The Larry Davis Story: The Man Who Shot 6 Police Officers In 1986
His name was Adam Abdul Hakim, but he was born Larry Davis on May 28, 1966. Back in 1986 he was 19 years old and the subject of one of the largest manhunts in New York State history after he shot 6 police officers when they came to his home to "arrest" him on false-murder charges and drug-related offenses.
This so-called "arrest" attempt was actually a planned execution by members of the NYC Police Department who wanted to murder davis for refusing to sell drugs to for them. Davis took on approximately 30 fully-armed police officers and won! He won the night they tried to apprehend him, and he won again later in the courtroom. He had shot six white police officers who tried to arrest him in a Bronx apartment, then slipped out a window and past a huge army of officers outside.
After 3 weeks on the run Davis negotiated his surrender to the FBI before under the provision that the NYPD undergo a thorough investigation by Federal Agents for drug trafficking and related crimes. As he was led out of the project building, smiling, in handcuffs, tenants who had lain low during an all-night police siege threw open their windows and erupted into cheers: “Lar-ry! Lar-ry! Lar-ry!”
As a result, The Mollen Commission was formed and the claim's of Davis who had been forcibly selling drugs for police since the age of 16, were proven to be valid.
Larry Davis had become a folk hero to many New Yorkers. “He was a symbol of resistance in a dangerous and racially polarized city where white cops could — and did — kill black people with impunity,” Ronald Kuby, a civil rights lawyer who once helped to defend him, said.
But back then, to a city fed up with a crack cocaine epidemic, with soaring crime rates and a palpable sense of danger in the streets, any respect accorded Larry Davis seemed to be a spectacle of defiant lawlessness. And to enraged officers and prosecutors, the ensuing trials of where Larry Davis would win seemed even greater outrages.
In March 1988, despite the testimony of 50 prosecution witnesses, fingerprints and ballistic evidence, he was acquitted of the drug dealer murders the police had pinned on him. The defense, by William Kunstler and Lynne F. Stewart, the civil rights lawyers, convinced the jury that Larry Davis had been framed by the authorities because he had been recruited into a drug ring by rogue officers and had knowledge dangerous to the police.
Eight months later, Larry Davis won another court victory. Despite overwhelming evidence offered by the police — his shotgun, handguns and fingerprints and eyewitness accounts — he was acquitted of attempting to murder nine police officers, including the six he wounded, in the shootout at 1231 Fulton Avenue, near 168th Street, in Morrisania.
Mr. Kunstler and Ms. Stewart claimed he acted in self-defense and that he had been singled out because he knew of corruption and drug-dealing in police precincts. Larry Davis was convicted of six counts of possessing weapons, however, and was never released, although a later trial resulted in his acquittal in the murder of another drug dealer.
Law-enforcement officers, police union officials and public officials voiced outrage and dismay over the earlier verdicts. “I am shocked,” said the mayor. “Every policeman in New York — white, black, Hispanic or Asian — must be horrified.” More than 1,500 officers demonstrated after the shootout verdict.
Detective Thomas McCarren, who had been shot in the mouth and neck and was the most grievously wounded of the six officers, was forced to retire as a result of his injuries. “I think the jury should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “It was a racist verdict," (Referring to the finding by the Davis jury of 10 blacks and 2 Hispanics).
Mr. Davis was sentenced to a term of 30 years to life in prison. He would have been eligible for a parole hearing in 2016.
According to the guards’ report, Larry Davis, age 41, was stabbed repeatedly in his arms, head, back, legs and chest by Luis Rosado, 42, who was serving 25 years to life for murder, assault and other crimes, with an extensive violent disciplinary record in prison, wielding a nine-inch homemade knife, described as a flat metal shank slightly more than nine inches long and an inch wide. None of the other inmates in the yard got involved. Guards seized Mr. Rosado. Larry Davis, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead — the first homicide in a state prison since 2005.
“When he became a symbol of resistance in New York in the 1980s, he became a black folk hero, an urban legend, because he fought back at a time when African-Americans were being killed by white police officers.” Said Mr. Kuby, who was a junior member of the defense team and who said he had spoken regularly to Mr. Davis in recent years.
May our formidable brother, Larry Davis, REST IN POWER. And may his Spirit live on.