Irish Ruled San Francisco in the Sixties

images of Tom Cahill and Jack ShelleyThe Irish ruled San Francisco in the sixties.  Judge O’Connor was responsible for the juvenile justice system.  Tom Cahill was chief of police while Jack Shelley occupied the mayor’s office (see photos).  All was as it was apparently meant to be.  Until 1966.  The mysterious death of George Sullivan, who was the top black music producer on the coast, seemed to trigger an avalanche of racial tension.  One hundred and sixty-seven dissidents were arrested for picketing the Sheraton Palace Hotel and their failure to hire blacks.  One hundred and eighty civil rights demonstrators were hauled downtown for illegal sit-ins at Wessman Lincoln-Mercury and Cadillac dealerships. 

A riot broke out in Hunters Point after a white officer shot and killed a seventeen-year-old African American, Mathew Johnson, as he fled the scene of a stolen car.  (more…)