The day the grand jury went on strike

On Wednesday, August 6, 1919, as the National Guard still patrolled Chicago, the grand jury hearing riot cases went on strike. In the middle of a presentation, one of the jurors interrupted Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Rollo, demanding to know if there were any cases on the docket that did not involve Black suspects.

For more on this story (and the history of the fight for Black rights in Chicago’s first century), go here.


Writer. Formerly civil rights attorney. Currently professor. Working on new book about mental disability and criminal law in the 20th century.

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