May 25, 1907
For eleven years, pigeons have filled the nooks and roosts of the city’s police station, watching over the parade of troubled souls who come to that refuge, some dragged in bodily, others seeking aid. The police officers have coddled their feathered confederates, keeping them fat with daily offerings and giving names to the most distinctive of their numbers.
All that ends tomorrow, by order of the city’s judges and police officials. They have determined that the impromptu coop is a filthy nuisance and a hotbed of avian vice, and with that stark declaration, these spoiled creatures have been sentenced to death by sniper.
Yes, they will all be shot–starting with Old Bill, the big black male who reigns over his flock, and followed by all his courtiers, wives, children and cousins. Once their fate became clear, the officers insisted guns must be used, for they could not bear to snare and strangle their friends, and if they trapped and shipped them away, it would only be a matter of days before they returned to their longtime home.
Tonight the police station is a mournful place, and the sweet cooing of its aerial residents inspire only sadness in those below. Old Bill has but one night to live, and when he dies so too will a piece of the hearts of all who knew him.
May 18, 1907
William Mullen, a black strikebreaker for the Pioneer Truck Company, was delivering a shipment of lumber when he realized that he had lost some of his load and retraced his route to look for it.
At the Southern Pacific railroad crossing at Alameda and 2nd streets, Mullen noticed some lumber leaning against a shack belonging to a railroad flagman named Caulfield, who was presumably white. Mullen asked Caulfield if there was more of his lumber inside the shack and Caulfield said no.
Mullen challenged Caulfield, knocked him to the ground and began kicking him when Patrick Connelly, a union teamster for the Water Department and also presumably white, intervened, although it
The Le Canns continued their spat in court after Mrs. Le Cann showed Judge Chambers a piece of skin she said was torn from her lip when her husband, Fred (also listed as Ferdinand), shoved her as she was calling the police.