This week in history: Off-duty cop kills teen on Upper East Side

Front page of the July 23, 1964 issue of T&V

Front page of the July 23, 1964 issue of T&V

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years and we’ve decided to start taking a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here is a snapshot from the July 23, 1964 issue of Town & Village.

The headline story in this 1964 issue of T&V was about a Stuyvesant Town resident and police officer who shot and killed a “negro” teen on East 76th Street the previous Thursday, inciting riots in Harlem throughout the week following.

The shooting sparked what is known as the Harlem Riot of 1964. Right after the boy was killed, a small group of students began rioting around the area of the shooting and had to be contained by police. On the same day as his funeral, what started as a peaceful rally on the rising crime rate in Harlem turned into a violent mob that required hundreds of officers at Seventh Avenue and West 125th Street. In total, the incident set off six consecutive nights of rioting throughout Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant and is considered the precipitating event for riots later in the summer in cities like Philadelphia, Rochester and Chicago.

Town & Village reported that the victim, 15-year-old James Powell, had attacked the officer, Stuyvesant Town Oval resident Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan, with a switchblade. According to the lieutenant’s version of events, he shot the boy once and when the teen kept advancing, Gilligan shot him a second time, ending his life. T&V withheld the officer’s exact address to prevent possible retaliation or mob violence.

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Cops arrest 15-year-old they say committed string of robberies, attempted rape

Police have arrested 15-year-old Kalief Jackson of Brooklyn in connection with a series of robberies, including an attempted rape. One of the robberies took place in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo via NYPD)

Police have arrested 15-year-old Kalief Jackson of Brooklyn in connection with a series of robberies, including an attempted rape. One of the robberies took place in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo via NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a 15-year-old they say is responsible for a string of robberies, including one in Stuyvesant Town, and an attempted rape in East Harlem.

Kalief Jackson of Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Brooklyn was recognized in a photo on Wednesday, a rep for the NYPD said.

The alleged crimes took place over the span of a few days, January 15-19, and Jackson, who is six feet tall and has a distinctive afro hairstyle, is now facing a slew of charges including attempted rape, sex abuse, robbery and burglary.

In a report released today, police said:

On Wednesday, January 15, at Morningside Drive and West 116th Street, the victim, a 28-year-old woman, was walking through Morningside Park when she was approached by an unknown male who stated, “If you say anything, I’ll shoot you,” while simulating a gun in his shirt. The suspect then demanded — and got away with — the victim’s cell phone and money.

On Thursday, January 16, a woman was walking in the same area when an unknown male forcefully attempted to rob her. He fled in an unknown direction and there were no injuries reported.

Later that day, a 23-year-old woman went into a building on Saint Nicholas Avenue, and entered her apartment, while being followed. The intruder then simulated a weapon inside his jacket and demanded her iPhone, threatening “I swear to god I’ll shoot you,” if she didn’t give it to him. The victim handed over $50 in cash and her iPhone to the robber, who then fled.

Later that evening in front 164 West 136th Street, police said the same male crept up behind a 27-year-old woman and pushed her into an isolated area. He then pulled out a gun and took the victim’s iPhone, Canada Goose coat, debit card and a Metrocard.

On the evening of Friday, January 17, a 28-year-old woman was followed by an unknown male into a residential building on Grand Street. After walking behind her up the stairs, he put his hands inside his jacket to simulate a weapon and demanded cash. The victim handed $4 over to the robber, who then touched her genital area over her clothes, then forced her to do the same to him over his clothes. He then fled the scene and no injuries were reported.

Less than two hours later, around 8:30 p.m., a 24-year-old woman was standing in an elevator in a building on Stuyvesant Oval. (Police have not released the exact address.) She was waiting for the doors to close when an unknown male got into the elevator and demanded that she follow him, before simulating a gun in his waistband. He threatened to shoot her and then began counting down. When the woman screamed and began pressing all the elevator’s buttons, the would-be robber fled in an unknown direction. There were no injuries reported in this incident.

On Sunday, January 19, the gun-simulating suspect got an early start at 3:40 a.m., when police say he entered a building on East 116th Street and waited for a victim. He then attempted to rape a 34-year-old woman, telling her he had a gun, and putting his hand over her mouth. He took the victim to an isolated area in the building, where she was able to break free. He then fled east on East 116th Street. There were no injuries reported.

Later that evening at 5 West 102nd Street, a 24-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when she saw she was being followed. The unknown male simulated a weapon and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t turn over her money. The victim said she had no money, so the robber snatched her iPhone before fleeing in an unknown direction.