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Harlem Riot of 1943

This article is about the Harlem Riot of 1943. For other incidents in Harlem, see Harlem Riot.

The Harlem Riot of 1943 took place in Harlem in the New York City borough of Manhattan on August 1, after an African American soldier was shot and wounded by a white New York policeman.[1]

Cause

On August 1, 1943, an NYPD policeman hit an African American woman who was being arrested for disturbing the peace at the Braddock Hotel in Harlem. Robert Bandy, a black soldier in the U.S. Army, tried to stop the police officer striking the woman again. The situation rapidly escalated; the police officer drew his service revolver and shot Bandy in the shoulder.

Bandy's wound was not serious, but he was taken to a nearby hospital, and crowds quickly gathered at the hospital, the hotel, and police headquarters.[2] An onlooker shouted that an African American soldier had been killed, provoking a riot.[1][3]

Riot

The rioters, mostly African Americans, destroyed property throughout Harlem. As most of the businesses in the borough were under white ownership, many shops were looted.[3] New York Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia ordered that a force of 6,600 city police, military police and civil patrol men enter Harlem and restore order. In addition 8,000 State Guardsmen and 1,500 civilian volunteers were posted around the borough to contain the rioters.[3] Order was finally restored on August 3. The mayor then had food delivered to the residents of Harlem, which helped appease the matter.[1]

Aftermath

Hundreds of businesses were destroyed and looted, the property damage approaching $5,000,000. Overall, six people died and nearly 400 were injured. Five hundred men and women were arrested in connection with the riot.[3]

See also

References

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