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A New Wave Of Tension


Samuel J. Battle recalled the first "fraternal shootings across the color line."

On February 12, 1940, Officer John A. Holt was at home with his wife and three sons. A neighbor told Holt that a burglary was taking place in their building. Holt grabbed his service weapon and left to capture the burglar in street clothing. According to sources, Holt confronted the man and a struggle ensued. The man was able to break free and ran to the roof of an adjacent apartment building at 234 Bradhurst Avenue.
The two white officers shot and kill their fellow Black officer, John Holt, mistaking him for the burglar. This caused tension between the community and the police. After Holt's death was deemed accidental, Lieutenant Battle was left to explain to the community what happened, in order to defuse any rumors of Officer Holt being executed by fellow officers.

To read more about this and other stories, check out One Righteous Man by Arthur Browne.
To read more about this and other stories, check out The Black Shields by Roger L. Abel.
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A New Wave Of Tension

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In collaboration with the Black Police Experience (BPX) and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc (NABLEO), we want to commemorate the heroics of Samuel J. Battle by asking black law enforcement to share their stories.  If you find a story on the Battle Continues.. timeline that you can relate to, please share.  


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Our timeline of untold stories is a collection of black law enforcement stories that will serve to illustrate their lived experiences and the need to transform police policies, practices, and consciousness. The Battle begins with Samuel J. Battle but continues as we commemorate the 110th year of blacks in law enforcement in NYC. Submit your story and help to create a pathway to justice.


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