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Police bribery is probably keeping Harvard Square's $1000-a-day bookmakers on their feet, in the opinion of George F. Fingold, one-time Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts.
Fingold spoke last night on "Crime and Politics in Massachusetts" at Lamont Forum Room. After the meeting he told the CRIMSON that its $1000 gambling estimate was "very probably right." He added that a bookle "can't operate 24 hours in a hig city without a fix with the police."
"Newspapers just have to keep hitting and hitting at these guys if we're going to get rid of them," said Fingold. One of the State's leading racket-busters, he recently testified before a Senate subcommittee on nation-wide crime syndicates.
"If you can only let the people know what's going on, you're on the right road to decency and morality," Fingold remarked in his impromptu speech.
He told 50 persons that "gambling itself isn't dangerous. It's when they start to fix and corrupt that we musts stop them.
"The cop who takes $5 from a bookie becomes the public official who'll take $100 to look the over way on a murder or a rape," he said.
Fingold, who last year bustled an allegedly corrupt police force in Revere, cited examples of police-gambler fixes. A Boston numbers big shot blanket $1,320,000 in the year before he was arrested, Fingold said, even though his 40-man office was across the street from the police station and court.
"How do you explain that we went into Revere and found police who could not, would not, and did not do their duty?" he asked.
"We have raided gambling joints and found accounts like this, in the bookie's own handwriting: Fix, $75, Co, $25, Cop, $10, Cop, $5. Lawyer, $185."
Fingold remembered when he saw police movies of undercover gambling activities. "The most disgusting part of the film were the pictures of those sworn to uphold the law, not bowing but genuflecting to these racketeers."
"The man who speeds or overparks doesn't have a chance before the judge," he said. "But let a pilfering politician steal public funds, and you'll have to sweat blood before you find 12 good and honest men to convict him."
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