Henrietta Lyle, the chairperson of Community Board 10 in central Harlem, called PIX 11 Investigates Tuesday evening to tell them that CB 10 board “has never opposed” a public honor for slain Patrolman Phillip Cardillo. Lyle said the decision regarding a street sign to memorialize Cardillo, who was fatally shot in the 1972 Harlem Mosque incident, would have to be made after a meeting between police groups and the mosque community in Harlem.
“They will sit down and talk about this and tell the Community Board what they want to do,” Lyle insisted. “As you know, this is a very sensitive issue.”
On April 14, 1972, Patrolman Phillip Cardillo responded to a 10-13 call—officer in need of assistance—at 102 West 116th Street in Harlem. Cardillo and three other officers entered the mosque, where they got into a dispute with members of the National of Islam, who ran what was called Mosque # 7. It turned out the 10-13 call was a “fake”—and when other investigators responded, they found the front door “dead bolted” and saw two officers being beaten through the windows. When they finally got in, detectives found Officer Cardillo bleeding on the floor, along with another cop. It turned out Cardillo had also been shot. Cardillo died six days later from a wound to the torso. Someone had shot Cardillo with his NYPD gun.
The incident spawned a melee on the street outside, where other cops and reporters were hit with bottles and bricks thrown from rooftops. The Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, arrived at the mosque in a rage, demanding that officers get out of the holy place. Later, Deputy NYPD Commissioner, Ben Ward, told “all white officers to leave the scene,” according to retired detective Rudy Andre, who chased mosque members to the basement that day with other cops.
Most of the suspects were let go and, Mayor John Lindsay—who hoped to be named the Democratic presidential candidate later that year—did not attend Cardillo’s funeral. Neither did Police Commissioner, Patrick Murphy.
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