As a New Yorker, I take pride in my city and everything that comes with it. I am proud of the loud taxi drivers, bright city lights, pushy tourists, the FDNY and the NYPD. The NYPD is known as New York’s Finest, but even New York’s Finest has its weak moments. In the 1890s, police corruption was rampant in New York. The NYPD was aiding criminals in illegal activities and benefiting from those illegal activities. Clarence Lexow was given the task of creating a committee to clean up the NYPD. The Lexow Committee indicted several captains, sergeants and investigators who participated in illegal businesses such as prostitution rings, illegal saloons, and gambling houses. The Lexow Committee’s investigation helped bring down the infamous Tammany Hall. As a commemoration to remember the service he did for New York, his wife was given this gavel to represent the justice he brought to the NYPD. Clarence Lexow restored the honor that the NYPD had lost when it indulged itself in various crimes.
– Marcia White