History of the Civil Rights movement By Cristina Vignone
New York City’s third Harlem race riot began much like its predecessors with an incident bringing residents to the streets. On July 16, 1964 Patrick Lynch, the superintendent of an apartment building on East 76th Street, sprayed a group of young boys with a hose while they were playing outside. After a confrontation, Lynch entered the building with James Powell, one of the teenagers originally from Harlem, in pursuit. Off-duty Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan watched as the events unfolded and chased the rest of the boys inside. He showed his shield to the group but shot and killed Powell, claiming the boy lunged at him with a knife. Unlike the 1935 and 1943 race riots, crowds protesting this incident of race-based policing gathered not only in Harlem but also in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as well, demonstrating that “the actions in 1964 proved to be the beginning of an urban black protest throughout the country.”
In both boroughs, crowds beat on cars driven by white people, broke store windows and threw Molotov cocktails at the police while chanting, “Blood for blood.” Over the next two months protests spread to Rochester, Paterson, Jersey City and Elizabeth, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Dixon, Chicago as well. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) condemned the New York Police Department as well as the District Attorney for exonerating Gilligan of Powell’s death, which mirrored
The following two articles from The New York Times chronicle New York City’s response to the eruption of rioting at James Powell’s funeral three days after the incident. White citizens criticized “‘crackpots advocating violence” guilty of “‘exploiting the Negro problem” in New York, while Governor Nelson Rockefeller called for restraint after ordering “New York’s entire 25,000-man police force” to work twelve hour shifts because of the explosive situation in Harlem.” James Farmer, the national director of CORE, petitioned for National Guard protection, claiming the troops were “needed ‘to protect the people of Harlem’ because the Police Department is not doing so.”
Theodore James, "NEGRO BOY KILLED; 300 HARASS POLICE: Teen-Agers Hurl Cans and Bottles After Shooting by Off-Duty Officer," New York Times, July 17, 1964. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) with Index (1851-1993), 1.
 “Verdict in Harlem,” New York Times September 2, 1964. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) with Index (1851-1993), 36.
 Joseph Boskin, “The Revolt of the Urban Ghettos, 1964-1967,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , Vol. 382, Protest in the Sixties (Mar., 1969), 1-14, 7.
 Paul L. Montgomery and Francis X. Clines, “THOUSANDS RIOT IN HARLEM AREA; SCORES ARE HURT: Negroes Loot Stores, Taunt Whites -- Police Shoot Air to Control Crowd,” New York Times, July 19, 1964. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) with Index (1851-1993), 1.
 David Haberstam, "Report on Gilligan Assailed by CORE: CORE Assails Hogan on Gilligan Case," New York Times, September 3, 1964. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) with Index (1851-1993), 1.
 R.W. Apple Jr., "VIOLENCE FLARES AGAIN IN HARLEM; RESTRAINT URGED: 19 Hurt in New Outbreaks Near Scene of the Funeral for Boy Who Was Slain, New York Times, July 20, 1964. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) with Index (1851-1993), 1.