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The arrest and trial of Larry Davis, arrested after a 1986 shootout with the NYPD, drew national interest and ignited racial tensions in New York City.
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Born in the Bronx in 1966, Larry Davis was involved in several murders and robberies as a teenager before his highly publicized armed confrontation with the members of the New York police force in 1986. His arrest and subsequent trials drew national interest during a time of tense race relations between the police and minorities in New York City.
Convicted criminal. Born on May 28, 1966. In 1986, Larry Davis became notorious for his armed confrontation with the members of the New York police force. Some saw him as a folk hero of sorts, an African-American man standing up against the authorities. Others viewed his actions as those of a ruthless criminal.
Raised in the South Bronx, Davis was one of twelve or thirteen children (reports vary on the exact number). He dropped out of high school and reportedly worked as a mechanic and had aspirations of becoming a rapper. His first known arrest occurred in April 1983 when he was charged with grand larceny in connection with a robbery in Huntington, Long Island, that February. He was then charged with resisting arrest and possession of stolen property in June.
The following year, Davis pled guilty to possession of a hypodermic instrument in January, for which he paid $60 fine. He was arrested for petty larceny and burglary in February and again in October for possession of stolen property.
In March 1985, Davis pled guilty to petty larceny and was put on probation. He was found in violation of probation in January 1986. Sometime that same year, Davis became a father after his girlfriend Melody Fludd gave birth to their daughter, Larrima.
By that fall, Davis is believed to have stepped up his illegal activities, becoming involved in several robbery-murder cases. He became a suspect in several murders of alleged drug dealers, including the October 30th killings of Jesus Perez, Juan Rodriguez, Hector Figueroa, and Angel Castro in the Bronx.
On November 19, 1986, more than 20 police officers went to bring in Davis for questioning. He was hiding his sister's apartment. Refusing to surrender, Davis engaged in a gunfight with police. Six officers were wounded in the exchange of bullets and shotgun blasts. Davis escaped capture this time, and became the subject of an intensive manhunt, which lasted 17 days. He was finally taken into custody on December 6 after holding a family hostage in their apartment in the Twin Parks West housing project for numerous hours. As he was taken away from the scene, some of the project's residents cheered for him and chanted his name.
Before he caught, Davis had expressed concerns that the police were out to get him. He told his sister Regina Lewis that "If I'm caught in the street, the police are going to shoot me. But I am going to shoot them first," according to an article in The New York Times. Davis even attempted to escape from jail, a plan that was thwarted by corrections officers at the Rikers Island prison. He had tried to pass a map to two visitors, which was taken by the guards.
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