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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Race riots in Lawrence

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Summary
This tape includes footage of the aftermath of race riots in Lawrence in August of 1984. Residents stand on the street; some of the buildings are damaged. Two men inspect a burnt-out house. A man repairs a broken window. A group of people stands outside of a liquor store. The sign for the liquor store is damaged; debris is visible on the floor of the liquor store. A group of men move boxes from the store onto a truck. A police cruiser moves down a blockaded street. Police direct traffic in front of the liquor store. Footage from the McNeil-Lehrer Newshour. Robert McNeil reports on race riots in the Tower Hill section of Lawrence. McNeil notes that gangs of Latino youth and gangs of white youth were throwing molotov cocktails and that police were called in to restore order. McNeil's report includes night footage of the riots in Lawrence.
Topics
Race relations, Civil rights, Segregation, McNeil-Lehrer Newshour
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Log

1:00:04: Visual: Shot of a residential street in Lawrence. Two white men in business suits stand on the lot of a burnt out house. A few people are gathered outside of a house on a residential street in Lawrence. Shot of a liquor store with bars over the windows. Two white women stand outside of a damaged building on a streetcorner. A motorcycle is parked in front of the building. A white man peers out of a broken window in the building. A white man looks out of a window of a house.

1:01:26: V: A group of white adults and kids stand outside of a liquor store in Lawrence. A few people walk up a residential street toward the liquor store. The street is strewn with debris. Shot of the damaged liquor store sign. Shots of a pick-up truck; of a man closing the back of a U-haul moving truck. A man repairs the broken window of a building on a street corner in Lawrence. Close-up shots of other broken windows. The U-haul moving truck pulls up to the front of the liquor store. Shot of the damaged liquor store sign. White men move alcohol from the store into the moving truck. Shot of debris on the floor of the liquor store; of the interior of the moving truck; of the front of the liquor store.

1:03:14: V: Shot of hand-lettered sign reading, "Keep out." A group of white men are gathered in front of a burnt-out house. Shots of the charred remains of the house. A police cruiser travels down a street. The street is blockaded with "Do not enter" signs. The cruiser travels toward the liquor store and moving van. Long shot of the blockaded street with the liquor store. Video cuts out briefly at the end of this segment. Street noise is audible.

1:04:50: V: Two white police officers stand in the middle of a residential street. A crowd of all ages mills about. The crowd includes whites, Hispanics and African Americans. A crowd is gathered near the liquor store. A police officer directs a car as it maneuvers in the crowded street.

1:05:34: News brief from the McNeil-Lehrer Newshour. Robert McNeil reads news headlines. McNeil reports on violence in the Tower Hill section of Lawrence. McNeil reports that gangs of youth threw molotov cocktails; that one gang was Spanish-speaking; that the other gang included French-Canadian, Irish and Italian youth. V: Footage of youth gang members in the dark. The youth carry sticks. Molotov cocktails are thrown by the youth. The molotov cocktails explode on the pavement. McNeil reports that four people were arrested and twenty people were injured; that police used tear gas to restore order at 2:00 am. V: Footage of youth armed with sticks; of police marching among small fires burning on the street.