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Rufus Schatzberg

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Rufus Schatzberg, Ph.D. is a retired New York Police Department detective first grade and the author of Black Organized Crime in Harlem: 1920-1930; and, co-author of African American Organized Crime and Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States.

 

According to the description of Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States, “This handbook discusses the definitions and historical background of organized crime, theories and research, specific crime groups and their operations, and law enforcement strategies to counter organized crime. Both the excellent introduction and 21 chapters provide background and analysis for each subject. Contributing authors (mainly academics with some criminal justice professionals) take a balanced, well-researched approach. Particularly interesting are looks at crime among various U.S. ethnic groups (Russian, African American, Italian, Chinese) and discussion of law enforcement strategies. Included is an excellent bibliographical essay on the literature of this topic. This work is distinguished from the numerous other recent books on organized crime by its reexamination of the issues and assumptions in research on this topic and by the uniformly fine quality of all the pieces. While primarily a book for students and scholars, it will be of interest to the educated public as well.”

The Library Journal said of Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States, “This handbook discusses the definitions and historical background of organized crime, theories and research, specific crime groups and their operations, and law enforcement strategies to counter organized crime. Both the excellent introduction and 21 chapters provide background and analysis for each subject. Contributing authors (mainly academics with some criminal justice professionals) take a balanced, well-researched approach. Particularly interesting are looks at crime among various U.S. ethnic groups (Russian, African American, Italian, Chinese) and discussion of law enforcement strategies. Included is an excellent bibliographical essay on the literature of this topic. This work is distinguished from the numerous other recent books on organized crime by its reexamination of the issues and assumptions in research on this topic and by the uniformly fine quality of all the pieces. While primarily a book for students and scholars, it will be of interest to the educated public as well.”

From the History of the New York City Police Department 

Robert Crannoll, Marshal for the city, was appointed Supervisor of the Watch on December 14, 1731. He was required to perform all the duties of that office, to provide fire and candle for the Watch, to keep the key of the watch-house, to keep the watch-house clean, and take care that the chimney thereof be swept and cleaned as often as there should be occasion. For which services he was allowed a salary of £20 per annum.

Source:

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African-American Organized Crime: A Social History
Rufus Schatzberg  More Info

Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States
Greenwood Press  More Info

According to one reader of African-American Organized Crime: A Social History, “I was looking for a book that would give me reason to murder a main character occupying the pages of my crime novel. The murder took place in the Harlem of 1930s so I needed know what kind of murders were typical back then. Schatzberg and Kelly's history of African American organized crime answered my questions. It provided crime stats from 1900's to 1930's. Reading their book, I discovered pimping, numbers, real estate and smuggling liquor into speakeasies could be a dangerous and sometimes deadly business.

Don't think when you buy this book, you'll be reading a bunch of dry stats because you won't. The authors allowed us to peek into the world of crime. For example, I learned the Black vice industry and the Chinese vice industry of the 1920s were managed differently.

Black vice consisted of streetwalkers and pimps who settled quarrels with fights. Pimps relied on their reps as ruthless men to settle disputes. This caused an increase in the homicide rate but no gang wars. Streetwalkers and their friends often robbed their customers with some of the robberies turning into murders.

In contrast, Chinese vice relied on syndicated brothels, who resolved severe business rivalries with gang wars. Chinatowns had low homicide rates but often erupted into gang warfare but had no record of street robberies. The implication being, unorganized crime in the Black community increased the homicide rate but brought no gang wars with it; while the opposite was true in the Chinese community with the syndication of prostitution leading to gang wars but little or no petty street crime.

Schatzberg and Kelly turn their microscopes on illegal numbers next...they called it the policy racket and described how lucrative the business of betting pennies that certain numbers would come up winners could be. It made millionaires of several independent bankers and gave ex-teachers, wives of prominent community leaders and other upstanding citizens, good jobs during the 1920s when Blacks owned the policy industry.”

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