History of Poll Takeover of Cicero and Al Capone’s criminal organization.
In 1923, Chicago voters elected a new mayor, William Dever, who proceeded to crack down on Torrio, the Capone brothers, and their South Side Gang. In response, Torrio tasked Al with creating speakeasies, brothels, and illegal gambling dens in Cicero, a Chicago suburb. Within a year, Capone had placed the Cicero city manager Joseph Z. Klenha and the town committeemen on the gang payroll. Frank Capone’s job was to represent the gang in its dealings with the Cicero town council. Frank was mild mannered compared to his brother Al, projecting the image of a respectable businessman, always attired in a neat suit.
List of Jewish American mobsters This is a list of Jewish-American mobsters and organized crime figures, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.
In the April 1, 1924, primary election, Democratic Party politicians mounted a serious election challenge to Republican Klenha and his associates. To protect the gang’s political control of Cicero, Frank unleashed a wave of terror on the city. He sent South Side gang members to the polling booths with submachine guns and sawed-off shotguns to make sure that local residents “voted right.” Uncooperative voters were assaulted and blocked from voting. Frank led an attack on an opponent’s campaign headquarters, ransacking his office and assaulting several campaign workers. One campaign worker was shot in both legs and detained with eight other campaign workers, to be released when Election Day was over.
Death and Police reinforcements
As the election day turmoil progressed, outraged Cicero citizens petitioned Cook County Judge Edmund J. Jareki for help. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) sent 70 plainclothes officers to Cicero to maintain order at the polls and Jareki swore them in as deputy sheriffs. The CPD officers fought battles with the South Side Gang around Cicero all day. Around mid day, approximately 30 officers arrived in nine cars outside a polling station near the Western Electric plant. Already at the station, Frank and Al Capone allegedly thought these officers in civilian clothing were members of the rival North Side Mob attacking them. According to police, Frank pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers. However, some bystanders said that Frank never got the gun out of his back pocket. In either event, the officers opened fire, killing Frank with dozens of shots. Al managed to escape unharmed.
Al Capone’s brother, Frank was Capone killed in 1924, by police during an election skirmish.
Enraged at Frank’s death, Al retaliated by murdering one official and kidnapping others, and by stealing ballot boxes from the polling stations. At the end of the day, the Capone candidate Klenha had won.
Joseph Z. Klenha
Corrupt Cicero mayor was once slapped down the city hall steps by Al Capone.
The Alabama Voting Rights Project (AVRP), centered on Selma, Alabama and Dallas County, was a major campaign to secure effective federal protection of voting rights. That protection had been compromised out of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Three of Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) main organizers-Director of Direct Action and Nonviolent Education James Bevel, Diane Nash, and James Orange had been working with AVRP since late 1963.
In 1963, the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL) and organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began voter registration work. When white resistance to African American voter registration proved intractable, the DCVL requested the assistance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), who brought many prominent civil rights and civic leaders to support voting rights.