Kansas City Legacy: Rabbi Helped Beat Boss Tom Pendergast

Today we direct readers to an EXCELLENT bit of Kansas City history that still has important context today.

Consider . . .

Currently, anti-police activists FALSELY CLAIM that Kansas City police governance by the state of Missouri is a legacy of Civil-War era policy. That's a half-truth at best . . . The reality is that the Missouri takeover in the modern era is the result of AN EPIC STRUGGLE OF KANSAS CITY RESIDENTS AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME.

In fact, local faith communities and grassroots neighborhood groups pushed back against the Pendergast mob when 1930s era local police proved too corrupt to do the job. 

Here's one part of that story of a faith leader standing up against the iconic Kansas City crime boss . . .

The rabbi's push-back came at a price. Pendergast enforcer Johnny Lazia had Mayerberg in his sights. They met face-to-face in a heated verbal confrontation at the Jackson County Courthouse.

The rabbi secured a bodyguard and he narrowly escaped an attempted hit, when four men in a passing vehicle opened fire at his car.

Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .

Uniquely Kansas City: Rabbi Samuel Mayerberg's crusade for civic justice

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Robert J. Mohart Multipurpose Center at Linwood Boulevard and Flora Avenue is open to a wide variety of community functions, but at one time this structure was home to a crusading rabbi who had the courage to take on organized crime and a corrupt Kansas City government run by "Boss" Tom Pendergast.