THE VICTIMS

  • Albert Mersier, Jr.’s parents, Albert Sr. and Mrs. Gussie Mersier, had moved to Newark from Lincolnton, Georgia thirty years before the rebellion. Mr. Mersier, Sr. had managed to purchase two bars in the city, the Cozy Corner and the Babalu Club, after years of hard work. During this time, the Mersier’s had five children—four daughters and a son, Albert, Jr., who graduated from East Side High School in 1965. Instead of eventually inheriting his father’s businesses, the 20-year-old Albert Jr. was fatally shot by Newark Police just before midnight Friday, July 14th—down the street from the Babalu Club…

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  • On Friday afternoon, July 14th, Cornelius Murray, Jr. was walking up Jones Street toward Springfield Avenue when he ran into his friends, Jesse Koon and Morris Marsette. Just before they spotted Murray, Koon and Marsette noticed two Newark Police officers with guns in the window of a building on the street…

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  • Eddie Moss was the oldest of Emerson and Louise Moss’s four sons. The family lived at 240 Livingston Street, where they were raising Eddie and his brothers, Clarence, Michael, and Jerry. On Friday, July 14th, the Moss family and Eddie’s uncle, Jimmy Cannon, piled into their 1957 yellow and black Chevrolet and left to get dinner at White Castle on Hawthorne Avenue around 8:00 P.M…

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  • Elizabeth Artis was one of four victims of the 1967 Newark rebellion whose death was not attributed to police or National Guard. In the early morning hours of Sunday, July 16th, the 65-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack in her home at 38 Prince Street. Her Prince Street neighborhood had an extensive police and National Guard presence and was the site of heavy gunfire throughout the rebellion…

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  • Eloise Spellman lived in a 10th floor apartment in the Hayes Homes project at 322 Hunterdon Street. Mrs. Spellman shared this apartment with her eleven children, ranging in age from six-months to 18 years of age. On Saturday, July 15th, Mrs. Spellman was in the apartment with all of her children, along with two of their friends and a cousin. Around 6:30 that evening, the Spellman children and company were hanging out in the kitchen when, according to 18-year-old Bruce Spellman, “I heard a rapid firing from outside. Then I heard a scream in the front room where my mother Eloise Spellman was…”

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  • The morning of Friday, July 14th, Frederick Toto returned home to his family around 8:00 A.M., after having completed a 24-hour shift the previous day and night. As violent conflict continued in Newark for the second evening following the arrest and beating of taxi driver John Smith that Wednesday evening, Newark police officers were assigned extended shifts to try to curb the unrest…

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  • Around 7:30 P.M. on Saturday, July 15th, Marie Gainer was standing on the sidewalk outside of the building at 302 Hunterdon when she noticed her mother looking out the window of her apartment. What would have been routine for any other day was made alarming by the presence of State Police and National Guardsmen firing into the Hayes Homes project from Hunterdon and Bergen Streets…

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  • Around 5:00 P.M. Friday July 14th, Mr. Harrison and three of his sons, Virgil, Bussy, and Horace, were standing in a crowd on Broome Street outside of the Scudder Homes project when three police cars coming from Springfield Avenue turned onto the block. Springfield Avenue had been the setting for much of the “rioting” and “looting” over the past two nights, but Broome Street had been relatively calm that day…

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  • James Rutledge, Jr. was 18-years-old when he moved back to Newark from Trenton to live with his father in 1966. A year later, 19-year-old Jimmy Rutledge entered Jo-Rae’s Tavern on a Sunday afternoon, as four days of rebellion in Newark had finally begun to recede. The night before marked a new phase of the disturbances, as state police and National Guardsmen roamed the city’s streets, destroying and looting Black-owned businesses in retribution for the previous nights’ tours of duty…

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  • Mrs. Sanders said she last saw her son James before she went to bed Thursday night. She woke up the next morning, went to work in Summit, and returned home around 6:30 P.M., with no sign of James. According to his father, James had gone out Thursday evening to visit his friend Willie Perry’s apartment at 298 Bergen Street. From there, 16-year-old James had gone on to his girlfriend’s house, some three blocks away from Willie’s…

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  • Mrs. Jones returned home from work the evening of Thursday, July 13th amidst the unrest of the second night of rebellion that had broken out in the city. With buses and cabs shut down in her neighborhood, Mrs. Jones walked about two hours home, watching the commotion that was taking place on the streets as she headed home on foot. “That night there was so much going on we couldn’t sleep,” 15-year-old Dolores Jones said. “So my mother, and sister, Constance, sat out here on the porch until dawn. At 6:30 in the morning the neighborhood seemed quiet. Then a grey Cadillac driven by a white man moved up the street and it happened…”

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  • On Friday, July 14th, Leroy and Richard Boyd walked to Belmont Drugs on the corner of Belmont and Avon Avenues after Leroy returned home from work around 5:00 P.M. When they got there, the Boyds found Gladys Baker, Leroy’s domestic partner, and four men looting the store. Moments later, Newark police arrived and everyone besides Richard Boyd was lined up against the front of the store…

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  • Mary Helen Campbell lived with her sister, Margaret, at 380 Hawthorne Avenue in Clinton Hill. The night of Thursday July 13th, 1967, the 31-year-old Campbell had gone out to a party with friends, where the group stayed late into the night. Earlier that night, continued protests at the Fourth Precinct resulted in clashes between demonstrators and police and the disorder quickly spread to other areas of the city. On Springfield Avenue, “looting and vandalism” became “intense” after 9:00 o’clock and shortly after midnight, Newark police officers reported “sniper fire” in their direction and requested permission to “use their firearms in order to retaliate…”

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  • Around 10:00 P.M. Saturday, July 15th, Michael Moran was at Fire House Eleven on Central Avenue when .30 caliber bullets struck the side of the building. Believing that they were under attack from snipers, the firemen inside hit the lights and dropped to the floor…

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  • Michael Pugh lived with his mother and brother, Andrew, at 340 15th Avenue near the corner of Hunterdon Street. Mrs. Pugh had lived in that apartment for the past 20 years. Around 11:00 P.M. Sunday, July 16th, Michael was outside playing with his friend “Smokey” when his mother called him upstairs to take out the garbage. The street was calm and well lit by a light pole directly outside the Pugh’s apartment building…

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  • Oscar Hill came to Newark from North Carolina with his wife, Agnes Hill, and her daughter, Bernice, in 1953. The three lived in an apartment above the Howard Bar, where Oscar Hill worked until it closed, after having previously tended bar at nearby Maxie’s. After his wife left him and her daughter sometime before 1957, Hill began seeing Alene Johnson in 1959 and the two later had four children together. By all accounts, Hill was a loving and devoted partner, father, and stepfather…

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  • Raymond Gilmer grew up in Newark’s East Ward at the corner of Ferry Street and Manufacture Place, where he and his nine siblings were raised by their grandmother, Mrs. Bessie Hopkins. After leaving school in tenth grade to start working, Gilmer later married his wife Sharon, with whom he had four children, the last being born after his death. The Gilmer family lived in a small apartment at 300 Peshine Avenue…

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  • When he finished work at J&R on Friday, July 14th, Raymond Hawk picked up his wife and son and drove them out to Linden to stay with her family. Hawk wanted to get his family out of harm’s way after two nights of violence had rocked the city in the fallout from the arrest and beating of John Smith outside the Fourth Precinct Wednesday night…

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  • On Saturday July 15th, Mrs. Brown stayed home from work for the second straight day to look after her the safety of her children during the rebellion taking place in the city. While Mrs. Brown was at home with her youngest children that day, Ozell as at work in Cedar Grove, and the older children were out of the apartment. Mr. Brown’s brother, Irving, was visiting the family at their apartment…

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  • Richard Taliaferro was the youngest of Harry and Elizabeth Taliaferro’s seven children. The family lived on 11th Avenue, near the corner of South 8th Street. After leaving school at the age of 16, Richard worked at Pechter’s Bakery in Harrison, and later at A&P Bakery on Frelinghuysen Avenue in Newark. According to his mother, ‘The boy worked all the time. He never did miss a day’s work.” His sister, Frances, remembered, ‘He didn’t like anything loud or rough or anything like that…’

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  • Around 5:00 P.M. Friday July 14th, Robert Lee Martin and Herbert Price were walking up Mercer Street from Springfield Avenue on their way back to the Scudder Homes apartment where Price lived. The two had worked the night before, Price until midnight, Martin until 6:00 A.M., and had consequently slept for most of the day. After waking in the afternoon, the two went out to buy groceries, but found the stores too crowded and made their way back to Price’s apartment empty-handed…

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  • Around 12:30 A.M., July 14th, Moise and Rose Abraham were awakened by the sound of gunshots outside their home at 42 Blum Street. The two had married in 1944 and raised their six children in their single-family home, with all but the eldest still living there. After hearing the gunfire, Mr. Abraham walked downstairs to the kitchen for a glass of water, while Mrs. Abraham checked on her children…

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  • On Friday July 14th, Rufus Council was standing with Rose Wright outside of Roz’s Restaurant, near the corner of Broome and Mercer Streets, where a crowd had gathered around 5:00 P.M. to watch police firing upon the Scudder Homes project a few blocks away. It was at this time that Newark police detective Frederick Toto was fatally shot outside of the Scudder Homes project after law enforcement exchanged fire with alleged “snipers” in the apartments…

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  • Tedock Bell had moved to Newark from North Carolina in 1963 and worked two jobs in the city to provide for he, his wife Edna, and four children. During the week, Bell worked full-time as a machinist in a plastics factory, and on the weekends, tended bar at Ben’s Tavern on Bergen Street. It was down the block from Ben’s Tavern that Tedock Bell was fatally shot by a Newark police officer in the early morning hours of Friday, July 14th…

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  • Victor Louis Smith was one of four victims of the 1967 Newark rebellion whose death was not attributed to police or National Guard. On the morning of Sunday, July 16th, as the rebellion was entering its final day, Smith was found unconscious in a hallway by friends. According to Newark Police, Smith was found with needle marks on his arm and was a “suspected narcotics victim.” He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital…

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  • “We ain’t riotin’ agains’ all you whites. We’re riotin’ agains’ police brutality, like that cab driver they beat up the other night. That stuff goes on all the time. When the police treat us like people ‘stead of treatin’ us like animals, then the riots will stop.” Billy Furr spoke these words to LIFE Magazine reporter Dale Wittner the morning of July 15th when they first met on Avon Avenue. The 24-year-old Furr had come to Newark to pick up an unemployment check and look for a new job, but found himself stranded when the bus lines back to Montclair were shut down due to the rebellion…

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Sally Carroll, a former President of the Newark NAACP, describes police and National Guardsmen shooting into high-rise apartment buildings, which resulted in the death of Eloise Spellman. — Credit: “Newark: The Slow Road Back,” Sandra King

List of Victims From Rebellion

List of Victims From Rebellion

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List compiled by the Newark Legal Services Project (NLSP) of the victims of the 1967 Newark rebellion. The NLSP staff and volunteers worked tirelessly during the rebellions to investigate these shooting deaths, collect depositions, and advocate for the families of the victims. — Credit: Junius Williams Papers

Interview with Dr Vernon

Interview with Dr Vernon

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Transcript of an interview with Dr. E.W. Vernon conducted by the Newark Legal Services Project (NLSP). Dr. Vernon, who was asked to assist in the care of the wounded at City Hospital during the 1967 Newark rebellion, recalls his experiences in the hospital during that time. — Credit: Junius Williams Papers

Explore The Archives

Clip from the documentary “Newark: The Slow Road Back,” in which Sally Carroll, a former President of the Newark NAACP, describes police and National Guardsmen shooting into high-rise apartment buildings, which resulted in the death of Eloise Spellman. — Credit: “Newark: The Slow Road Back,” Sandra King

Newark Legal Services Project

Newark Legal Services Project

View Document

List compiled by the Newark Legal Services Project (NLSP) of the victims of the 1967 Newark rebellion. The NLSP staff and volunteers worked tirelessly during the rebellions to investigate these shooting deaths, collect depositions, and advocate for the families of the victims. — Credit: Junius Williams Papers

Interview with Dr Vernon

Interview with Dr Vernon

View Document

Transcript of an interview with Dr. E.W. Vernon conducted by the Newark Legal Services Project (NLSP). Dr. Vernon, who was asked to assist in the care of the wounded at City Hospital during the 1967 Newark rebellion, recalls his experiences in the hospital during that time. The NLSP staff and volunteers worked tirelessly during the rebellions to investigate these shooting deaths, collect depositions, and advocate for the families of the victims. — Credit: Junius Williams Papers