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Saturday July 26, 2014
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Beloved Beer

 

continued

It was estimated that 400 to 600 cases of whiskey were brought from Canada across the Detroit River nightly. Much of it then was driven to Chicago, usually passing through Washtenaw County en route. One chilly April night in 1927, Ann Arbor police officers William Marz and Erwin Keebler stopped a car downtown. The driver had no registration, so Marz stood on the car's running board to direct it to police headquarters while Keebler followed behind in their patrol car. Near headquarters, one of the passengers pulled out a gun and fired five times through the window, blasting Marz to the pavement. The car sped off. Fortunately, Keebler had insisted Marz put on a bulletproof vest.

When the police escalated their enforcement efforts, gangsters simply used their enormous profits to buy faster cars and more guns. Ordinary citizens feared being caught in the crossfire. They put American flag stickers on their windshields with the inscription, "Don't Shoot, I'm Not a Bootlegger."

With law enforcement officers frustrated by the bootleggers, they struck at the little man--in Ann Arbor, Metzger's German Restaurant. In 1929, owner Bill Metzger was cited for selling hard cider and placed on probation for five years. He was fined $100 and couldn't leave the state without the consent of the court. He, his vehicles, his business, and his home could be searched at any time without a warrant. To prevent any future instances of his cider fermenting, he could no longer sell cider at all.

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