1930 March 28

DA Won’t Charge NYC Police Officers for Brutality in Communists’ Rally


Manhattan District Attorney Crain stated on this day that he would not bring criminal charges against New York City police officers for their reported brutality in breaking up a rally organized by the Communist Party at Union Square on March 6th. Arbid Langnickel was struck on the head by an officer’s billy club and required medical treatment at Bellevue Hospital. An unidentified elderly man was also beaten and then taken to a hospital for treatment.

The incident was one of many in the 1929-34 period, the first years of the Great Depression, in which police violently broke up rallies, many of which were organized by the Communist Party, demanding relief for the unemployed.

Learn more about civil liberties in the early 1930s: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

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