Don’t Make Us Use Machine Guns

Tear Gas Headline

September 15, 1927
Long Beach

When members of the Long Beach vice squad got wind of a dice game going on in a pool hall at 1240 California Avenue, they swooped down on the place with tear gas. They hurled a few gas bombs into the building, and then watched as the pool hall belched forth men of color from every door and window as they fled the noxious cloud of gas.

The vice squad thought that employing modern weapons such as those previously used in battle, would be an efficient way to combat criminals. Heck, tear gas worked on the Hun. Alas, gas bombs may be fine for driving a barricaded gangster out of his hidey-hole, but they are not the best weapon for busting a dice game.

It took a very long time for the pool hall to clear of the blinding fumes. When cops were finally able to enter the room they discovered dice and money on the table, but the tear gas had destroyed all evidence of guilt on the part of the suspected gamblers.

The police had several shady characters lined up outside of the reeking building, but with no way of proving their guilt they were released. The only person to roll snake eyes was the establishment’s proprietress, Edith Gilmore. There were still “galloping cubes” and money on the table, and this was sufficient enough for Judge Cook to fine her $5 and give her a suspended sentence of ten days in jail for permitting gambling in her place of business.