Jim Kershner’s This day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
Spokane’s former acting police chief, John T. Sullivan, was preparing for two hearings about alleged wrongdoing during his time as head of the police force.
One hearing was scheduled before the Board of Police Commissioners. The other before the Spokane City Council.
A loud anti-Sullivan faction had long accused him of various forms of misconduct. Some of his troubles stemmed from the Free Speech Fight a year earlier and his treatment of the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies.
The Spokesman-Review clearly did not believe these charges were justified.
“One of the most pitiful wails yet … was raised yesterday in the cry that union men are angry at police because men were ‘ill-treated’ during the IWW riots,” said a news story. “In fact, some of the strongest encomiums ever received during the nearly 22 years that Captain Sullivan has been identified with the police department came to him as a result of the forceful manner in which he handled the IWW riots.”
As it turned out, no hearing was ever held. Sullivan was assassinated in his home three months later.
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(From the Associated Press)