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Rescuing A Fellow Officer


This country experienced a bloody summer charged by racial tension. On September 15, 1919, at approximately 2 AM, a fellow white police officer by the name of Amanda Hayes, was heading home. As a prank, a young black man grabbed the officer's straw hat. According to sources, Hayes tried to arrest the man but a crowd pursued. Two shots were fired by Officer Hayes and the young man was dead. The riot, known as the "Straw Hat Riot," was underway.

Samuel J. Battle was on-duty that evening and heard the shots. He ran towards the shots where he saw Officer Hayes trying to fend off the mob. Battle rushed through the mob and stood over Officer Hayes. "This man is a policeman," Battle yelled at the crowd.
"We'll lynch him anyway," someone shouted back.
Soon after, reinforcements came and were able to disperse the crowd. The next day, the word spread. The black cop saved the life of a white cop.

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.
To read more about this incident, go to

Rescuing A Fellow Officer

#110Battle Stories

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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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