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From Everything.Sucks

Francis Lazarro Rizzo Sr. (October 23, 1920 – July 16, 1991) was an American police officer and politician. He served as Philadelphia police commissioner from 1968 to 1971 and mayor of Philadelphia from 1972 to 1980. He was a member of the Democratic Party until 1986 when he switched to the Republican Party.

Jake Blumgart for Vice mentioned the brutal legacy of Frank Rizzo, the most notorious cop in Philadelphia history, "Like plenty of American lawmen in that era, Rizzo didn't seem able, or willing, to differentiate between activism and criminality. In 1966, he organized four squads of shotgun-touting cops to raid offices and an apartment associated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Philly, turning up two and a half sticks of dynamite. (SNCC activists claimed then, and reiterate today, that the explosives were planted by an informant.) In 1967, after being appointed police commissioner, Rizzo led a phalanx of officers to a school administration building where a crowd of students was protesting in favor of a black history curriculum. What happened next is in dispute, or at least the precise wording is: Local newspapers reported that Rizzo told cops, whom he suggested were being attacked, to get their black asses.

The results were brutal, with dozens of students beaten in what observers described as a police riot. A cop chased two black girls right outside of the window of the administration building where we were looking out, the school district's then-public relations manager remembered years later, and just proceeded to beat the crap out of them with a nightstick. These incidents solidified Rizzo's reputation, along with a 1970 raid against the Black Panther offices that ended with the men being strip-searched before newspaper photographers. In 1967, his approval rating stood at 84 percent, suggesting both blacks and whites were OK with him; after the showdown at the school, letters to the Philadelphia Inquirer were two to one in favor of Rizzo, while letters to the African-American paper, the Tribune, were three to one against."

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