Chicago Tribune

Dean, Who Hurries Back to Chicago, Calls Inspector Victim of Vice Plot
Says This Fact Alone Convinces Him That The Police Official Is Innocent

Dean Walter T. Sumner, foremost of the sociologists who have wrestled with the west side vice center and long time supporter and friend of Inspector Edward McCann, rushed into Chicago last night, declaring that the police official is the victim of a plot by the lowest order of human creatures and that he will stand by the Inspector until the last gun in the fight has fired.

The clergyman feelingly told of the array he knew to exist against McCann, and charged that in the backrooms of dives a conspiracy had been hatched to ruin him.

In his study in the clergy house of the cathedral in Peoria street the dean told the story of his faith in McCann to a reporter for THE TRIBUNE.

Sumner Says "Frameup."

"I believe this to be a frame-up on the part of enemies of Inspector McCann to ruin him," asserted Dean Sumner with emphasis. "I have just returned to Chicago and have been stared at by the headlines announcing the trouble of McCann. I am surprised, but in no wise disheartened.

"The enemies of the Inspector McCann are trying to oust him because of his efficiency.

"All sorts of reports have been circulated looking to this end and rumors have been frequent against him for the same purpose. Public opinion was so stirred early in the spring that the City club wrote Chief Shippy, begging him to retain Inspector McCann in this district.

"At all times his attitude towards the resorts and resortkeepers has been one of fearlessness, and in all my dealings with him — and they have been many — he has never shown a particle of favoritism. He has cleaned up the district, regulated unlawful traffic, removed objectionable and dangerous influences from the district in a manner never before attempted by any inspector, and I include our present Chief Shippy, who was a most energetic official.

Asks "Is It Any Wonder?"

"Is it any wonder, then, that he is disliked by those who profit from the earnings of the unfortunate women of this district? He issued an edict which compelled saloonkeepers of the west side to prohibit women from frequenting the saloons or taking part in staging performances and the furnishing of music to lure patrons. What was the result?"

"Every politician was sent after the inspector by on of the leading West Madison street dive keepers who was formerly on the city payroll; and finally the order was withdrawn. Inspector McCann failed in this effort and the saloon again became the disgraceful den which is a public disgrace to every citizen on the west side. But he had incurred the enmity which is just now making itself apparent.

"I am especially glad that State’s Attorney Wayman has brought these charges before the grand jury. If there is dishonesty in the police department, if oppression is being resorted to in the case of these unfortunate women, I hope it will be exposed. I gladly will do everything in my power to this end, but I know the people who are lined up against Inspector McCann, and I know that little if any reliance can be placed on statements they may make with or without oath.

Calls His Foes Vampires

"The forces arrayed against McCann represent the most vicious of the "undesirable" entities of this neighborhood. They are the human vampires who extort earnings from wretched women by intimidation and brutal violence. From this fact alone, I am convinced Inspector McCann is innocent, and that he will come out of the fray unscathed. The good that will come will be the calling of public attention to the almost unbearable conditions into which these men force those women, upon whose earnings they live.

"I believe in McCann for what he has done and for what, in my relations with him, I know he stands for, I believe him innocent of these charges because of his constant fearlessness in meeting the issues with the most powerful and corrupt political influences of the district, always taking the hardest instead of the easiest course of procedure.

"It seems to me this is the time for all who stand for law and order, regulation and decency in the district to come forward as Inspector McCann’s staunch supporters to insure him that absolute justice, which I am sure State’s Attorney Wayman will do all in his power to see meted out."

Jane Addams Praises McCann.

"I make no comment on the indictment of Inspector McCann, for it is a matter which I do not understand," said Miss Jane Addams of Hull house in Jefferson park at night. "It always was the opinion of the Hull house people that the west side district was much better regulated since Inspector McCann has had it in charge than it ever was before. We always found him agreeable and willing to cooperate with us in any move which was designed to improve conditions in that section. I always have heard of him as a police officer who has always aided in philanthropic and reform movements in connection with the west side district."


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