Over the course of three days and two nights in July 1964, nearly 1,000 people were arrested during the riots in the City of Rochester. It was one of the first riots in New York State following the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Racial tensions were already high throughout the City after claims of a child attacked by a police dog and a pregnant woman slapped by an officer. The riots broke out after police arrested a 19-year-old man for public intoxication at a block party of about 200 people on Nassau Street near Joseph Avenue on Friday July 24, 1964. Hundreds of residents stepped in to try to stop the arrest which resulted in an outbreak of violence and looting which lasted for 60 hours. Four people were killed, hundreds of others injured and the National Guard was called in to keep the peace.
Community activists say they were fighting for political involvement, fair housing, and jobs. Many community organizations were formed as a result including F.I.G.H.T., Urban League and Metro Justice.
News10NBC is taking a "look back" and "ahead" through the eyes of people who were there in our "50 Years Later: The Rochester Riots" series.