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.


On May 6, 2015, Chicago’s City Council passed a resolution apologizing for decades of torture by some police officers. The resolution also provided reparations to those who had been tortured by those officers.

The history of torture by police in Chicago was far longer than that covered by that ordinance. I wrote about that longer history here.