Kimbrell's examination proceeded. Harry Arthur was an attentive auditor while the former commissioner was on the stand. He had previously broken into the testimony of other witnesses and his actions throughout the afternoon had been countenanced by Chairman Beardsley who knew the other two commissioners were eager to hear all Arthur had to say.
"Mr. Arthur has testified that he never discussed Chief Hayes with you repeatedly here today," Mr. Kimbrell said to Mr. Rozzelle. "Will you tell the board of any conversation you may have had with Arthur about the chief?"
"Arthur came to me to see about getting a promotion to his former rank," replied Mr. Rozzelle. "He told me if I did not vote for his promotion he would go to Commissioner Gallagher with charges against Chief Hayes. He said the chief had been responsible for his reduction in rank, and that he would get even through Mr. Gallagher unless I voted for his reinstatement."
"I never made such a statement in my life," cried Arthur. "You told me you had heard it, and that you did not believe a word of it."
"Be careful," admonished Mr. Rozzelle, never rising from his seat. "That statement is a falsehood."
Immediately the room was in an uproar. Harry Arthur reached for his club and arose. He was nervous. His eyes protruded and his hands shook. He dropped the club to the floor. Then he reached for his pistol pocket.
Chief of Police Hayes was the first man to realize his duty. He was sitting by his attorney at the other end of the long table. His eye had been quicker than the hand of the angry patrolman. In an instant he had pinioned the arms of the belligerent patrolman and was searching for the pistol. A dozen men started to assist him.
Police Commissioner Gallagher arose and demanded that Chief Hayes release Arthur. His command could be heard throughout the board room.
"That man is not an officer. Take him off!" yelled Gallagher. "Let Arthur alone. You are only a citizen. We have a new chief of police downstairs. Call him to keep order -- if such a course is necessary."
Chief Hayes had disarmed Arthur, who fought his captors and shouted to Commissioner Gallagher: "Well, what do you think of that. I'm not trying to shoot anybody, Mr. Gallagher."
Didn't Know He Was Deposed.
The chief's work was done and he allowed patrolmen, who appeared to be in good standing with the board, t remove Arthur from the room. Then he turned inquiringly toward the commissioners. He had heard for the first time that he had been succeeded in office. The very first action of the board had been to appoint his successor, but the matter was done in an undertone and the chief had not been informed. Even his attorney, Mr. Kimbrell, was dumbfounded. He asked the meaning of Gallagher's statement.
Chairman Beardsley called Chief Hayes to the table, and, for the first time, the head of the Kansas City police department was told that he is no longer a police officer.
"I will have to ask for your emblem of authority," said Mr. Beardsley.
Chief Hayes unpinned the gold badge from his left breast and handed it to the mayor.
"Your successor was named by resolution introduced by Mr. Gallagher, Commissioner Jones concurring," said the mayor. "I guess it is customary to ask for the badge. I really don't know."
Since Chief Hayes has been without a commission since May 4 no action of the board was necessary to remove him from office. When the board met yesterday afternoon Chief Hayes did not last five minutes. But a half a dozen sentences were spoken. Elliot H. Jones, the new commissioner, entered the room and Chairman Beardsley pointed out his seat to him.
"I have two resolutions to introduce," said Commissioner Gallagher. The room was still noisy. Persons who were to appear as witnesses before the board were entering the room and searching for seats. The first resolution, naming Inspector Daniel Ahearn as temporary chief of police and Lieutenant Charles Ryan as inspector of detectives, was passed by him to Mr. Beardsley. The mayor read the resolution and passed to silently to Commissioner Jones, who gave it to the secretary of the board without any notice whatever.
"Do you think he is the proper man for the place?" asked the mayor of Mr. Gallagher.
"He is the ranking officer," volunteered Commissioner Jones, who had not looked at the resolution but apparently was familiar with its contents.
"I move its adoption," said Mr. Gallagher.
"I vote aye," echoed Commissioner Jones.
Mayor Beardsley was silent. He appeared in a deep study. When he was sufficiently recovered to speak, he said: "I am going to vote against the resolution. I will make a minute of my vote and hand it to the secretary. I want it to get in the record."
None of this transaction could be heard a dozen feet from the members of the board and Chief Hayes and his attorney, Mr. Kimbrell, whose seats were at one end of the table, remained ignorant of the resolution until after the meeting and the fight which called for the chief's star.
As Commissioner Gallagher protested against the action of Chief Hayes in disarming Patrolman Arthur, Mayor Beardsley jumped to his feet. "The police board is in control of the room," he said. "Chief Hayes, disarm that man." The mayor did not see the necessity of sending down stairs for the new chief of police to disarm a man who was apparently in the act of attempting to do violence to the witness.
The lie had been passed earlier in the session between Commissioner Gallagher and Chief Hayes and patrolmen had been called to clear the room. Gallagher had taunted Chief Hayes by producing in evidence a letter from Chief Hayes to Sergeant Caskey about changing the beat of a patrolman. The chief had stated on the stand that if he had written the letter he did not recall the language. Gallagher insinuated that the chief was lying several times and finally, referring to various passages in the Arthur testimony, said: "You see how easy it is to impeach the testimony of a witness. I had made you out a liar already. Be careful of the statements you make before this board hereafter."