Statement on Harlem Riot

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July, 1964: Police shooting in Harlem sparks a riot.

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner speaks of cutting his trip to Geneva short in order to return to New York and address the riots in Harlem, the six day riot was brought on by the shooting death of a Harlem teenager, James Powell by a New York City police officer, Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan.

Wagner reiterates the importance and need for law and order. He ensures the people of Harlem and other African American neighborhoods that he is aware of their needs - including housing, education, and discrimination.

Wagner also addresses himself to non-New Yorkers. He mentions the large number of hotel reservations that have been canceled out of fear for safety. Wagner assures visitors that in the past three months no tourist to New York has encountered bodily harm.

Wagner promises that all allegations of police brutality will be reviewed by Deputy Mayor Cavanagh. He is also made responsible for reviewing the the review board process. Wagner also notes a plan to increase the number of minority officers on the police force.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 70867
Municipal archives id: RT138