The call came in at 6:40 a.m., a burglary in progress in the Village. Two police officers, with 80 minutes left on their midnight tour, responded to the address on East 12th Street in Manhattan.
Outside, no sign of anyone. But a light shone from an apartment window above, so one of the officers, Henry Walburger, climbed a fire escape and looked inside.
He saw two women and a man, the police said. He tapped on the window and asked if everything was all right, and the three people said yes. Officer Walburger turned to tell his partner it was all clear. The man in the apartment then drew a gun and shot him, sending the officer falling to the street, where he died.
It was July 1964. Just days earlier, the police shooting of a black teenager led to what became known as the Harlem riot. Deep mistrust of the police gripped New York, but the mistrust cut both ways, with officers fearful of attacks.
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