Caught Drinking, Three Policemen Fired Off Force

by Curator on March 2, 2018

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, July 9, 1913

Three Officers Are Suspended for Ninety Days, and Two Exonerated and Their Pay for Lost Time Restored.

WOOD, BORN, FOLDS DISCHARGED BY BOARD

Mayor Intimated He Would Ask Charges Be Preferred Against Moon, Who Said He Drank to Secure Evidence.

The scandal in the police department which grew out of revelations that eight policemen visited the resort of Ola Bradley, a negress, at No. 129 Auburn street resulted in the dismissal of three, exoneration of two, and suspension of three for ninety days, by the police board, at 1:30 o’clock this morning.

The policemen discharged were Robert A. Wood, J. P. Born and E. C. Folds.

Patrolmen J. E. McDaniels and L. W. Evans, who were under charges for neglect of duty for failure to report the visits of their partners to the resort, were found not guilty and were restored to the ranks with pay for lost time during suspension.

Three Are Suspended.

The three who were suspended were Patrolmen R. T. David, J. J. Jackson and Roundsman Bailey.

Mayor James G. Woodward vigorously opposed the dismissal or suspension of any of the accused officers. “You can’t believe a nigger against a white man, and that is just what this board will do if they find them guilty,” he said.

A majority of the board were agreed that the testimony of the Cutwright woman, a young negress, was correct.

Mayor Woodward strongly intimated that he would demand that Chief Beavers bring charges against Plainclothes Officer Moon, who admitted that he drank whisky in the Bradley house to get evidence against the woman.

“I have not decided what I will do with Moon,” Chief Beavers declared. “He was ordered by his superior officer to make an investigation and get the evidence. It looks to me like he was carrying out instructions.”

Able Counsel Present.

The accused men were ably represented by Hon. J. Y. Smith, Colonel Harvey Hill, Aldine Chambers, William R. Smith and others.

The trials were, perhaps, the most sensational and salicious that have ever demanded the attention of the police department. Patrolmen Born, Folds, Wood, David, Jackson and Roundsman Bailey were charged with visiting the house—specifically that they drank whisky with the inmates on June 24. Evans and McDaniel were charged with failing to report the visits of their partners to the chief.

The chief witnesses against the accused officers were Plainclothes Officers Moon and Adams.

Patrolman E. E. Jackson, charged by Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Smith with abusive treatment in the Bijou theater June 24, was exonerated.

Many Visits to House.

H. T. Adams, patrolman doing duty as a member of Chief Beavers’ “vice squad,” who exposed the alleged police rendezvous at the house of Ola Bradley, No 127 Auburn avenue, told the board of seeing many men and women go into the Bradley house. Adams said he saw a negro woman pour whisky out of a jar for a white man who offered to pay for it.

“On the night of the 27th,” Adams testified, “we saw Sergeant Bailey and Patrolman Wood in the house. A negro woman poured whisky out of a[…]

Continued on Page Two.

THREE POLICEMEN FIRED OFF FORCE

Continued From Page One.

[…]jug. I saw the officers with the whisky in their hands but did not see either of them drink.

“Did you see Policeman Evans there at any time?”, Councilman Colcord asked.

“No sir”, Adams replied.

Patrolman David, who is under charges for failure to report visits made by Evans, Bailey and others to the Bradley house said that he […] went through the house several times to see if the house was orderly.

Never Saw Evans Drink.

“Did you ever see Evans drink whisky in there?”, he was asked.

“No sir,” he replied.

“Did you ever report the house as being a suspicious place?”

“No sir.”

“[…]ever see whisky bottles strewn about the place?”

“No sir.”

“You can find whisky bottles in almost every house since prohibition went into effect,” David replied.

Plain clothes Officer Moon, also a member of the vice squad who was detailed by Chief Beavers to watch the Bradley house, testified that the instructions he received were to watch the house and catch whoever went there. He saw Sergeant Bailey and Wood drinking in the house, he said. Moon told the board that he never saw Evans in the house.

“Did you ever take a drink there?” Commissioner Johnson asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

“Were you instructed to drink?”

“We were told to get the evidence.”

“How big a drink did you take?”

Just Ordinary Drink.

“Oh, just an ordinary drink.”

“About four fingers?”

“Not that much.”

“Who gave you orders, what sergeant told you to get the evidence?”

“Sergeant Barfield.”

Mayor Woodward asked Moon if he could not tell it was whisky without taking a big drink.

The policeman shied at the question.

The board excused the witness.

Patrolman Evans denied that he ever drank at the Bradley house or that he knew of other officers who visited or drunk there.

In order to save time Chairman Mason suggests that the charges against R. T. David, Sergeant C. H. Bailey, J. J. Jackson, J. P. Born and M. C. Folds accused by Moon and Adams of having drank whisky at the Bradley house be consolidated and the accused tried together.

Patrolman J. A. McDaniel, beat partner with Jackson, was charged with failure to report Jackson’s visit to the alleged resort.

Plain Clothes Officer Moon, first witness called, testified that he saw David, Bailey and Wood enter the house about midnight.

Poured Out of Bottle.

“David entered the house first. I saw a negro girl pour something out of a jug and hand something in a glass to David. About that time Ola Bradley came in and the girl poured something out of the jug for them.

“Was Wood on duty at the time?” asked Councilman Colcord.

“No, he had just gotten off,” replied Chief Beavers.

“Was Bailey on duty?”

“I don’t know,” Moon replied.

Attorney William M. Smith, representing Patrolman Wood, asked the board to accept the resignation of Wood, explaining that Wood had left for Houston, Texas, to engage in business.

Moon made the statement, when questioned by Attorney Smith, that he took an insurance man to the Bradley house one night and bought booze from the woman.

Fired From One Job.

Attorney J. Y. Smith, representing Patrolman David, brought from Moon the admission that he was fired by the Georgia Railway and Power company.

“Were you fired for being drunk?”, he was asked.

“No sir.”

“What were you fired for?”

“For not reporting a motorman.”

Adams recalled [telling] the board that he saw Bailey and Wood drinking in the house. He did not see Evans or David in the house drinking.

He could not tell whether it was whisky or water Bailey and Wood drank.

“You had an altercation with a newspaper man, did you not?” asked Attorney Smith.

“Wasn’t Sergeant Bailey the man who made the case against you?”

“Yes, but I have no ill will against Sergeant Bailey,” he said.

The newspaper man Adams had the altercation with […] Britt Craig, police reporter for The Constitution, who knocked Adams down for insinuating that Craig had not told the truth about him.

Judge Broyles later substantiated what the reporter wrote.

Adams was fined.

Directed Investigation.

Capt. W. F. Terry, who directed the investigation of the Bradley house, told the board that during the absence of Chief Beavers at the Washington convention Sergeant Barfield reported to him that Ola Bradley was conducting a blind tiger. He said he directed the officer to make an investigation.

Captain Terry told of the various reports which involved policemen in drinking bouts with the woman.

Attorney Smith asked Captain Lamar Poole if he knew of any officers other than the men under charges who drank at the house. Captain Poole said he never heard of any others.

Sergeant Barfield testified that one night in June he saw Patrolman Jackson in the house.

There was gambling going on in one of the rooms upstairs, he said. I asked Jackson if he knew there was gambling in the house. He said he did not. He explained that he was in the house looking for a girl.

“Did you see Jackson drinking in the house?”

“No sir.”

Al Matthews, who conducts a furniture store on Auburn avenue near the Bradley house, said that he saw policemen going into the house frequently.

Carrie May Cutwright testified that she drank whiskey, which was paid for by officer Folds. She told of a near fight between Folds and another officer she did not know because one called the other a liar.

She Lost Ring.

The negress said Folds put a ring on her finger and that she lost it. Folds assured her that it was all right about the loss of the ring, she said. The girl said Moon visited the house and she related a disgusting story of his actions while he was in the house. She said when Moon left the house he was drunk.

He wanted me to be his girl, she said, referring to Moon.

Attorney Harvey Hill, who appeared for Policeman Folds, put the girl through a rigid examination in an effort to prove that she was persuaded by Moon to testify that Folds gave her the ring.

Attorney Hill complained that the charges were not specific. He referred to them as “bobtail charges.” Captain Poole heatedly informed Colonel Hill that he had taken the statement and was ready to testify.

Before leaving the stand the girl was asked to pick out Moon from the crowd in the courtroom. First she pointed out Sergeant Barfield, but when she faced Moon she pointed him out.

Negro Stopped Fight.

Claud Gray, a negro boarder at the house of Ola Bradley, told the commissioners that he separated Patrolman Folds and Born when they started to fight in the house. He said that it was his belief that Born called Folds a liar. He did not know what caused the quarrel.

Ola Bradley, the star witness against the police, explained the presence of the police at her home by telling the board that she invited Policemen Bailey and Wood to come to her house to see the niggers dance.

Ola denied that she ever sold whisky to any policeman. She admitted, however, that she never objected when a policeman helped himself to a drink.

“Did Jackson ever take anything at your house?”

“Yes, he took two bottles of beer from the ice box.”

“Did he drink it?”

“No.”

“Did he pay for it?”

“No sir.”

Testifying as to the bottle Moon and Adams said they saw Bailey and Wood drinking from, the Bradley woman said it contained water.

Patrolman McDaniel denied that he saw Jackson take a drink in the house. He admitted that he reported to Sergeant Fain that he thought Jackson was drinking and that he thought it would be well to change his beat. Sergeant Fain corroborated McDaniel’s statement.

He testified that he considered Jackson a capable and efficient officer.

Said Moon Was Drunk.

Newton Standich, inspector, and Division Superintendent Roberson of the Georgia Railway and Power company testified that Moon had been discharged from the service because he was drunk—too drunk to operate a street car.

Moon recalled, denied that he had been discharged for drinking.

Chief Beavers made a brief statement at the investigation started while he was in Washington.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 9th 1913, “Caught Drinking, Three Policemen Fired Off Force,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Previous post:

Next post: