Early violence

On August 23, 1901, a judge found Carl Lindenman, a young white Chicagoan, not guilty of robbery. Lindeman had been arrested after three men claimed he led a gang of six men who held them up. The victims’ testimony, colored as it was by the fact they were on their way home after a night at a saloon, was less than compelling. One admitted he could not see the man who held them up that night, another identified Lindenman by a diamond ring that he was wearing in court, while the third swore that Lindenman was wearing a straw hat when his gang robbed them. Lindenman easily disproved those claims, showing that when he was arrested shortly after the incident, he was at home and wearing only a nightshirt. As that suggested, Lindenman also had an alibi and the case against him was resolved quickly (Chicago Tribune, August 22, 1901, p. 1; Chicago Tribune, August 24, 1901, p. 2).

Lindenman’s case was not simply a matter of a false arrest. He claimed that after he was arrested, Chicago police detectives Magnus and Jackson took him to the East Chicago Avenue station and beat him. Lindenman also claimed that when his father protested his son’s treatment, officers at the station threw his father down some stairs and then arrested him. Finally, Lindenman, who was a lawyer, said that two of his clients had previously complained to him that they had been beaten by Chicago police officers to try to get them to confess to crimes (Chicago Tribune, August 24, 1901, p.2).

Lindenman’s claims suggested that this was not the matter of a few rogue officers at the East Chicago station. His clients, Arthur Mask and Albert Warren, both black, said they had been beaten by officers at the Harrison Street station (Chicago Tribune, August 24, 1901, p.2). But while Lindenman threatened to file a claim with the Merit Board against the police officers involved in his arrest, there is no evidence he ever did so. Lindenman died, apparently of unrelated causes, two years after his arrest (Chicago Tribune, August 18, 1903, p. 11).