Apparently, being a Dayton cop and beating up African Americans was a punchline in 1938- and the perception still remains that this is what cops do- all the way 70 years later.
The thing is- it was manufactured then- and now, it is still hinted at.
Read the entire story on the NYT site- it turns out, that Powell wasn’t a cop, and died a common criminal-but that his comments, helped start the integration of pro baseball.
No plaque or distinction will ever be accorded Jake Powell — nor should they — but his racist comment 70 years ago broke the conspiracy of silence that protected segregated baseball.
Jake Powell, claiming to be an off-season police officer, said he used a nightstick on blacks.
During a pregame interview at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 29, 1938, the WGN Radio announcer Bob Elson asked Powell, a Yankees outfielder, what he did during the off-season. Powell replied that he was a policeman in Dayton, Ohio. When Elson asked him how he stayed in shape, Powell, using a common racial slur, replied that he cracked blacks over the head with his nightstick.
The real question is why, after all these years, we still have a public that believes that our department is full of racists who want to beat or shoot African Americans?