The Glenville Shootout from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The Glenville Shootout from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

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The GLENVILLE SHOOTOUT (23-28 July 1968) was a violent episode that began the evening of 23 July as an action against CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT by an armed, purposeful black militant group, which resulted in casualties on both sides. Although it was not clear who shot first on the evening of 23 July, there was an exchange of gunfire between police and Fred “Ahmed” Evans and his radical militants.

Ohio National Guard soldiers on duty in Cleveland following the Glenville shootout, July 1968. CPL.

Before the night was over, 7 people were dead: 3 policemen, 3 suspects, and 1 civilian; and 15 were wounded. When it became clear that the police were neither trained nor equipped to handle the disorders, Mayor Carl Stokes requested and received the assistance of the Natl. Guard that following day. Stokes believed that putting AFRICAN AMERICANS in control of their own community would prevent further bloodshed, and the afternoon of 24 July he decided only black policemen and black community leaders would be allowed in Glenville with the rest of the police and the guard stationed on the perimeter of the cordoned-off area. There was no more loss of life; however, there was continued looting and arson in the 6 sq. mi. area. After the Natl. Guard and the police reentered Glenville the following day, a curfew was established and the vandalism gradually diminished and order was restored 3 days later on 28 July. During the violence, 63 businesses were damaged with a total loss set at $2.6 million. Evans surrendered to the police the morning of 24 July, a day after the shooting began.


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