NYPD honors first black lieutenant

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department’s first black officer is being honored.

An intersection in Harlem — West 135th Street and Lenox Avenue — is being renamed Samuel J. Battle Plaza on Tuesday. It’s where Battle saved a white officer during a racial clash in 1919.

A plaque bearing Battle’s likeness will be displayed at Harlem’s 32nd Precinct.

Battle joined the department in 1911. In 1926, he was promoted to sergeant after being passed over for it three times. In the 1930s, he became the department’s first black lieutenant.

During his 30 years on the force, he often endured threats, racism, hazing and marginalization from white officers. Battle lived nearby on 138th Street. He died in 1966.

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