OCTOBER 29, 1984 - Bronx, New York

Captured

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66-year-old Eleanor Bumpurs was a black woman who was shot and killed on October 29, 1984 by New York City police. The police were present to enforce a city-ordered eviction of Bumpurs from her apartment in the Bronx after she was four months behind on her monthly rent of $98.65. When requesting NYPD assistance, housing authority workers told police that Bumpurs was emotionally disturbed, had threatened to throw boiling lye, and was using a knife to resist eviction. When Bumpurs refused to open the door, police broke in. In the struggle to subdue her, one officer shot Bumpurs twice with a 12-gauge shotgun. One pellet from the first shot struck her hand; all nine pellets from the second shot struck her in the chest, killing her. After several indictments and a bench trial, Officer Sullivan was acquitted of the charges of manslaughter. Two supervisors in the city’s Social Services administration were demoted for failing to seek an emergency rent grant for Bumpurs and for not getting her proper psychiatric aid.