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James Powell


On July 16, 1964, off-duty New York City Police Department (NYPD) Lieutenant, the subject, shot and killed James Powell, the fifteen-year-old black victim, outside an apartment building at 215 East Street in New York City.   The subject claimed that he shot the victim in self-defense when Powell charged him while brandishing a pocket knife after the subject identified himself as a police officer. The subject fired three shots from his revolver; two of the bullets struck Powell, fatally wounding him. More than twenty-five witnesses, including a dozen students attending summer school with Powell, witnessed some part of the shooting incident.   Witness statements vary widely with respect to whether Powell attacked the subject and whether he identified himself as an officer before the shooting. Testimonial evidence that corroborates the subject’s version of events.

Incident Date
Case Name
James Powell
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Case Document
Updated May 4, 2017