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Share these stories using the hashtag #110Battle

Those Who Came Before Me


Samuel J. Battle, although the first Black policeman for the NYPD, was not the first Black person in law enforcement in the city of New York.

Whiley Overton became a patrolman on March 6, 1891. One story that is not told often is the story of William Scheff. In the book, One Righteous Man, it is said that the First Precinct cops had hired William Scheff to assault Overton. Scheff was known for his brutality. Scheff told the paper that he had been "hired to knock out the n****r."

Officer Overton's story consists of being brought up on departmental charges with punishments being harsher than his white counterparts. For example, in June 1982, Overton failed to signal the stationhouse and a roundsman saw him in a restaurant. He was fined 10 day's pay, which was three times more than a white officer who was found drunk on duty. After 20 months from his appointment, Wiley Overton left the police department.

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.

Those Who Came Before Me

#110Battle Stories

View other stories told by today's police

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.


Your story will contribute to the timeline, we will not display your name and we reserve the right to display the information that you provide. All submissions may not be used at this time and those selected will receive confirmation.

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Those Who Came Before Me

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