How much did it cost to bribe a cop during Prohibition?

Of course, there’s a wide range of correct answers to that question, but still, I needed to know what kind of money cops were generally paid to look the other way so I could depict this accurately in my books. I learned that U.S. Assistant Attorney General Mabel Willebrandt (pictured), the highest ranking female in government during her tenure, once estimated that each of the 32,000 illegal speakeasies in New York City probably paid a policeman five dollars a day to stay in business. She aimed too low.Other sources show that in Manhattan at least, “speaks” paid more like four times that much. It was probably a good deal less in small towns.

Published in: on April 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. I read somewere that most cops were paid a week’s weges for turning their eyes the other way for a couple of hours. This was in big cities. No wonder it was hard to refuse.

    • Especially when most cops (indeed, most city dwellers) disagreed with the Prohibition laws anyway and most probably drank themselves.

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