the first black police officer

Topics: New York City, Mayor of New York City, London Pages: 1 (356 words) Published: October 29, 2014

The First Black Police OfficerSamuel Jesse Battle was born January 16, 1883 in New Bern, North Carolina. He was the first black police officer in the city of Brooklyn, later New York City. After attending segregated schools in North Carolina, Battle moved north, first to Connecticut, then to New York City, where he took a job as a train porter and began studying for the New York City Police Department civil service exam. He was sworn in on March 6, 1911. His brother-in-law was Patrolman Moses P. Cobb, who started working for the Brooklyn Police force in the early 1890s before the unification of NYC and acted as Battle's mentor. "Big Sam" as he was known — 6 feet, 3 inches tall, 280 pounds — earned the respect of his fellow officers after saving one officer's life in the early 1920s. They subsequently voted to allow him into the Sargent's academy. As the NYPD's first black Lieutenant, during the intense Harlem Riots of 1935, after 3 days of violence he circulated fliers of himself with the young boy smiling who had allegedly been murdered in the basement of the Kress Department store. He joined the force in 1911, assigned first to San Juan Hill, the neighborhood where Lincoln Center is today, which preceded Harlem as one of the key African-American neighborhoods in Manhattan. He was soon moved to Harlem, as the African-American population there grew. He would later become the first African-American police sergeant in 1926, lieutenant in 1935, and the first African-American parole commissioner in 1941. In 1941, Battle began work as a parole commissioner, working with delinquent youths in Harlem. He initiated rehabilitation programs, such as summer camps and sports activities for the youth of Harlem. During a 1943 race riot, triggered by the shooting of an African-American suspect by a white police officer, Battle, at the request of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, was called in to quell the Harlem area where the riot erupted. Battle retired as parole...
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